Seton Hall Basketball: Seton Hall 78, Longwood 51 - Some Good, Some Bad, Another Benching

Jordan Theodore is STACKING impressive performances over the 2nd half of SHU's non-conference schedule. JT was good for 17PTS/7AST in the Pirates 78-51 victory over Longwood, Monday night.

-Kenpom projected the Pirates to score 101 points against one of the worst defenses in all of Division 1 basketball, ahhh... not so much. Really?!? The Pirates could only muster 78 points against the Lancers?  It's tough to believe that their output was actually that low.  Had we played a formidable opponent tonight, the final outcome would have been entirely different. There's no reason Longwood should have been within single digits with 10 minutes to play in the game, yet they were.

-Unbelievable game by the freshman Fuquan Edwin.  Best player on the floor tonight, hands down.  Playing 5 more minutes (34) than any other Pirate, Fuq'ed finished with 17PTS/9REB/3STL/AST/0TO on 7-of-11 shooting, including one from beyond the arc.  Edwin was impressive with his slashing and finished strong around the tin throughout.  He hit a smooth fade-away jumper from 15 and also found JRob with a pretty alley-oop feed.  Edwin was definitely the bright spot for the Pirates tonight. 

-Jeff Robinson added another solid performance tonight with 15PTS/8PTS/3BLK as he hit 6-of-7 from inside the arc.  Of course, he took his standard 3-3PT attempts, and unfortunately, he missed them all. 

-After an impressive comeback performance against UMass, Pope reverted back to once again showing a lack of focus on the floor.  Against a team as weak as Longwood, there's absolutely no reason that Pope should be missing 7-of-his-9 attempts.  Overall, he was a non-factor.  His final stat line? 4PTS/6REB in just 14 minutes. 

-Once again, Jordan Theodore was sharp as he continues to compile impressive performances over the second half of the non-conference schedule.  JT hit 6-of-10 and 3-of-4 from deep, finishing with 17PTS while distributing 7 dimes, most importantly, he turned the ball over just once.

-Patrik Auda was fired up tonight! Between Fu' and himself, I'm confident we're going to enjoy watching this class throughout the rest of the season and their Seton Hall careers.  True, Auda dropped 6 of his points on easy, uncontested lay-ups, but it's clear that Patrik brings a passion and energy to the game that can be contagious around his teammates, even as a freshman. 

-Atrocious.  The only word suitable for use in describing Jamel Jackson's offensive performance tonight.  JJAX came flying out the gates at 110MPH as seeing the Lancers defense must have triggered images of his 41-point VMI performance last season.  Unfortunately, there would be no repeat performance.  Jackson was 1-of-10 from the floor and 1-of-9 from beyond the arc.  When it's not your night, it's not your night, a shooter has to find his touch and generally, the only way is to keep shooting.  Can't get on Jackson too much here as coming into tonight he's been impressive as the only legitimate 3PT threat on the Pirates, post Hazell. 

-3 minutes into the second half, Kevin Willard was clearly irritated with his defense and pulled all 5 starters and replaced them without hesitation.  I loved seeing that move from Willard.  Sure, it's not as gutsy against LU's squad, but it's a good message nonetheless.  If you're going to be on the floor for him, laugher or not, you're going to give effort on both ends of the floor. 

-Speaking of messages, tonight was Keon Lawrence's turn to receive a first half benching.  We JUST SAW Herb Pope benched for the entire first half in Louisville as a disciplinary measure.  Tonight, Willard failed to say why Keon received his punishment, but enough is enough.  Keon had his foolish off the court issues last season, fought with Okoloji in the school cafeteria leading to an exhibition benching and now tonight, punished again.   For what?  Does it really matter?  Strangely, I had hoped Lawrence was injured or something, not due to his play, but because I can't fathom how he's allowed this troubling trend to follow him throughout his Seton Hall career, but, he has.  His issues notwithstanding, Lawrence actually played very well tonight. Sure he only dropped 2PTS and failed to make a bucket, but he played under control for the most part with 5AST to just a single TO, while also contributing 3REB/STL. 

-For the 9th time in as many games, the question mark surrounding Eniel Polynice looms large as he continues to be a non-factor, playing just 9 minutes.  In his last 3 games, EP's been held under 10 minutes (3min/9min) in 2 of them. 

-Lastly, the mystery walk-on we've been hearing about for the last 2 weeks has appeared! Donning a #35 jersey, Pete Dill logged 1 minute and was rejected severely.  Nonetheless, it was cool to see him get in the game.  Even cooler, was Jeremy Hazell's reaction.  As Willard looked down the bench signaling for Dill to get into the game, Hazell jumped up quicker than Pete and physically assisted him up and out of his chair and onto the floor.  Hazell was juiced for the walk-on.  Gotta love Jeremy's enthusiasm staying high through this undoubtedly difficult time for him.  Great to see. 

-Some good tonight, some bad tonight.  And another benching.  Yep, that's been the story of the Pirates season through their first nine games.

-JP will have much more tomorrow afternoon with his five-thoughts.  Hopefully you were able to check him out on WSOU as his color-commentary was exceptional.  It would behoove (Gary Gohen shout-out) WSOU to have him doing the play-by-play though as he's a great speaker and too knowledgeable to be stuck doing the color.  Anyway, great job JP!

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