It was great to get back courtside for Seton Hall Basketball, as I was back in the student section (although I had to leave a little early to get up to the WSOU studios for Hall Line after the game). Here are some of my thoughts, in addition to the ones that GonzoBallSHU already posted:
- Fuuuuuuuquan Edwin
Oh, will PA announcer Tim McLoone have a field day with this bouncy freshman's name. But Edwin was the best player on the floor tonight, using his lanky frame to slash without the ball and play FANTASTIC defense. I could see it in his eyes- he was focused on the defensive end, leading to his 4 steals on the night as well as some of his points on uncontested layups. Speaking of the uncontested layups, I'm glad that they were layups and not dunks. Edwin seems to realize that two points are two points, and he could have, with his athleticism, thrown down some nasty dunks. But he didn't. He was content to lay the ball in. Good sign from him. I'm anxious to see if this demeanor carries over into the road games because I don't think he should have a problem with it at home.
- Herb Pope's aggressiveness
Herb was aggressive tonight, as his stat line indicates. But the 20 rebounds he got are misleading, and you can see it in his field goal percentage. Pope shot 7-18 from the floor, which he needs to improve. He had a bunch of offensive rebounds, but most of these were off his own misses in close (hence the low FG percentage). If he finished better around the basket, his line would have still been very good (10-12 rebounds instead of 20). I think he needs to do this, because as a post player- the best one the Pirates have- you have to convert those easy baskets, be they layups or free throws (Pope was 2-4 on these in the game).
- The Bank of Theodore
Jordan Theodore didn't start, but he sure showed the crowd that he's ready for it. He scored only 4 points, but grabbed 5 rebounds, got 2 steals and doled out TWELVE assists. It was like he was a mortgage bank giving out sub-prime loans circa 2008 the way he was giving out buckets to his teammates with some really nifty passes, especially on the break. Expect him to be the general for this team all season long.
- Defense with a capital DEFENSE
Tremendous defense was played tonight by the Pirates against the Pioneers, who under 16th year head man and former Seton Hall Pirate Jose Rebimbas are a very good D-III program. The focus in particular was at least 75 percent better on Coach Willard's end of the floor than it was last year. Again, it will be severely tested by Temple next week, but if the Pirates can maintain that level of focus, they have more than a puncher's chance of going down to Philly and getting a W.
- Ferrakohn Hall's muscle
Hall was also aggressive tonight, as he went to the foul line 8 times, making 7. This is definitely because of not only Coach Willard's confidence in him, but also his extra 20 pounds of muscle. He only had 4 rebounds, and committed 4 fouls, but he has improved so much physically from last year that he should be a factor from the beginning, as I mentioned recently.
That's all for now. By the way, the caller who plugged the Juice on Hall Line is 'Nick from Millburn,' a long-time caller to WSOU. If you can't make a game this year, I encourage you to tune in to WSOU (89.5 FM on your radio dials) or go online to listen to our stream on WSOU.net. We have our call-in show, Hall Line, after every Men's Basketball game, the only place anywhere where you Pirate fans can call up and talk Pirate Basketball to your heart's content.
Since Nick plugged the Juice so shamelessly, I feel like I should plug WSOU here. Thanks Nick!