Well, it may have been a snoozer for the most part, but there were still a few things to come away with from Seton Hall's dismantling of Longwood on Wednesday.
Here are 5 of them:
- Big Kev's Big Night
So how about Kevin Johnson, huh? The freshman (who had no idea he would start until he entered the locker room pregame, had a pretty good night- 11 PTS, 8 REB, a blocked shot and 5-6 shooting from the floor. He displayed some nice touch around the hoop, as well as some inconsistent possessions on defense, but overall, his effort was very, very good.
Just point to one sequence in the second half for evidence. Johnson, falling out of bounds, saved a loose ball in to Brian Oliver, who whipped it right back to him heading for the basket. A Lancer tried to get in his way. That Lancer ended up on the opposite block after running into Johnson's sizable shoulder, and Kevin finished the play off with a layup. It got the crowd really fired up, if only for a few seconds. It stands out as the play of the game.
- Oliver? What a twist!
Brian Oliver finally broke through for some scoring in this game, getting off the schnied with 13 PTS, including three 3's. He played much better as the game went on, and it wasn't just with the shooting. He also contributed 4 REB and 4 AST to the cause.
Oliver's a smart player, and a willing screen-setter and passer. When he's playing well, you'll see those kinds of lines, especially since he's pretty much being used as a power forward with Patrik Auda out for the year.
- Mad About Fu
I'm running out of puns here. No matter what teams try, Fuquan Edwin just can't miss. 7-10 from the field, 3-3 from deep. 19 PTS in 18 minutes. And one of those three threes was with a defender on him like a tattoo with the shot clock winding down. The guy just can't miss.
Haralds Karlis and Freddie Wilson got extended burn tonight due to the score and the opponent. Wilson played pretty well, netting himself 7 PTS and 3 AST with only one turnover. He made some nice moves with the ball, and for someone who basically is not in the regular rotation, nights like this one can only help him. Same for Karlis, who couldn't get an open three to drop, but finished with 4 PTS and 7 REB.
Karlis in particular played hard among the reserves. Whenever he got out-positioned into a rebound, or when the Pirates had a lapse defensively, Karlis got a little angry. But not the bad kind of angry. Rather the "Darn- we should have gotten that ball/made that rotation/etc" kind of angry. He didn't care what the situation was- he just played. A nice touch despite the offensive issues.
- So What Of It?
The Pirates next have a date with LIU at the spectacular Barclays Center (believe me, it is). I'd highly recommend going just for the arena, but the game should be good as well, even with the Blackbirds struggling without their best player, Julian Boyd, who's out for the year with a torn ACL. Stony Brook next week is no slouch, either.
The last two games before conference play starts are tough ones, certainly much tougher than Longwood. What the reserves showed tonight was enough to at least remind fans that they are still there, and can still contribute in spurts. The Pirates' greatest asset aside from their defense is their depth, and tonight served as an indication that the depth is still there if called upon.