Despite the loss, Bobby Gonzalez feels confident that his team will still prove to be a pretty good team, writes Lenn Robbins of the NY Post:
A team doesn't come back down 10 with 54 seconds to go unless it has a lot of ticker," said Gonzalez. "I think we sent a message that we got a chance to be a pretty good team." He's correct. With a sniper like Hazell, who scored 41 and knocked down a last-second 3-pointer that the score 77-77 and forced overtime, and an inside force such as Herb Pope (11 points, 11 rebounds, but nine missed free throws), Seton Hall can make any opponent sweat.
NBE Basketball Report recounts the frantic 45 second rally, which put the Pirates in position to upset the 6th ranked Mountaineers:
After 39 minutes and 15 seconds of play, not too many people expected to hear that this game was going to be in overtime. WVU had a 75-65 lead and looked to be in control of the contest. However, a frantic rally over the last 45 seconds saw SHU outscore the visitors 12-2, capped by a 25-footer by Jeremy Hazell to send the game into overtime and delight the home fans. However, Da’Sean Butler connected on a three early in OT and the Mountaineers never trailed again to earn the victory in the conference opener.
The country was lucky enough to witness a college basketball player emerge into stardom on Saturday as Slam Magazine profiles Hazell's performance:
Yes, Seton Hall ultimately lost 90-84 in the extra frame, but you think anyone is going to remember that? No, what people will remember is the 12-1 run the Pirates put together in the final minute to make this a game. People will remember Hazell coming off a screen and catching the ball on the right wing, a country mile from the basket with time running down and ever so calmly rising and firing a perfect strike to tie the game as the Prudential Center exploded.
The updated Big East writers poll finds Seton Hall checking in at #6. After all the talk of their non-conference schedule and losses to TU and WVU, the Pirates find themselves 4 spots better than the #10 ranking the Big East coaches handed them in the pre-season.
What has Herb Pope offered Seton Hall? A former top 25 recruit coming out of high school who started his career at New Mexico State, Pope has injected a big dose of toughness in the Pirates. He leads the league in rebounding at 11.9 per game and double-doubles with seven. He may allow Seton Hall (9-2) to stand up stronger against some of the league's elite.
"I’m not trying to push him out of door, but if I was an NBA GM I’d take him second or third," Gonzalez added. "He’s a freak. He’s 6-9 and is ridiculous. He did whatever he wanted against us today." Ebanks is widely regarded as a lottery pick by many NBA executives. I’ve seen him play now for about five years and he’s always been a terrific offensive player due to his athleticism, skill level and length.
Andy Katz with a couple Seton Hall mentions throughout his Weekly Watch -- Week 6 roundup:
Honorable Mention: • Jeremy Hazell, Jr., G, Seton Hall: For doing everything he could to try to get the Pirates past West Virginia. Hazell scored 41 points in 43 minutes, making 14 of 33 shots and 9 of 12 free throws. It wasn't enough, but Hazell, who also scored 33 points in a win over VMI, will be a major scoring threat in Big East play.
Places To Be This Week: Newark, N.J., Tuesday: Seton Hall has to split its two opening Big East home games. The Pirates already lost to West Virginia in overtime, so they desperately need to beat Syracuse.
College Hoops Net with a must-read piece on Big East player development. Each school's senior class and those who were recruited in 2006 are analyzed, including players who are no longer with their respective recruiting schools:
Harvey and Garcia are team captains this season, their second year in the leadership roles. John Garcia faced injury troubles almost his whole basketball life. His left knee has been operated on three times. He dislocated his patella twice, and tore his meniscus once. The inspiring tough guy intends to play basketball as long as his body will allow. Eugene Harvey will conclude his career as third on the Seton Hall assist list. Only Shaheen Holloway (681) and Andre Barrett (662) dished out more.