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Looking Forward to Cornell

When Friday's game was originally scheduled against Cornell, it was thought to be the first non-conference test this Seton Hall squad would face.  Obviously, after the close-call Friday night, this will actually be the second test, in three games.  It will not be an easy task for the Pirates as they will travel to Cornell, home of the back-to-back defending Ivy League Champions who by all accounts, should three-peat this season.

Cornell can flat out shoot, they are coming off a 50% FG and 55% 3PT performance spoiling Alabama's home debut in a 71-67 victory.  They will play at UMass tomorrow night, before returning to Cornell for their home opener against the Pirates on Friday.  If winning on the road against the Big Red was difficult to begin with, consider the Hall will need to beat a veteran Cornell team on their opening night as they raise another conference championship banner.

You could say this has all the making of a trap game, however, it is far from that.  Just last season they held a five point half-time lead in Syracuse before the Orange eventually took control in the second half.  Cornell is a talented and veteran team, returning all of it's starters from last year, along with adding a pair of transfers from Kentucky and UMass in Mark Coury and Max Groebe.  They have the potential to shoot lights out from long distance and if the Pirates play lazy defense around the perimeter, which they've shown the propensity to do, Cornell may very well pull off the upset.

If the shots aren't falling Friday, it would be beneficial for Gonzo to move away from the run-and-gun offensive strategy as the Big Red would gladly be content trading field-goal attempts.  Instead, on both sides of the ball, Pope, Garcia, Hall and even Oliver will need to outmuscle the Cornell big men, including the 7-foot Jeff Foote.  Just as important, the Seton Hall guards must remain committed to playing strict perimeter defense for 40 minutes if they expect to leave Ithaca with the victory.