There are 351 teams in college basketball, which means it is impossible for every good player to grab the national spotlight. But there are certainly those who are shortchanged in the amount of attention they are given.
One in particular is Seton Hall Pirates power forward Angel Delgado.
On Wednesday night against Xavier, Delgado looked like a man among boys, putting up 25 points and 13 rebounds. The average college basketball fan would be impressed with that performance and probably believe that was a career night for Delgado. But he has been putting these numbers up on a consistent basis and Wednesday night was just another night at the office for the Seton Hall big man.
Delgado’s stats speak for themselves. Angel is averaging 15.7 points and 13.1 rebounds per game. Currently, he is leading the nation in total rebounds per game, with good company among one of the most respected bigs in the nation in Caleb Swanigan of the Purdue Boilermakers.
The one stat that sticks out the most is the achievement that Delgado attained in the Pirates’ win over the Musketeers Wednesday night. Delgado had officially passed former Oklahoma Sooners forward and NBA superstar Blake Griffin and future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan for the most double-doubles in a 21-game span since 1996.
So why is Delgado not getting the national attention he deserves? What will it take for him to break onto the national scene and become a household name?
First of all, I am certainly not saying that he does not get attention in general. Delgado receives the attention he deserves on Fox Sports Big East basketball broadcasst and can be found sporadically mentioned across social media by college basketball analysts. I am here to argue that Angel Delgado deserves much more attention than he is currently getting.
Maybe it is the fact that Delgado plays for a program that made the NCAA Tournament for the first time last year since 2006 and the fact that this year his team is on the bubble. It would be very interesting to see the amount of attention Josh Hart would have gotten this year if Villanova had not made a run to the Final Four and won a National Championship.
Of course Hart has earned every right to be considered a top candidate for the Wooden Award. But one can definitely make an argument that if Angel Delgado played for a team that was consistently in the national spotlight he would be a potential All-American. I would not go as far as saying a Wooden Award candidate like Josh Hart, but being the national leader in rebounds and second for double doubles should be enough for consideration at the very least.
Some may say that Delgado is overrated and does not put up good numbers against respectable competition. Let’s put this notion to the test for a moment. When Seton Hall hosted Creighton, Angel Delgado’s matchup was projected NBA lottery pick Justin Patton. Delgado simply had a field day against the seven-footer as he put up 17 points and 17 rebounds.
There are still many aspects of his game that Delgado is working on, but the progress he continues to make is excellent. One of Delgado’s notorious weaknesses has always been turning the ball over when he was double teamed in the post. Recently he’s developed great court vision and is now able to make quick decisions to find open teammates on the perimeter or making cuts while being doubled.
In today’s age of basketball, it seems as though the game is evolving into a style of play in which the game is moving away from the rim and big men are becoming more mobile and need to have the ability to knock down mid-range jump shots. Delgado’s game used to be nonexistent beyond the post offensively, but he has recently been displaying the ability to occasionally knock down that 15-foot jump shot.
If Delgado opts to return for his senior year of eligibility and not go pro, he has earned the right to be on the extensive preseason list of Wooden Award candidates for next season. It certainly is an injustice to college basketball fans all around the country to not be able to see one of the strongest, entertaining and tough players in the nation.