Another game, another frustrating loss for Seton Hall. While the result ultimately boils down to another tally in the loss column, the Pirates can take pride in their ability to outplay quality opposition for long stretches of time. While this bodes well for future progression, Seton Hall's knack for completely checking out of games for long periods of time should be the first order of business at practice for Kevin Willard and his team.
Quotes from Kevin Willard's post-game press conference:
On the Pirates' struggles sandwiching the halftime break: "We’ve talked about it a lot, about how the last 3 minutes of the first half have doomed us in a little bit and really the first 4 minutes of the second half has doomed us in and that’s really our biggest issue. We played pretty good all the other times, we're playing hard were just not coming out with enough energy in the second half. Its different lineups, different guys. It’s not one guy, it’s everybody. Something that we kind of have to grow into and realize that you gotta come out and finish halves strong and start halves strong."
"It’s a learning process, and again its kind of weird, no matter what lineup starts it comes out a little flat. I really liked the way that that first five played in the first five minutes -- I thought they gave us good energy."
Willard described Sean Kilpatrick's made-3 with 1:57 to play in the game as a "back-breaker". Brandon Mobley described the play post-game (courtesy of Jerry Carino): "Fuquan (Edwin) is supposed to go through with him, but instead Fuquan passed him off on me and I didn’t hear him, so I went to the middle. I was supposed to bump back to him but I didn’t know until I saw the pass over there. I put my hand out but he made a tough shot."
On turning things around in the second half: "I was glad we were able to press a little bit more, I thought that was a little bit of a difference maker, when we were able to score and get after them a little bit and not let them come down and just run their offense."
On Seton Hall's quick start to the first half: "I thought early in the game we had some opportunities we had some shots on the break that could have gave us a little better of a cushion, that hurt us a little... We haven’t had a whole lot of momentum in games for a while."
Regarding Brandon Mobley's shoulder: "He has to get surgery at the end of the year. He sacrificed himself right now for the team. The brace doesn’t really let you raise your arm. He can’t get to a certain angle. If he gets to a certain angle, it pops out. It affects his ability to go in there and play a little physical. He’s aware that one good bump can pop it out."
A couple of quotes from Kevin on former Seton Hall coach P.J. Carlesimo:
"Hes a tremendous ambassador for this university."
"The one thing he talked about, the years that he really struggled were probably his darkest years ,his toughest years, but he understood that’s what made the run so special."
"I can’t say enough good things about him, hes been not even a mentor, just a good friend."
Additional quotes from Kevin Willard during his post-game interview with Gary Cohen and Dave Popkin of 1250AM WMTR:
Quotes from Seton Hall forward Brandon Mobley, courtesy of the NJ Star-Ledger's Brendan Prunty:
"It's miserable. It's miserable. The coaches? They do a great job and tell us what we need to do and we just have to go out there and do it. And each night? Just about every game it seems like we're right there. But we let it slip away and slip away."
"It shouldn't be this way, but our defense should dictate our offense but it's not right now," Edwin said. "We're letting our offense dictate our defense. Where we come out and not hit shots — and teams will hit shots — and we've got to come down and try and score on their defense, which is given them confidence. Because they come down and can hit any shot they want."
"We just have to play ball," Mobley said. "We have ourself in the game, but we always dig a hole. So when it's time to fight back — there's only 40 minutes in the game. The way we've been playing? It's like we're going to need 50. We put ourselves in a hole and try to fight back, but there's not enough time left."
On why Seton Hall has slow starts to the second half: "I have no idea. I have no idea. I don't know. Maybe we need to stand up at halftime instead of sitting down."
"You always find out who you are when things don’t go your way. I know what everyone’s saying. I know what everyone’s pointing fingers at . . . I have faith in my team."
On the lousy start to the second half: "If we play those first five minutes the way we played at the end, it may be a different outcome. I think that honestly comes with a little bit more maturity. If we come out with the right attitude we should have won this game. They came out with a little more edge and a little more fire than we did, and that killed us."
"To me, I feel like it’s a pride thing. A lot of those guys don’t have pride, Seton Hall pride."
"They want to win, they want to play well, but they don’t understand they’re home. You gotta play like it’s your last game at home."
"I don’t see it. I see the guys that play the majority of the minutes play like that, but the guys that’s coming in that don’t play a lot, I don’t think they’re engaged in the game. Coach Willard is probably more enthusiastic about the game than anybody out there right now. He’s jumping up and down, he feel like he want to play."
Quotes from Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin, courtesy of Jaden Daly of Daly Dose of Hoops:
"They [Seton Hall] remind me of Cincinnati when I got there...they're just too young. It's a hard league to learn in."
The Big East eats the young, and I learned that the hard way."
Interesting Stats & Notes:
- Seton Hall was held scoreless from the 1:44 mark in the first half until the 14:52 mark in the second half, for a total of 6:52. Drought.
- Cincinnati and Seton Hall combined for 14-of-48 (29%) from deep. Early (11AM) start.
- After starting Kevin Johnson, Brian Oliver and Kyle Smyth, Seton Hall hung with Cincinnati early. Energy.
- Kyle Smyth was 1-for-6 from 3PT yesterday, making him a 17.9% shooter from deep in Big East play. Funk.
- Cincinnati had a win probability greater than 57.1% for the entire game. Commanding.
- Sean Kilpatrick was 5-for-15 from 3PT on the day, including a "back-breaking" trey with 1:57 to play in the second half. Hazellian.
- Seton Hall has fallen to 106th in the KenPom ratings and is predicted to lose to Pittsburgh 71-53 on Monday.