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Angel Delgado, Seton Hall’s Inside Man

Seton Hall’s dominant, reliable big man will need to deliver more of the same in his third year if the Pirates want to defend their Big East title.

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Seton Hall Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Angel Delgado has been Seton Hall’s ‘Man in the Middle’ since he arrived on campus in 2014. Despite in-fighting his freshman year and the inherent roster turnover that comes with college sports, Delgado has been a consistent presence in the paint. He has appeared in every game the past two years, pulling down boards and being a problem inside on both ends of the floor. Head coach Kevin Willard is going to need more of the same - and maybe a little bit more - in 2017 if Seton Hall wants to defend their Big East title.

Angel finished 2016 averaging 9.9 points and 9.3 rebounds. His numbers were similar to 2015, when he won Big East Rookie of the Year with 9.3 points and 9.8 rebounds. If you extrapolate that per 40 minutes, his statlines turn out looking even more similar. Basically, you know what you’re going to get from Delgado, but that is exactly what Seton Hall needed. The Pirates were 18-1 when Angel grabbed 10 or more rebounds. They were 13-0 when he had a double-double.

While his year-to-year numbers have held form, that doesn’t mean that Angel isn’t developing. Delgado played for his native Dominican Republic’s national team at Centrobasket 2016 in late June. At the tournament in Panama, he lead his team in points (12.5 per game), rebounding (7.3), and blocks (0.8). The Dominican Republic went 4-0 in Group Play and earned a Bronze medal after a semifinal loss to Puerto Rico.

Delgado put himself on the map with two big games in Group Play. The first was a 17-point, 8-rebound performance against Mexico that saw him make all 8 of his shots and his only free throw. He then went off the following game against the US Virgin Islands with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Delgado’s college high is 19 points, yet he was able to surpass that during international play. That could be a sign of things to come this fall.

Angel has been able to produce as well as he has despite being ninth on the team in usage rate over the past two seasons. However, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see him get at least a few more touches with the growth of his game and his body; the team website has Delgado going from 6’9”, 245 to 6’10”, 240 over this summer. While the Pirates will look to guards and wings such as Khadeen Carrington, Desi Rodriguez, and Myles Powell for much of the scoring, a big man that can switch things up via a budding post-up game will be invaluable.

Angel Delgado hit the ground running when he got to Seton Hall, serving as a consistent presence in game attendance and on the stat ledger. The Pirates will need more of the same from Delgado in his junior year if they want to be successful. Some time playing international ball this summer may indicate he can give the Pirates a little more in 2017.