Marquette Golden Eagles (18-9, 9-6) @ Seton Hall Pirates (16-10, 7-8) 12:00PM Open Game Thread

Marquette @ Seton Hall, 12:00PM
Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
Television: SNY
Radio: 770 WABC 

Online: Marquette v. Seton Hall Coverage
Projected Starting Five: G-Theodore, G-Harvey, G-Hazell, F-Pope, C-Garcia

Seton Hall (16-10, 7-8) will welcome Marquette (18-9, 9-6) to Newark for senior day as they attempt to win their 7th consecutive game at The Rock.  The Pirates will honor their seniors Eugene Harvey (8.2PTS/4.7AST) and John Garcia (3.3PTS/3.5REB) in a ceremony prior to tip-off.  Harvey and Garcia are two Pirates who have given us many memories in the blue and white and it's hard to believe that neither player has sniffed the NCAA Tournament over the course of their four seasons at South Orange. 

Garcia, hampered by injuries, has had his least productive season since his freshman year, however his heart, hard-work, leadership and contributions to Seton Hall haven't gone unnoticed over his tenure as a Pirate.  Eugene Harvey recently regained his starting nod, but has come off of the bench for much of this season after starting 93 consecutive games in his first 3 seasons.  His overall production has dropped, but that must be attributed to Bobby's infusion of point guards instead of a significant decrease in the quality of his play. 

In order for the seniors to make the Tournament in their last season, it obviously starts with Marquette.  Fall at home against the Golden Eagles and the dreams of dancing end quickly.  The Hall will attempt to pull their BE record even at .500 for the first time all season before embarking on a two game road trip to close the season.  It's well known that the Pirates must win-out if they're to rejoin the conversation of BIG EAST bubble teams.  If they want to go beyond making the conversation, they must also win a game or two during the BET.  Of course, a little help with fellow conference bubble teams will go a long way too.  We've got an interesting two weeks of Pirates basketball and scoreboard watching left in store.

Whether or not Seton Hall has made significant progress in their fourth season under Bobby Gonzalez will be determined by their final three regular season games.  Courtesy of SHU Athletics:

SEVEN WINS

Seton Hall's victory vs. Rutgers on Feb. 23 was their seventh of the season in BIG EAST play. The total matches their season-high under Bobby Gonzalez. Seton Hall had identical 7-11 records in each of the last two seasons. The Pirates can break the record and add to it with three regular season games still to play.

It's time for the Pirates to go out and do it.  As fans, we've heard enough of the usual, "we're improving, making strides" comments.  Seton Hall must bring their best effort for the last 120 minutes of the 09-10 season, they can't take one minute off.  With three entirely winnable games remaining, fans will not accept, "we're heading in the right direction," if they don't put forth their best effort in each of these three games.  If a consistent effort is there and it doesn't work out, I'll have no qualms with how the season ended.  If we see a lack of defensive intensity and discipline in the final three games, that's another story. 

MU Athletics preview:

MU remains in the hunt for a postseason bid, thanks in large part to a current run that has seen the team win seven of its last eight outings in league action. Following Sunday's outing against the Pirates, Marquette will host Louisville at 8:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, March 2.

Buzz Williams has no interest in talking about, "what-ifs" in regards to the Golden Eagles postseason chances as reported by Jerry Carino:

"It's fruitless and it's very inefficient to talk about what will happen three weeks from now. None of us are fortune tellers so we just focus on what we can do today."

If Williams thinks he has it tough, try being stuck in a four-way logjam at eighth place. After his team topped Rutgers on Tuesday to improve to 7-8 in the league, Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez's postgame press conference turned into bubble talk discourse.

PirateCrew.com member 'Piratz' breaks down the contributions of Eugene Harvey's career at Seton Hall in his SHU/MU preview:

Harvey has been an all-time type of memorable player. He's been a solid, consistent performer. He's excelled in a highly competitive position in the country's top conference. His production and accomplishments can be found throughout the historical record books:

 

*Named to the 2006-07 All-Big East Rookie Team
*1,501 career points = 16th all-time
*3,875 minutes played = 5th all-time
*431 FT Made = 10th all-time
*.785 FT Percentage = 8th all-time
*549 assists = 4th all-time
*197 steals = 7th all-time

Win or go home.  Simple.  As always, Let's Go Hall!

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