Cincinnati Bearcats (11-4, 2-1) @ Seton Hall Pirates (9-5, 0-3) 6:00PM Pre-Game Notes

Cincinnati @ Seton Hall, 6:00PM
Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
Television: SNY, ESPN360
Radio: 770 WABC

Projected Starting Five:

G-Eugene Harvey
G-Jeremy Hazell 
SF-Robert Mitchell
PF-Herb Pope 
C-John Garcia

In order to keep slim mention of NCAA hopes alive, the Seton Hall Pirates (9-5, 0-3) must find a way to defeat the Cincinnati Bearcats (11-4, 2-1) Saturday, at the Rock.  Where there's a will, there's a way.  The Bearcats are definitely an interesting team, defeating three ranked teams in Vanderbilt, Maryland and Connecticut, while losing to teams such as Gonzaga and Pittsburgh, who shortly became ranked after their victories over Cincy. Throwing out a 64-47 thrashing at UAB, Cincinnati only lost their remaining three games by an average of 3PPG.  Like the Pirates, the Bearcats play their competition very tough, however, unlike the Pirates, Cincy has actually finished their fair share of games over quality opponents.    

Luckily for The Hall, the Bearcats are equally bad at the stripe shooting 64% compared to SHU's 63%.  Should this game go down to the wire, it may ultimately be decided by the team that has the hotter hand at the free throw line.  Hopefully, Seton Hall will maintain the recent momentum they've gained, shooting 75% in the last two games against Virginia Tech and UConn.  That being said, they also dominated the huskies in FGA, rebounds and turnovers, however, they're not going to win games without making a bucket or two, as evidenced at Gampel Pavilion, Wednesday night.  

Game preview courtesy of SHU Athletics:

SETON HALL - CINCINNATI SERIES

The all-time series is tied at five wins apiece.  The Pirates have won the last two meetings and three of the last four.  Last season, Seton Hall finished the regular season with a 67-63 overtime victory at Fifth Third Arena, the program's first victory at Cincinnati in school history.  Seton Hall's worst defeat ever came at the hands of the Bearcats a 118-54 loss on Jan. 9, 1958.

Scouting the Pirates from the Cincinnati Athletics preview:

SCOUTING THE PIRATES

·         Seton Hall is 9-5 overall and 0-3 in the BIG EAST heading into the game vs. Cincinnati.

·         The Pirates have lost four in a row and five of their last six games, including a 71-63 decision at No. 13/13 Connecticut on Wednesday.

·         The Pirates have one of the nation’s most explosive offenses averaging 85.6 points per game, which ranked third in the NCAA heading into the week.

·         Junior guard Jeremy Hazell is the second-leading scorer in the BIG EAST behind Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody, putting up 22.6 points per night.

I wonder where Hazell's 40% FG percentage ranks in the Big East.  Considering he's only shooting better than Keon Lawrence (26%) on his own squad, he can't be faring that well.  

The Pirates will have their hands full with the Big East Pre-Season Rookie of the Year in Lance Stephenson.  Check out Adam Zagoria's feature on the talented freshman from Brooklyn, NY:

"With a guy like Lance, he just doesn’t look like a freshman. He’s like a man out there. I think he’s just a difference-maker for them and he gives them another offensive weapon that they haven’t had to go with [Yancy] Gates and Deonta Vaughn," said Pirates coach Bobby Gonzalez, whose team has dropped four straight and five of six. "Man, I don’t think he’ll be in the league long. Let’s put it that way." 

Gonzo Ball contributor, SHUBigEBall10 will be posting the Post-Game Thoughts following the completion of tonight's game with Cincinnati.  As always, Let's Go Hall!

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