Seton Hall's Day After: NIT, Not Close Enough, Bobby Gonzalez Sideline Antics, Officiating, FT Attempts, Emotional

Following Seton Hall's (16-11, 7-9) emotional senior day loss, the consensus surrounding the Pirates postseason is simple, NIT bound.  For the most part, we've seen The Hall put forth hard-fought efforts throughout the majority of conference play.  Heading into the contest with Marquette (19-9, 10-6), it was well-recognized that the Pirates would need to win out.  In order to do so it would require their best effort for the remaining 120 minutes of regular season play.  The Hall didn't hold up their end of the bargain long enough to reach halftime, as they repeatedly got burned from their lack of perimeter defense.  From GB's post game thoughts:

At this point, the Hall will need to defeat RU and PC on the road, enter the BET 9-9 and win 2, if not 3 games in order to refurbish their popped bubble. More than likely, Bobby Gonzalez will finally earn that NIT bid after feeling as if his team was snubbed last season. Let's see if he calls it progress.

SHU Athletics recap:

The Seton Hall men's basketball team rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit, but ultimately fell to Marquette, 84-83, in overtime on senior day. The Pirates are now 16-11 overall and 7-9 in BIG EAST play.

And 0-4 in overtime sessions this season, ouch.

The Marquette Athletics recap:

It was the 13th time this season Marquette was involved in a game that was decided by five points or fewer. Their record is 6-7 in those games, but the Golden Eagles have won the past five.

Marquette beat Cincinnati in OT last weekend and followed that with an overtime win over St. John's on Wednesday.

Brendan Prunty writes, "Close, but not close enough," in regards to Hazell's last second miss, equating it to the running theme of the season:

Instead, the miss was scooped up and laid back in by Herb Pope for a meaningless two points. As Pope's ball fell through the net and the buzzer sounded signaling Marquette's win, it seemed that every Pirates supporter on Senior Day let out a collective groan. They knew what that basket meant:

More of what has been the running theme throughout their season: Close, but not close enough.

The loss and especially, the last sequence of the game were a microcosm of the season.  All too often the Pirates would fall just short, especially against the top competition in the conference.  When three entirely winnable games were all that stood between the Pirates getting back on the bubble and an NIT bid, the Pirates came close, but couldn't come through. 

It was a bad day for Bobby Gonzalez notes Paul Tyahla in an excellent writeup for his Pirates Plank:

It was a bad day for Bobby Gonzalez; from the early deficit, through the clownish sideline antics, to the bizarre post-game comments regarding John Garcia. The whole scene brought back haunting reminders of Senior Day '08 versus Rutgers. He drew a lot of negative attention to himself, and the positive relationship between the importance of the game and his tightness continues to cost the team.

Paul's dead on with his use of, "clownish sideline antics."  First, Gonzo raised both arms during A BAD Jeremy Hazell 3PT attempt from the corner.  Hazell was defended extremely well, but launched away and the shot fell.  I exhaled a sigh of relief as there was no doubt that I was ecstatic that it went in.  Bobby? With both hands raised in the air, like Fireman Ed welcoming a Jay Feely (now Nick Folk) kick through the uprights, he walked the length of the coach's box with hands held high.  Over the top? Yes.  However, I wouldn't make a point of this if it weren't for his comments following the loss to Villanova.  Remember when he originally told the media that Hazell was removed from the game for going, "one-on-five with his head down?"  If you're going to encourage the bad shot selection, you can't get all over it when the shots don't fall and celebrate on the sidelines when they do.

I believe Tyahla's speaking more about Bobby's constant harassment of the zebras, which is more disturbing than his childish acts of fandom on the sideline.  The refs were generous enough to warn Gonzo when he left the coach's box early in the ballgame, however, anyone that has watched Hall Ball under the Gonzo era realized that the inevitable technical was coming.  It wasn't a matter of if, but when.  Like clockwork, the T came when the Pirates had finally gotten under the 8-10 point threshold that Marquette built, keeping the Pirates at bay.  Gonzalez has hurt his team constantly throughout the course of the season, picking up 6 technicals and setting an example that a lack of discipline will be tolerated on the court.  How can anyone get on the team for a lack of discipline when the head coach can't control himself? It's one thing to fire up your team when the spot is right or come to the defense of one of your players which often results in a technical.  However, when you're constantly berating every call the officials make, it comes to a point where you're hurting your team and their chances in the final outcome of the game.

Follow the jump for more reactions from Carino, Pelzman, Vorkunov, and Lunardi:

As far as the comments on John Garcia during his presser? J.P. Pelzman includes the quotes from Gonzalez and the players in his game recap:

"This is not a negative," Gonzalez said, "[Senior center] John Garcia is a wonderful guy; it's senior day and I'm glad I started him, [but] unfortunately this might have been the worst team of the year to have started him against because of matchups. We really didn't have anybody to put him on with Jimmy Butler and Lazar Hayward ... and Lazar Hayward took full advantage of that." 

And of course, Gonzo wasn't happy the officiating, reports Mike Vorkunov:

In his postgame press conference, Gonzalez insinuated in a roundabout way that there was something fishy with officiating, adding that Marquette took 12 more free throws.

"They didn't give me an explanation," said Gonzalez of his technical. "I don't need one. Basically just trying to fight for my kids. I just have a hard time with 12 more attempts and 10 more makes in a close game that's pretty evenly played. The only other thing is that we're similar teams, we're both aggressive."

Let me get this straight.  Gonzalez is attempting to use the differential with free throw shooting as an excuse for picking up the technical? Just for reference, when Gonzalez picked up the technical the Pirates had shot 3 free throws, the Golden Eagles? Four. 

Furthermore, the 12, "more attempts" that Gonzalez was so upset about? 8 of them were by way of Seton Hall sending Marquette to the line intentionally as the final seconds of OT ticked away.  Not to mention, 2 of the FT attempts were courtesy of Gonzo's tech. 

The post game scene in the home locker room was pretty emotional, according to Jerry Carino:

The players were pretty dazed in the locker room, as you might expect. Garcia in particular was crushed. There were tears in his eyes, and I felt genuinely bad for him. They handled the inevitable NCAA questions by saying they weren't thinking big picture, but their body language told a different story. I think these guys will get back up for Rutgers because it's a rivalry game, but it won't be easy.

You can't help but feel for John Garcia.  He's been nothing short of a team leader and solid asset to Seton Hall over his four years wearing the blue and white.  Unfortunately, he's been slowed by various injuries this season, but his contributions won't go forgotten. 

Lastly, Seton Hall remains in Joe Lunardi's, "Last Four Out." 

The Pirates will be in action next on Thursday night, taking on Rutgers at the RAC.

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