2009-2010 Seton Hall Pirates Basketball Preview
It’s been three seasons since the Seton Hall Pirates (17- 15 overall, 7- 11 Big East) have made a post-season appearance at the NCAA Tournament, NIT or CBI. This year, the Pirates, who are coached by Bobby Gonzalez, look to have the stuff that will get them to the Big Dance. The club will get a huge boost from three transfers: one senior and two juniors.
The team was ranked 15th in scoring defense in 2008- 2009 as the Pirates allowed an average of 72.8 PPG. They only put 74.2 PPG on the scoreboard, which left them a flimsy point differential of plus-1.4 PPG. The club’s rebound margin was especially dismal at minus-6.3. That was dead last in the Big East. The best thing that Seton Hall did last season was make free throws as they hit 72% (4th in Big East). The team’s field goal percentage of 44% was ninth and downtown hit rate of 33% was 10th.
In the front, New Mexico State transfer Herb Pope gives the Pirates an additional option in the paint. Fifth year senior forward/center John Garcia (8.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.0 APG) is a fine force, but he’s had to play too many minutes and through too many injuries. Look for his game to benefit from Pope’s presence. Six-foot-six Robert Mitchell (14.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.7 APG), a senior, will be able to play his natural position this season: small forward. He’s an aggressive player who’s able to play beyond his size. There are some talented but raw freshmen on board too.
The point guard spot has depth and that means that there’s competition for who will get the nod to start. Junior Jeremy Hazell (22.7 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 0.9 APG) will see Jamel Jackson, a transfer from Technical Career Institute with a nice touch from downtown, and Keon Lawrence, a transfer from Missouri and a refined perimeter scorer, vie for minutes. Eugene Harvey (12.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 4.9 APG) and Jordan Theodore (5.9 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 2.0 APG) will share duties at the point.
The Seton Hall Pirates have an excellent roster of experienced and rookie players. Numerous talented transfers are on hand to bolster the ranks, adding more rebounding, scoring and playmaking potential. Although the Pirates look like a ninth place team, they could sneak into eighth or seventh. The Big Dance seems to be almost certain in this team’s near future.