Seton Hall v. Clemson, 6:00PM EST
Paradise Jam, Third Place Consolation Game
University of the Virgin Islands
Opening Line: Clemson -3 (SHU 2-2ATS)
Television: FCS Verizon FiOS 302, DirectTV 623
Radio: WSOU 89.5 FM
Twitter @SOrangeJuice @JPGuerette @JohnLopiano @TheBracketMan
Seton Hall Pirates, Big East, KenPom: 49, Record: 2-2
Overview: Seton Hall will try to leave the USVI with a little consolation (other than Hazell's broken wrist) as they aim to return home with a 2-1 tournament record with a victory over Clemson in tonight's third-place contest. Last night, in a valiant second half effort, the Pirates fought back to tie a game that they trailed for the final 30 minutes. As the Pirate faithful (a nice contingent in the USVI) raised to their feet envisioning a 3-1 start to the season and a Paradise Jam championship bid, Tu Holloway sealed their tournament fate by hitting the eventual and impossible, dagger.
Still, the Pirates can return to South Orange on a positive note if they can beat the Tigers without their star and leader, Jeremy Hazell. After one of the ugliest offensive 20 minutes of Seton Hall basketball I've ever witnessed, the team cannot afford to put forth a similar performance tonight. Kevin Willard will look to prove that last night (and the Temple game to a degree) was an aberration and his squad actually has an idea of what they're doing on offense without Jeremy. To be fair, there were some nice halftime adjustments as the Pirates began to get the ball in the paint and were more careful with their shot selection in comparison to the first half. That said, it needs to continue for all 40 minutes tonight. Hopefully, we'll see a little inside-out action, with the guards pounding the ball INSIDE to Pope and Robinson.
Clemson Tigers, Atlantic Coast Conference, KenPom: 30, Record: 3-1
Overview: Clemson enters tonight's contest following a 61-60 loss to ODU in which they only scored 19 points in the first half, but came roaring back to a tune of 41 in the second. Sounds quite similar to the Pirates performance that followed the Tigers' just minutes earlier. ODU was Clemson's sole loss of the season, but unlike the Pirates, the Tigers have been tallying up their victories against cupcakes: Western Carolina, Wofford and Long Beach.
KenPom's Prediction: Clemson 75, Seton Hall 72
The team is clearly a work in progress, as are most teams with a new coach. I thought we were the better team before the Xavier game and I think we’re the better team against Clemson. We can play their style, and both teams played last night, so I don't see how one team could be favored more in that area.
If anything, this group of players has demonstrated resiliency during their careers at SHU. I think we pull out a victory tonight and come home from the Virgin Islands at 2-1 with wins over two power conference teams (Alabama, SEC and Clemson, ACC) that will be at least Top 100 wins at the end of the year, maybe better if things break well.
Demontez Stitt and Devin Booker are averaging in double-figures in scoring for Clemson. The Tigers return three starters from a team that went 21-11 and lost to Missouri in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
As always, Let's Go Pirates!