The Seton Hall Pirates are nearly done with their nonconference season. Things didn’t look so great when they fell 66-64 to the Saint Louis Billikens on November 17. That loss put them at 1-2, as they were reeling off a loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers earlier that week.
But since then, the Pirates have gone 7-1. The lone defeat was to the Louisville Cardinals, but the Pirates answered back with wins over the New Hampshire Wildcats, the Kentucky Wildcats, Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Sacred Heart Pioneers. Dashed in there before that loss to Louisville were wins against the Grand Canyon Antelopes, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors and the Miami (FL) Hurricanes.
So, what stands in the way of Seton Hall going 9-3? The Maryland Terrapins, thank you for asking. The Terps will welcome The Hall to College Park for a Saturday evening shodown in Prince George’s County. It’s set to be a darn good one, too.
The Terps are 9-2 on the year, with their lone losses coming against the Virginia Cavaliers and Purdue Boilermakers. They’ve otherwise taken down their competition with relative ease. They beat the Penn State Nittany Lions at the start of the month and also defeated the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, as those stand as the Terps’ lone Top 100 wins via KenPom this season. Their competition has been otherwise not-so-stiff, although they did defeat the Hofstra Pride and Marshall Thundering Herd, who rank 107th and 116th as of writing.
Mark Turgeon’s team has profiled pretty well on offense and defense. Their lone errors come in the turnover department. On both ends, actually. They can’t really force them at a high rate and they’ve been committing lots of turnovers, too. They’re pretty average at shooting the 3-point ball, actually very average, as their 33.9 percent mark from 3-point land is th D1 average as of writing. They’re above average in FT shooting and great on the interior. They have rebounded the basketball well and are limiting teams’ chances at the FT line.
Their biggest contributors are Anthony Cowan Jr., Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith. Fernando has been awesome this season, posting very high efficiency marks, as his FG% is up in the 70s. Now, granted, he’s only tken two shots from the 3-point arc, but the numbers are what they are. Jalen Smith has also posted high efficiency marks, and so has Cowan as well as Eric Ayala.
Those four will be Maryland’s biggest source of offense on Saturday, no doubt about it. They don’t run too deep, with six players posting Minutes% of at least 58.9 percent (the lone other players here are sophomore Darryl Morsell as well as freshman Aaron Wiggins).
The prodigious Myles Powell has understandably been gaining plenty of attention. Powell is second in the Big East in scoring to the great Markus Howard of the Marquette Golden Eagles (whose PPG total will no doubt skyrocket after his RIDICULOUS performance against Buffalo on Friday night). He’s put up 22.7 points per game and, at times, has looked absolutely unconscious. Powell is Seton Hall’s go-to guy in every sense of the word. You’ll be seeing a lot of him as usual on Saturday against the Terps against Anthony Cowan Jr. and Eric Ayala.
Another one to watch for is Sandro Mamukelashvili. Sandro is coming off a monster night against the Pioneers, as he went for 23 & 8 on 8-for-11 from the field. He’s been getting red hot of late, having put up 15 & 9 against Rutgers last week, and 14 & 11 against New Hampshire on December 4.
This one will be fun. Seton Hall has played very well but they have only played one true road game this season and lost it. Does that mean anything? Hard to say, as Seton Hall is a COMPLETELY different team now than the one that went to Lincoln on November 14. Maryland has played well this season, but they also haven’t taken the floor in 11 days. They are a huge favorite in this game, projected to win by eight with a 77 percent WP% on KenPom. I don’t know how this one will play out, but I think it will be close.
HOW TO WATCH
Time: 5:30 p.m. ET
Watch Online: Fox Sports Go