Don't worry Pirate fans, Seton Hall hasn't hit rock bottom yet, that may still come over the next few games (Syracuse, Marquette, @Louisville). But yesterday's 57-55 loss to Rutgers was still disappointing and frustrating all rolled up in.
Below are quotes from Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard and several of the Seton Hall players.
Quotes & Paraphrases from Kevin Willard's post-game interview with Gary Cohen on 1250AM:
"I think were playing the way we are, because of the fact of Brandon [Mobley], Brian [Oliver]. Give them a lot of credit, Brian hasn't practiced since Pittsburgh, neither has Brandon. They were a little lost and winded, and I think Brandon's aggressiveness gets a little bit soft [when hes tired/injured]."
"It's tough right now, it's frustrating, it's really disappointing the way this season has gone. We are what we are, we're kind of a mishap team -- no continuity."
On offensive struggles: "We're playing a little hesitant because were not sure of what we're supposed to be doing"
"There are times when we look really good ... then there are other times when we don't really know what's going on. I think that's where our offensive struggles are coming from."
Willard said that the team had some opportunities on the break but didn't cash in on them because of a lack of cohesiveness, not because they're playing selfish.
"Proud of the way they battled back, it's just a little frustrating because I don't know what I got tomorrow [with injuries]"
On Eli Carter's missed layup in the closing seconds:
"I think everybody was surprised he went to shoot the layup"
On Fuquan Edwin: "We'll probably have to give him the next 3 days off, really rest that ankle and get therapy. Hes' a tough character, so we'll see how he goes from there."
On Brandon Mobley not playing much in the second half: "He can't play a whole lot of minutes, 20 is about the most. He hasn't done anything in 2 weeks. We're not good enough to not practice. I have to be careful to make sure he doesn't hurt anything else."
"I'd like to have him the rest of the season, but I don't want him to get hurt."
On Gene Teague: "I think 29 is a good number for him, the way hes got to battle. These guys have to look for him early in transition. That's the one thing I'm really starting to see, we've stopped almost fast breaking - we haven't been able to get up and down at all ... We get rebounds and then its like a slow trudg eup the court.">
"Gene was a little bit better, he really turned it up in the second half. We've got to get him to offensive rebound a little bit more."
On Kevin Johnson:
After admitting that there are times when Johnson is lost because hes so young, Willard said,"As a young big guy, hes doing well."
On playing Syracuse next: "Glad that they're getting [James] Southerland back at the right time [sarcasm]"
"We haven't seen a whole lot of zone. We shot St. John's out of it early, that's about it. Try to get some guys some deep open looks ... need to slow it down.
Willard then spoke very highly of Brandon Triche before signing off.
Additional player quotes courtesy of Jerry Carino:
Fuquan Edwin: "They just got to every 50-50 ball . . . They want it more or fatigue - I really can't tell you. I wasn't in any situations for a 50-50 ball; it was a couple of my guys, and I harped on it and I harped on them about it. One time when I got the block and Harolds had the opportunity to get the rebound, but Mike Poole or Eli beat him to the punch, beat him to that ball. And I was telling him you can't take baby steps to that ball; you gotta throw your body to that ball. You either gotta dive on it or take bigger strides to get to that ball, because that's what they were doing."
"It's tough, and it hurts. Because this is a six game losing streak, and that's just something that we've been preached to, never lose to Rutgers. It's tough right now, but we've got to somehow get over this lump. We're going to have a team meeting without the coaches tomorrow, and me as a captain im going to try to get into some guys and tell them we need guys to know their roles. That's what it's coming down to, knowing when to take a shot, knowing who to get the ball to TO take that shot, and things like that."
"That's been a problem - it's definitely just focus. Injuries, if you're a basketball player who loves this game, when you're out there on that court, you forget about your injuries. I'm injured right now with my ankle, but I only think about it when I get hit. Other than that I'm not worrying about it. Injuries aren't really a factor in us losing, because Teague got a dislocated finger right now, Brian is playing, giving us whatever he's got with his ankle, Brandon's shoulder is popping out at practice every day. I think its focus."
"Just need a win - we need that win bad. Some way somehow, it's a confidence builder, because guys right now are holding their heads. Even Im holding my head a little bit. We've got to someway find a win."
Brian Oliver: "We're still in the process of figuring ourselves out as a team. We need to understand our roles a little bit better as a team and come together as a unit. We don't have the camaraderie I think we should have on the court as well as of the court."
POSTSCRIPT: Oliver tweeted that this quote was misinterpreted and he meant that he wished the team's camaraderie on the court was as good as it is off the court. However, I played the tape back and the wording above is correct. Apparently he simply misspoke.
Injuries play a part . . . but it comes down to guys understanding (their roles). That's the thing we don't understand right now honestly as a team. I hate to be negative and no one likes losing. But I think it's something we've got to figure it out."
On the pass with 10 seconds left that Mike Poole stole: "I'll take full responsibility for that. It was a lazy pass. Whether AC could have come back to it or kept going, no matter what I should have put more on it or been more aware. That's my fault. I wasn't aware of how much time was left. Being an older guy, you have to be aware of those situations. I should have just given it to Tommy and let him try to set up something in those last 10 seconds."
Interesting Stats & Notes:
- Seton Hall scored just 3 points in an 8:03 span in the second half. Rutgers didn't score a field goal for the last 9:27 of the game. Droughts.
- The Pirates came out in the first half shooting 1-for-12 (8.3%) from the field. Slow starts.
- Rutgers had 11 blocks last night, good for a 39% block%. Seton Hall's next opponent, Syracuse, leads the country in block% with 20.3%.
- Seton Hall never lead last night, as Rutgers snapped a 5-game home losing streak to the Pirates.
- Kevin Willard told media after the game that he would like to play Rutgers in late December (non-conference) when they move to the Big Ten. "I think it will be better. Playing once a year, rotating sites, reminds me of that Louisville-Kentucky series," quoted Vin Parise.
- Fuquan Edwin told media that he will lead a players-only meeting today to discuss attitudes and focus.