The Seton Hall Pirates reentered the Top 25 at the beginning of the week at 19th. The Pirates are coming off of two big wins; one against previously ranked Texas Tech and another on the road at then-17th-ranked Louisville. Senior wing Desi Rodriguez has been on an absolute tear, as he averaged 26 points over the past two games, and scored the go-ahead basket to defeat Louisville.
VCU enters this game with a record of 5-4, The Rams come off of a hard fought 71-67 loss at home to former VCU head coach Shaka Smart and his Texas Longhorns. On the season thus far, Justin Tillman has been leading Mike Rhoades’ squad with 16 points and seven boards per game.
How to Watch
TV: FOX (Check your local listings)
Where: Prudential Center
Online: Fox Sports Go
Line: The spread favors Seton Hall, who enters as a 12.5-point favorite. The line is also 11.5/12 in other locales
O/U: The total opened at 152.5. It’s down to 150.
Records ATS: VCU (4-4) | Seton Hall (5-4)
Things to Watch
Will it be a Seton Hall home crowd?
This game is being played at Seton Hall’s home arena the Prudential Center, but it is part of the Never Forget Tribute Classic. The first game of the day will be Florida-Cincinnati, so technically this is not a Hall home game. Pirate ticket holders received priority for tickets, however it is yet to be seen how many of the fans in attendance will be wearing blue and white.
Early in the season, Seton Hall fans were criticized by some for not showing up in large numbers, seeing as the Pirates have had a lot of publicity coming into the season. Something tells me tomorrow that the Pirate faithful will show up as they return after their two big wins against Top 25 teams away from home. One thing is certain: The players will be excited to have the opportunity to be back in front of its fans.
Can VCU finish a game?
VCU has been in close games with some very respectable teams in Marquette, Michigan and Texas. However, they have not been able to close any of those games out. The Rams only have one RPI top 100 win, which came against Old Dominion. One can argue that VCU is very close to already playing itself out of at-large consideration. This this makes Saturday’s game even more important. Seton Hall is the last quality nonconference opportunity for VCU, and once the Rams get in conference play they will only have two “quality win” opponents in a rather weak A10.
Seton Hall’s offense is most successful when...
It is run through Angel Delgado. Delgado has had a relatively quite season considering his All-American consideration coming into the season. The big man has averaged 13 and 9, which is still very respectable. However, one has to be impressed with his ability to pass the ball and get the offense going.
Watching the Pirates, they’re at their most fluent offensive sets when Delgado gets a touch in the post, leading the defense to collapse in on him. As a result, he has been able to pass out, which leads to opportunities for guys on the perimeter to hit threes or results in dribble-drive penetration.
Rodriguez’s early success can in part be contributed to the large amounts of attention defenses give Delgado. This is what makes Seton Hall dangerous. When a team tries to shut down one aspect of its offense, another player fills in production.