The wait is over. Enter the Kevin Willard era. Happy New Year, Seton Hall University basketball fans.
Projected Starting Five: G-Theodore, G-Hazell, SF-Polynice, PF-Robinson, F/C-Pope
From SHU Athletics:
The Pirates begin the 2010-11 campaign with a new head coach and five newcomer players. Kevin Willard begins his tenure as the 19th head coach in Seton Hall men's basketball history. Freshmen Patrik Auda, Fuquan Edwin, Aaron Geramipoor, Anali Okoloji and Mississippi transfer Eniel Polynice will suit up for the Pirates for the first time.
Actually, Geramipoor will not suit up as he's still recovering from mono. It's my belief that we're going to have to redshirt the kid this year. I expect EP to get around 20-25 minutes, Auda and Edwin - 15 and Okoloji less than 10.
From TU Athletics:
"There's a responsibility that comes with all this (rankings)," Dunphy said at the team's media day Monday. "I appreciate the respect. But it doesn't ensure any level of success. That's kind of where we are. People are talking nicely about us. We can't hang our hat on any of that."
The Pirates on the other hand are breaking in a new head coach in Kevin Willard. The former Iona man will be charged with elevating a team with a nice nucleus to a new level. The Pirates went 19-13 a year ago, but finished just 9-9 in Big East play.
This is the 11th meeting between these two teams on the hardwood. Temple holds a 6-4 series edge, including a 71-65 road win last year at the Prudential Center.
"I think we are going to be the surprise team of the league," said Hazell, the Big East's leading returning scorer at 20.4 ppg. "It feels good because we are working hard on and off the court and we are getting everything together." Fernandez had 21 points to lead Temple to a 71-65 win at Seton Hall on Dec. 19. Hazell was held to 11 points on 4-of-17 shooting.
Piratz of PirateCrew.com:
This is a very interesting game. On one hand Temple has lost more from its rotation than Seton Hall. You can't really overstate what Brooks and Guzman meant to their succes last year, both in and off the stat sheets. The mark of any good college basketball program is to mitigate the losses of good players to graduation and so forth by having strong player development. That's exactly what Temple has.
But maybe Seton Hall can catch them early before it all comes together.
BETUS (for entertainment only):
Seton Hall may be decent down the road, but until they gel as a team completely under a new system, you have to take Temple in this game. They have better continuity right now and though that is a bit of a daunting line, Seton Hall has too much to work on right now to make them a worthy take in college hoops betting for now.
Well folks, that was a long offseason, but the Pirates are finally back in action. Follow our play-by-play tweets, here.
Of course, check back for our half-time notes, our post-game recap and post-game thoughts from JP along AND a new SOJ writer, BracketManSHU! As always, Let's Go Hall!