I've seen a lot of bad basketball in my lifetime. I have seen worse basketball than I saw last night out of the Seton Hall Pirates.
But I cannot name 5 games to that end, and not a single one since I enrolled at Seton Hall in Fall 2008.
The 5 Thoughts from The Morgantown Abomination (I hope the nickname catches on):
- Offensive Offense
Not a single Pirate scored in double figures.
Let me repeat that: NO PIRATES SCORED IN DOUBLE FIGURES.
When was the last time this happened? (If you find it, please leave the date and opponent in the comments section below- i'm genuinely interested). My answer: a really long freaking time.
Here are the damning numbers (or lack of them):
Jeremy Hazell- 5 PTS, 1-8 FG, 0-6 3PM
Jordan Theodore- 0 PTS, 0-6 FG
Fuquan Edwin- 2 PTS, 1-5 FG
Jeff Robinson- 9 PTS, 4-14 FG, 0-6 3PM
Herb Pope was actually decent, with 8 PTS on 4-9 shooting, but he struggled with dumb fouls all night.
The reason for this offensive offensive display is simple- the Pirates were presented with solid execution by West Virginia. Despite having only 7 scholarship players available, they were solid the entire night. When this team has been presented with a similar situation this season, they devolve into Streetball Mode and play only for themselves. The result is easily visible in the box score- FIVE assists for the game. Jeremy Hazell had more assists by himself in the win over Providence, which now seems like eons ago.
This was the game in which the Pirates were supposed to show us what they were made of, the game in which we would be able to tell whether the momentum generated by their wins was for real or not.
The answer is obvious- tissue paper, and a resounding NO EFFING WAY.
- Mountaineer D
Let's give West Virginia credit for playing some pretty solid defense. This comes from coaching and from smarts. The Mountaineers completely outsmarted the Pirates Wednesday night. If you compare the two teams' play in terms of smarts, the Mountaineers had master's degrees from Harvard while the Pirates were flunking Algebra.
- Jordan the Invisible
This is getting slightly more annoying by the second. Jordan Theodore continues to be a no-show when the team needs him the most. ZERO PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 2 TO in 18 minutes just doesn't cut it. Now Jordan is an intelligent, well-spoken guy, who seems to have all the intangibles needed to be a great leader at the point- passing, ball-handling, character, defense. Where has this been? Is he lost in translation or something? I know Hazell has shown that he's a big leader on this team, but Jordan was expected to step up as the starting point guard in Willard's system, where the point guard is paramount to the success of the system. He hasn't, and is arguably the most disappointing Pirate this year because of it.
We all know that Jeremy Hazell is capable of great things. But right now, he's a better version of Jamel Jackson. Another 0-for from 3 is giving me reason to worry. The Syracuse game is looking even more like a fluke with each passing day. In fact, take out Syracuse and DePaul and Hazell has been downright BAD since he returned. Now Hazell's game is more than his shooting, and he has been driving the ball a lot more, but as the only reliable shooter on this team, he MUST start making some.
- Game Ball?
Goes to Patrik Auda. He finished with 5 PTS and 4 REB in 19 minutes, including 1 of the Pirates' 2 threes. And even he made a ton of mistakes on defense and awareness-wise.
Enough with this game. If I spend too much time thinking about it, I might morph into Bobby Gonzalez.
Oh, and those of you who thought this team would make the tournament? You were wrong. Dead wrong.