NJIT Highlanders (1-1) vs. #22 Seton Hall Pirates (3-0)
WHERE: Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
TIME: 4 p.m. ET
TV CHANNEL: FS2
ONLINE: Fox Sports Go
SPREAD: Laughable... Hall are 30-point favorites.
ALL-TIME: Pirates lead 5-0
So far, so good for the Seton Hall Pirates in their most anticipated season since the early 90’s.
Three relatively comfortable wins over Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth, and Indiana have the Pirates at 3-0. And Saturday’s matchup with the NJIT Highlanders shouldn’t be anything different.
This will be the Hall’s final tune-up before heading to Brooklyn on Thanksgiving night for the start of the NIT Tip-Off against Rhode Island.
As for tonight, the matchup to watch will be the two big men, as Angel Delgado will go up against NJIT’s bruiser Abdul Lewis. Lewis, a 6’10” 225-pound junior, notched a double-double in their 96-80 win over Lafayette on Tuesday night.
However, double-doubles are commonplace for Delgado, who picked up the 53rd of his collegiate career on Wednesday against Indiana. The senior from the Dominican Republic has a double-double in each of the first three games this season.
On paper, this is a clear mismatch, with NJIT having just one senior on their roster, while Seton Hall may be the most veteran-laden team in the country.
The Pirates will also be tasked with stopping athletic forward Anthony Tarke, who leads the team in scoring at 12.5 PPG through two games. Expect the tandem of Michael Nzei and Ismael Sanogo to keep their eyes on Tarke.
As for the Pirates, it should be more of the same. Desi Rodriguez has been the star on offense, scoring 16.3 PPG so far this year. Khadeen Carrington will continue his progression in the point guard role, a transition that has gone well so far. Carrington has 15 assists in three games this year so far.
Should this game be well in-hand for the Pirates in the second half, expect Head Coach Kevin Willard to give some of his younger guys a run. Many of them have already made major contributions, namely Myles Cale, who had 12 points in the season opener, as well as Sandro Mamukelashvili, who put up eight points and six boards that same night.
Freshman point guard Jordan Walker missed Wednesday’s game with a sprained thumb, however Willard said postgame that there is a chance he would play this afternoon. That being said, if Walker is not quite 100 percent, don’t expect to see him today.
This game is a major mismatch, and expect the Pirates to roll to an easy to win to improve to 4-0 heading into the toughest stretch of their nonconference slate.