In the Pirates' first game as a ranked team in 11 years, Seton Hall easily dispatched DePaul using a combination of surprise and tempo control, with three career performances mixed in.
The Thoughts from the win:
- Edwin Explosion
In a remarkable first half, Fuquan Edwin tied his previous career-high (set in the last game vs Providence) with 24 PTS in just 16 minutes of burn. He got them every which way- on the fast break, cutting backdoor, shooting the three. He was the prime beneficiary of an adjustment to the norm by the Pirates in which they threw on a full court press right away, throwing DePaul off their game in the process and generating a running offense the likes of which Pirate fans hadn't quite seen yet this year. He ended up with a new career-high 28 PTS in the dominant win, and his defense was stellar as always. Tremendous all-around game from the sophomore. He's one of the more underrated players in the Big East, and this terrific season he's put together has been huge.
- Jordan Takes Over
As much as it was the Edwin show in the first half, it was the Jordan Theodore show in the second half. He tied both his career-high marks with 26 PTS and 11 AST, running the show and being a consistent threat (13 PTS and 6 AST came in the first half). But it really showed in the second half when DePaul went on a 17-2 run as the Pirates couldn't buy a bucket for about 8 minutes. As he did in the Providence game, Theodore put a stop to the run by scoring, this time with three straight baskets as the lead, which was just 9 after DePaul's run, ballooned to 20 almost instantly.
- Control Artists
Outside of the 8-minute scoring drought the Pirates went into, they controlled the pace throughout the night. Jordan Theodore was masterful handling DePaul's constant ball pressure, and once the Pirates broke the press into the frontcourt and started to run the offense, the DePaul (lack of) defense could do little to stop the Pirates from scoring at a high rate of efficiency. This was the case on the defensive side of the ball as well. After the initial period of surprise at the full court press caused some points off turnovers for Seton Hall, DePaul adjusted. Then the Pirates also adjusted, forcing the Blue Demons to use some clock before falling back into their switching matchup zone that has worked so wonderfully this year. The Blue Demons were rendered nearly helpless when this happened, and it was the prime reason that the Pirates emerged victorious.
That's all for now. Only three thoughts today because there really isn't much more to be said about this 21-point blowout win. Aaron Cosby hit for a career-high 15 PTS, and the bench performed well when called upon, but this was a wire-to-wire win for the Pirates. They are now 10-0 at home, and stand alone in 2nd place in the Big East with a 4-1 conference record (and that 15-2 overall record), and travel down to Tampa on Friday to face the USF Bulls. On to the next one!