NJIT @ Seton Hall, 7:30PM EST
Prudential Center - Newark, New Jersey
Opening Line: Seton Hall N/A (SHU 4-4ATS)
Radio: WSOU 89.5 FM
Twitter @SOrangeJuice @JPGuerette @JohnLopiano @The_Bracket_Man
Seton Hall Pirates, Big East, Record: 5-4, KenPom: 50, RPI: 91, SOS: 63
Update 7:02PM: @JPGuerette reporting:
Pope is a scratch. He's in street clothes. Interesting tidbit- Geramipoor's dressed.
The Pirates will look to improve to 6-4 and 4-0 at The Rock if they can defeat one of the worst teams in Divison-I, the Highlanders of NJIT in Newark tonight. In all reality, this one should be well in the bag before Faith Hill starts to sing on NBC in preparation of Sunday Night Football.
Despite defeating Longwood by nearly 30 points last Saturday, Seton Hall allowed the Lancers to hang around until late into the 2nd half. In fact, the Pirate lead was trimmed to single digits with just under 10 minutes to play. That will not happen tonight as Seton Hall will run away and hide, well before the clock expires at the end of the first half. As we saw against Longwood, I expect Fuquan Edwin, Jordan Theodore and Jeff Robinson to lead the way for the Pirates. Of course, it'd be nice for Herb Pope to get going against such a weak opponent and it's possible he will, however at this point there is such a large unknown that continues to surround his play and his focus.
Speaking of focus, anyone who WATCHED, instead of simply giving a quick one-over of the LU box score, understands the Pirates hardly focused for all 40 minutes. That needs to change tonight as NJIT is the last remaining cupcake on the Pirates schedule. Dayton and Richmond won't allow for temporary lapses of focus and concentration. I'd rather the Pirates win by 15-20 points, playing smart, under control basketball with an emphasis on their offensive execution opposed to a 30-40 point victory that turns into a run-and-gun street ball contest, where the Pirates pile it on as a result of their superior athleticism more than anything else. That style will allow you to blow out every candle-lit cupcake, but it won't fly once the meat of the schedule is served.
NJIT Highlanders, Great West Conference: 2-5, KenPom: 327, RPI: 341, SOS: 260
Yes, NJIT has 2 wins. Both wins were against D-III schools. That's all you need to know. In all seriousness, they played tough against Rutgers, Army and Manhattan, but ultimately came up short in each contest.
Between the weak opponent, the tip coinciding with the finish of a huge Jets game and finals/papers due tomorrow, expect around 1K, maybe 1500 in attendance tonight. It's not a question as to whether or not the Pirates will win in a landslide, the question is, how focused can they remain doing so?