2007 Seton Hall Pirates Basketball Preview
It was 2006 when the Seton Hall Pirates (13- 16 overall, 4- 12 Big East) made their last NCAA appearance. But last year, the club’s win total dropped off by five games, which meant that the team went nowhere in this years NCAA tournament. Last season was Bobby Gonzalez’s (13- 16 in one year at Seton Hall, 142- 93 in eight years) first year with the Pirates. After one season in the conference, Gonzalez knew that he needed big men in the frontcourt. This year it looks like he’s got some freshmen that will bang, score and be included in our NCAA picks.
Last in scoring defense and last in rebounding margin—that says it all about Seton Hall’s 2006- 2007 season. Although they scored 74.7 PPG, their PF/PA margin was a mere plus-0.9 PPG. From the charity stripe, however, the Pirates’ 75.4% success rate was second only to Villanova’s. Assists were at 14.8 per game and turnovers were 12.8 per game, ranking Seton Hall eighth and sixth respectively in those categories.
Sophomore big man John Garcia (4.4 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 65.9 FG%) may be just the ticket for this frontcourt. Garcia, who had trouble with injuries the past two seasons, is now healthy. Look for points and rebounds from him which could influence the college basketball betting lines. Freshman Mike Davis, who has struggled in the past academically, is big and strong enough to be a major factor immediately. Junior college transfer Augustine Okosun may not have the honed skills needed but he’s got size and athleticism.
Sophomore point guard Eugene Harvey (16.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 4.2 APG, 46.5 FG%) was everything the team needed in the backcourt and more as he had a stellar freshman season. Senior shooting guards Brian Laing (16.5 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 46.3 FG%) and Jamar Nutter (12.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 33.0 FG%) proved to be fine offensive forces. Additionally, there’s even more depth in this backcourt.
Here’s the question for Gonzalez and company—can they maintain strong post play throughout each game and during the entire season? That’s a prerequisite for success in the Big East. The guard positions are exceptional. If the front men can be the same, Seton Hall will be the surprise team in the Big East.