Madison Square Garden will be home to the first Under Armour Reunion doubleheader tonight. Boston College and Auburn face off first, but the premier matchup of the evening game is set to tip off second as South Carolina takes on Seton Hall.
This will be the Pirates’ first game back on the mainland following their trip to Hawaii in the Pearl Harbor Invitational, where The Hall grabbed two wins against California and Hawaii.
Head coach Frank Martin and the South Carolina Gamecocks enter MSG ranked 19th in the nation with an 8-0 record. The Gamecocks’ most impressive wins come against Syracuse and Michigan.
How to Watch, Listen and Stream
Time: Approx. 9 p.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: 970 AM (Dave Cohen and Gary Popkin), 89.5 FM WSOU
Streaming: Fox Sports Go (where available)
KenPom predicts this to be a close one with South Carolina winning, 69-68.
What to Watch For
Free Throw Shooting
If this is a close game as it is expected to be, then free throws will be very important in deciding the outcome of this game. According to KenPom, Seton Hall comes in ranked 328th in the nation in free throw percentage, shooting just 60 percent from the line. South Carolina meanwhile is ranked 102nd, shooting 72 percent from the charity stripe.
While neither of these teams shoots free throws particularity well, South Carolina seems to have the edge. Angel Delgado in particular will need to improve off of his last game where he shot only 4-8 from the line. He gets fouled often (6.0 fouls drawn per 40 minutes) so he must take advantage of these opportunities.
Seton Hall’s Offense
The Pirates offense has been quite the mystery this season. In their two losses against Florida and Stanford, there were times were the offense disappeared completely. The team’s offensive catalysts will have to take smart shots and not resort to situations where they are forced to go into isolation offense.
The Pirates have shown that they are most effective when they distribute the ball and have multiple players in double figures. With South Carolina coming in ranked in the Top 30 in most defensive metrics, the Pirates will have to get high-low movement on offense and not settle for too many jumpers.
The absence of Sindarius Thornwell
The Gamecocks will be without out their best player Monday night. Sindarius Thornwell, who leads the team in points, rebounds and assists, is serving an indefinite suspension for violating team rules. Frank Martin has said he will travel with the team and be on the bench Monday, but will not play in the game. South Carolina still has weapons in PJ Dozier, Justin McKie and Chris Silva, but Thornwell’s absence will clearly have an impact. How they play without him against the Pirates will be crucial to their success or lack thereof.