It hasn’t been a good week for the Seton Hall Pirates. After having their winning streak snapped against Xavier on January 2nd, they have gone through a bit of a rough patch. Seton Hall has lost three of their last four and dropping back to back games against Marquette and Providence didn’t help. In their most recent game against the Friars, Seton Hall let a halftime lead slip away as they allowed 42 second half points in a 72-63 loss. The recent slide has dropped the Pirates in the standings. Seton Hall currently sits 5th in the Big East standings with an overall record of 12-6 and a conference record of 3-3. A win would do them a lot of good in terms of confidence as well as their standing position. They are going to have a chance at revenge against the team which is right beneath them in the Big East standings.
This wasn’t a good week for the DePaul Blue Demons either. They walked into Hinkle Fieldhouse to face the Butler Bulldogs and they rightfully felt a bit confident about their chances. They were on a two game winning streak and their opponent had dropped their last two. This was one of the best chances the Blue Demons had to get a road win in one of the toughest places to play in all the country. What happened was something many DePaul fans have seen before. The Blue Demons started off the first half well and walked into the locker room with a 40-36 lead. Then the next twenty minutes happened and it was all downhill for Dave Leitao’s team. DePaul allowed 51 points to Butler in the second half and failed to even score 30 in that time frame. It gave the Bulldogs more than enough of an edge to blow the doors off DePaul and finish with a 87-69 victory. This has been a story DePaul fans have seen all too well. The team plays really well to start the game but in the second half the wheels fall off and the next thing you know, we are looking at another blowout loss. The stumble in Indiana not only broke DePaul’s winning streak but dropped the Blue Demons overall record to 10-6 overall with a conference mark of 2-3.
How to watch, listen, or stream
Game Time: 8 PM ET
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: WIND 560 AM (DePaul) || 970 AM (Seton Hall)
Stream: Fox Sports Go (where streaming is available)
Odds: Seton Hall opened as a 9 point favorite but looking at some of the other lines, it seems to have moved to either +8 or +7.5 for the Pirates pending on where you look (via Oddsshark.com)
Record ATS: DePaul (8-7-1) || Seton Hall (8-10)
O/U: The over/under opened at 147
Last Time They Met
Seton Hall currently has a 16-7 advantage in the all-time series between the two programs. Today will be the 24th meeting and like against Butler, DePaul hasn’t been on the right side of history. The Pirates swept the Blue Demons last season but DePaul was able to extract revenge in their first meeting this season with a 75-74 win in Chicago.
Matchup by the Numbers
These are the numbers for each team in terms of KenPom’s Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Efficiency.
Seton Hall have an AdjOE ranking of 108.6 (65th in the country) and an AdjDE ranking of 95.6 (46th in the country).
DePaul come into this game with an AdjOE ranking of 105.5 (135th in the country) and an AdjDE ranking of 100.6 (117th in the country).
3 Things to Watch For
Femi Olujobi carrying the offense
It’s been the Femi Olujobi show for the Blue Demons as of late. His 23 point performance led all scorers marked the second game in a row where he’s scored 20+ points and the fourth straight contest where he’s scored double digits. Along with Paul Reed, who scored 20, the duo have been the majority of DePaul’s offense as of late. Max Strus again looked a bit off, which prompted the duo to step up. DePaul has to hope Strus comes back to his usual form while also hoping for similar production form Olujobi.
Seton Hall’s tired legs
Pirates head coach Kevin Williard had some interesting comments when it came to Seton Hall’s recent schedule. The Pirates have had a busy slate of games, all mashed close to each other and he wasn’t happy about it. Willard was referring to the 6 road games the Pirates have played so far, which is the highest total of any Big East team thus far. He clearly had some thoughts on the situation, which he told reporters including Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press:
“I’m looking at the other conferences and everyone is playing the same amount of games,” Willard said. “Why is everyone else even and we’re not? So it’s been difficult because of all these games in a short period of time. There’s just no reason to have that.”
Let’s see how the Pirates recent schedule and road trip has affected them as the game goes in.
Which team can make the better second half adjustments?
Both teams gave up really big second halves to their opponents in their most recent games, which resulted in losses. So obviously something is going to change here. I think this is going to be a close one and it might be similar to the wacky game both played in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. Whichever team makes the least amount of mistakes heading down the stretch will have a major advantage to win this one.