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Seton Hall Basketball: Open Game Thread - Rutgers Scarlet Knights (11-7, 2-4) @ Seton Hall Pirates (8-11, 2-5) - Noon (SNY/ESPN3.com)

Rutgers @ Seton Hall, Noon EST
Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Opening Line: Seton Hall -7 (SHU 7-10 ATS)
Television: SNY
Radio:WSOU 89.5 FM, Listen to play-by-play by SOJ's Jason Guerette here.
Twitter: @SOrangeJuice @JPGuerette @JohnLopiano @The_Bracket_Man

Seton Hall Pirates, Big East, Record: 8-11 (2-5), KenPom: 77, RPI: 100, SOS: 12

Projected Starting Lineup: G Jordan Theodore, G Keon Lawrence, G Jeremy Hazell, F Jeff Robinson, F Herb Pope

How many times have we seen it this season? Seton Hall was competitive for 38 minutes before faltering when it counts the most. Xavier, Clemson, Arkansas, Dayton, Richmond, Syracuse, and now Georgetown. The "what-ifs" and "coulda beens" are seemingly endless. Unlike the Band of Pirates that were chronicled in this documentary, this band of Pirates don't know how to win.

What better way to start a winning trend in South Orange than a win against Rutgers in the first ever meeting between Kevin Willard and Mike Rice at their new schools. Although the intra-state rivalry has been fierce in nature and often closely contested, the quality of the individual programs is not quite at a Syracuse-Georgetown level, to say the least.

Things I will be looking for today:

- The Keon Lawrence / Fuquan Edwin saga. Who will start? Who will get most of the minutes? As of late, it has been Lawrence in both of those categories. Fuquan Edwin has been a pleasant surprise all season, but his production has tapered off of late. Keon Lawrence hasn't faired much better, with 4 points in 48 minutes in his last two games.

- Three point attempts - Against Georgetown, there were only five 3PT attempts outside of Jeremy Hazell. I believe that is a formula for success, especially with this roster.

- Jeff Robinson & Herb Pope - Both have played very well recently, picking up the slack when the guard play has been below average. Seton Hall should have a slight height advantage over Rutgers, or at the very least they won't have a height disadvantage.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Big East, Record: 11-7 (2-4), KenPom: 94, RPI: 119, SOS: 106

Projected Starting Lineup: G James Beatty, G Dane Miller, G/F Mike Poole, F Gilvydas Biruta, F Jonathan Mitchell

Much like their coach, the Scarlet Knights are fierce fighters. Throw out the quitting quotes, Mike Rice will not allow his team to bow down to the more talented Pirates. Rutgers has accomplished a lot more than most Pirate fans thought they were capable of, so don't be surprised if they give the Pirates a run for their money today.

Most of Rutgers' scoring will come from the trio of Jonathan Mitchell, James Beatty and Gilvydas Biruta. Beatty is the Scarlet Knight's deep threat, while Mitchell and Biruta will get it done from within the arc. Mitchell and Beatty are both coming off 20 point games in Rutgers' 71-62 win over South Florida.

KenPom Prediction: Seton Hall 67, Rutgers 62

Seton Hall Athletics:

Seton Hall fell to its second straight ranked opponent with an 80-75 loss to #23 Georgetown on Tuesday. Last Saturday, the Pirates fell at #5 Pittsburgh. The Seton Hall frontcourt had another strong game with Herb Pope and Jeff Robinson combining for 37 points and 16 rebounds. Senior Jeremy Hazell was playing in only his third game since returning from a broken left wrist and tallied 15 points. Three players are averaging in double-figures in scoring for the Pirates.

Rutgers Athletics:

Rutgers (11-7, 2-4) makes the 29-mile drive up the New Jersey Turnpike to meet BIG EAST rival Seton Hall (8-11, 2-5) on Saturday in a 12 noon tip-off at the 10,862-seat Prudential Center. The Scarlet Knights will be preparing to win their second straight conference game and earn their initial league road win of the season. The Pirates will be looking to snap a two-game skid compiled against nationally-ranked BIG EAST foes. The game features a pair of first-year head coaches in RU's Mike Rice and Seton Hall's Kevin Willard. With 41 hours between the 7 p.m. start of the USF game on Thursday night and the noon tip-off in Newark, the game signals the quickest turnaround of the season for the Scarlet Knights.

Jerry Carino on the Seton Hall - Rutgers rivalry:

SERIES HISTORY: Dating back to 1916, Seton Hall leads 33-24 and has won the past four meetings, including last year's 76-70 decision at the Rock and 85-74 verdict at the RAC. Rutgers has beaten the Hall just three times on the road-61-59 in 1950, 70-64 in 2001 and 64-61 in 2008. Over the past 12 meetings dating back to 2005, Seton Hall holds a 7-5 edge. Three of those games have gone to overtime and six others have been decided by six or fewer points. This is the first end of a home-and-home, with the rematch slated for Feb. 12 in Piscataway.

Go Pirates!