An in-depth look at Seton Hall's 2013-14 non-conference schedule

Seton Hall will play Long Island at Walsh Gym. - Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Seton Hall's non-conference schedule is yet to be officially announced, but here are the thirteen games that the Pirates will play prior to their Big East schedule. The below dates are now updated according to Seton Hall's official non-conference schedule release. On a related now, here is a post we did two months ago with a little filler information on the non-conference schedule.

If any mistakes are found below, I encourage corrections in the comments section. Most team rosters were updated, but not all, and things get lost in the media shuffle, especially with low-major programs.

  • Closed Door Scrimmage - George Mason (TBD)
  • Saturday, November 2nd - Caldwell College (Exhibition)
  • Saturday, November 9th - Niagara (CVC campus game)
  • Wednesday, November 13th - Kent State (CVC campus game)
  • Saturday, November 16th - @ Mercer
  • Monday, November 18th - Monmouth
  • Friday, November 22nd - CVC (Brooklyn) Oklahoma
  • Saturday, November 23rd - CVC (Brooklyn) Michigan St/Va. Tech
  • Sunday, December 1st - Fairleigh Dickinson
  • Thursday, December 5th - LIU-Brooklyn
  • Sunday, December 8th - @ Rutgers
  • Tuesday, December 10th - N.J.I.T.
  • Saturday, December 14th - Saint Peter's
  • Saturday, December 22nd - Eastern Washington
  • Saturday, December 27th - Lafayette (@ Walsh Gym)
Niagara (19-13, 13-5; KenPom: 138; RPI: 123)
Niagara looked to return most of their talent from a successful 2012-13 campaign which saw them finish on top of the MAAC standings. However, Juan'ya Green (16.5 ppg) and Ameen Tanksley (11.3 ppg), Niagara's 2nd and 3rd leading scorers, opted to transfer to Hofstra after the season. T.J. Cline (7.9 ppg) and Malcolm Lemmons (13.5 mpg) have also decided to transfer from the program.

The Purple Eagles will need to be led by Antoine Mason (18.7 ppg) who returns as their leading scorer. Aside from Mason, Niagara only brings back two players in Marvin Jordan (28.5 mpg, 8.2 ppg) and Tahjere McCall (19.8 mpg, 4 ppg) who averaged over 10 mpg last season. They also add Rhode Island transfer Rayvon Harris, who played sparingly in 2011-12 for the Rams.

With so many departures, expect Niagara to finish with an RPI below 200, perhaps below 250. They may be working with a disheveled roster when they travel to Newark on November 9th.

Kent State (21-14, 9-7; KenPom: 127; RPI: 132)

Unlike Niagara, Kent State doesn't lose any significant contributors to transfer, but they have lost three key pieces to graduation. The Golden Flashes' top two scorers, Chris Evans (16.2 ppg) and Randal Holt (14.7 ppg), along with Bryson Pope (18.7 mpg, 4.8 ppg), have all graduated. Wing Earvin Morris Jr., who saw little time last year, is now at Tallahassee CC.

Kent State does add two notable players through transfer. Central Michigan's combo guard Derek Jackson, who was dismissed for academic reasons after two seasons, brings 11.5 ppg to the table. He joins guard K.K. Simmons (7 ppg), who left UNC-Wilmington after his freshman season.

Like Niagara, expect Kent State to have a dip in performance this season. They do return more talent than Niagara, making them likely to finish around 175-250 in RPI.

Monmouth (10-12, 5-13; KenPom: 311; RPI: 282)

After another dismal season for Monmouth, it doesn't look like things will get better any time soon. The Hawks have lost four seniors to graduation and another two, Marcus Ware (Iona) and Dion Nesmith (Hofstra) to transfer. The exodus has left Monmouth woefully thin. Leading scorer Andrew Nicholas (13.9 ppg) and his teammate Khalil Brown (3.9 ppg) are the only returnees who averaged at least 15 mpg for Monmouth last season.

Its safe to say that Monmouth will finish with an RPI somewhere in the 300s.

Saint Peter's (9-21, 3-15; KenPom: 282; RPI: 290)

The Peacocks lose a combined 35.6 ppg (59%) of their scoring due to the graduation of six players, including second leading scorer Yvon Raymond (10.4 ppg).

Head coach John Dunne has been sure to replace these six players by adding three freshmen, two junior college players, and two incoming transfers. Fairfield transfer Jamel Fields averaged 3.5 ppg in 2011-12, while Marvin Dominique scored 2.9 ppg for Fordham in 2011-12.

Even though SPC had a poor 2012-13 season, John Dunne has a bunch of incoming players that may propel the team to greater heights. However, since replacing 59% of scoring from a poor team isn't the easiest thing to do, its safe to expect an RPI worse than 250.

Eastern Washington (10-21, 7-13; KenPom: 292; RPI: 321)

Eastern Washington loses some talent, but returns most from a disappointing 2012-13 season. Gone are Collin Chiverton (10.8 ppg), Kevin Winford (6.1 ppg), Jeffrey Forbes (5.8 ppg), and Jordan Hickert (2.9 ppg) to graduation and Ivan Dorsey (2.1 ppg, Hawaii Pacific) to transfer.

EWU does return their two leading scorers in Justin Crosgile (14.7 ppg) and Venky Jois (12.3 ppg). Jois was the third player from Australia on EWU's roster last season. He will be joined by incoming freshman Australian Felix von Hofe, who averaged 9.4 ppg (2.7-7 from 3pt) in the FIBA u19 Championship held in Prague last month.

Unlike Monmouth, it appears that Eastern Washington is slowly headed in the right direction. Still, their RPI looks to remain in the 275-325 range.

Mercer (24-12, 14-4; KenPom: 113; RPI: 137)

Seton Hall's return trip to Georgia as part of a home-home that started in 2011 will be a tricky one. Barring injuries, Mercer will field four of the five players who scored in double figures when it took overtime for the Pirates to win two seasons ago. The Bears lose leading scorer Travis Smith (13.9 ppg) to graduation, but not much else.

After tying Seton Hall in CBSSports' RPI rankings last season, there is no reason why Mercer cannot improve on that number in 2013-14. Expect a team that finishes between 75-125 in the rankings.

Lafayette (19-15, 10-4; KenPom: 153; RPI: 153)

For the first time in this non-conference primer, a conventional off-season. Lafayette lost their two seniors Tony Johnson (13.3 ppg) and Levi Giese (6.9 ppg) to graduation while inheriting no transfers and losing no players to transfer.

With that in mind, anticipate a similar Leopards squad that was on display last season. An RPI in the mid-100s is reasonable.

Fairleigh Dickinson (7-24, 2-16; KenPom: 339; RPI: 298)

New head coach Greg Herenda is not inheriting the easiest situation. Then again, not many new head coaches at low-major programs are. 50.8 ppg (77%) has departed via the graduation of six players, which includes their top four scorers. It has also being reported that rising sophomore guard Sekou Harris (5.5 ppg) will transfer from the program.

A sub-300 RPI finish seems inevitable for Fairleigh Dickinson.

Rutgers (15-16, 5-13; KenPom: 102; RPI: 110)

I've already gone in-depth into the current status of Rutgers. With so many additions and departures both on and off the court, its tough to pin an accurate RPI projection on them. It may be safe to say they won't improve upon an RPI of 110, so mid 100s seems like a reasonable estimate.

New Jersey Institute of Technology (16-13, 6-2; KenPom: 267; RPI: 300)

N.J.I.T. won as many games in 2012-13 as they did from 2007-2010 (4 seasons), but will naturally be losing a lot of scoring ability from last year's team. The Highlanders top three scorers, Chris Flores, P.J. Miller, and Ryan Woods, have all graduated, taking 41.4 ppg (59%) with them.

Rising freshman Ky Howard had been listed as an outgoing transfer, but remains on N.J.I.T.'s 2013-14 roster. If he stays, he will be joined by St. Anthony (N.J.) product Tim Coleman and five additional recruits.

It doesn't look like N.J.I.T. will crack the RPI top-300 next season, but if Jim Engles builds upon recruit Tim Coleman and the rest of his recruiting class, perhaps they will continue their upward trend.

LIU Brooklyn (20-14, 12-6; KenPom: 191; RPI: 179)

The Blackbirds, a team familiar with Seton Hall from their gunslingers-only meeting in Brooklyn last season, lose much of their firepower from last campaign but also return a few key parts. Jamal Olaseware (18.9 ppg), C.J. Garner (16.1 ppg), and Brandon Thompson (8.1 ppg) are among those who graduate.

Pass-first point guard Jason Brickman (9.5 ppg, 8.5 apg) returns for his senior season along with Julian Boyd (18.5 ppg), who was granted a sixth year of eligibility due to medical hardship. Boyd tore his ACL days before Seton Hall traveled to Brooklyn to play Long Island last December.

While I was very confident of Long Island having a successful season last year (took awhile to materialize), it looks like the subtractions of Olaseware, Garner, and Thompson may be too much to overcome and improve upon. If Brickman and Boyd perform to their full capacity and receive help from some of the younger players, they have a good chance of cracking the RPI top-200. 175-250 seems most likely.

Coaches vs. Cancer Classic (2 games)

Michigan State (27-9, 13-5; KenPom: 10; RPI: 8)

The Spartans are the clear favorite to take the CvC Classic this year. They only lose senior Derrick Nix (9.8 ppg) to graduation and lightly used Brandan Kearney (2.3 ppg) to Arizona State.

Michigan State will be a unanimous preseason Top 10 pick.

Virginia Tech (13-19, 4-14; KenPom: 166; RPI: 176)

The Hokies will surely miss standout senior Erick Green, who recently signed a pro-contract to play in Italy. Green averaged 25 ppg and 17.2 shots per game, leaving VT in need of a scorer. Rising junior Robert Brown (8.3 ppg) has left the program for UAB via transfer.

Green and Brown will need to be replaced by Jarell Eddie (12.3 ppg) and a combination of several players who averaged under 7 ppg last season. Virginia Tech is also bringing in a formidable recruiting class which will look to stem the loss of Erick Green. Unfortunately for head coach James Johnson, his highest rated recruit was denied admission to the university.

Even if Johnson's gang of recruits can make up for Erick Green's departed scoring totals, I can't see a scenario where Virginia Tech improves from last season unless they become a textbook case of addition by subtraction. A sub-150 RPI is likely.

Oklahoma (20-12, 11-7; KenPom: 54; RPI: 39)

Another NCAA bid may be out of the question as Oklahoma loses 49.1 ppg (69%) from their 20-win team. Among those lost are top three leading scorers Romero Osby (16 ppg), Steve Pledger (11.6 ppg), and Amath M'Baye (10.1 ppg). M'Baye opted not to use his last year of eligibility at Oklahoma in order to enter the 2013 NBA Draft. He went undrafted and recently signed a pro contract in Japan.

Like several other programs in this primer, Oklahoma's new recruiting additions add to their unpredictability. Head coach Lon Kruger adds two high school guards and three junior college forwards. One of the three forwards, Edson Avila, was ranked 72nd by JucoRecruiting.com in the 2013 class. However, he is not currently listed on Oklahoma's 2013-14 roster.

Non-conference schedule at a glance (projections):

RPI 1-50 (Great schedule): vs. Michigan State*, vs. Oklahoma*

RPI 51-100 (Good schedule): @ Mercer +,

RPI 101-200 (Neutral): Kent State, vs. Va. Tech*, Lafayette, @ Rutgers, Long Island (-)

RPI 201-250 (Bad): Niagara

RPI 251+ (Terrible): Monmouth, Saint Peter's, Eastern Washington, Fairleigh Dickinson, N.J.I.T.

* - Possible opponent

+ - likely to move up a bracket

(-) - likely to move down a bracket

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