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SOJ Mailbag - First Edition (Part II)

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Did someone drop the F word?
Did someone drop the F word?

Q) If Seton Hall finishes 7th or worse in the new big east, is willard fired?

I don't believe 7 is the magic number here, if there is a magic number at all. However, if Seton Hall turns in another 3-win season, coupled with further strikeouts in the ever important 2014 recruiting class, we might be having this conversation next spring. Now, by many accounts, including his own, Kevin Willard is going to be the coach for a very long time. Having an old friend at the helm and a multi-year extension that reportedly runs through 2020 certainly helps, however, with all things CIAton Hall, a few unanswered questions still remain. If Seton Hall is as committed to Willard as he told Steve Politi, why hasn't the University made an official announcement? Is there a manageable buyout included in the contract? Why did Willard deny that he received an extension just days after his quotes regarding commitment surfaced and numerous outlets reported as much? Nobody argues that Willard hasn't cleaned up the character of the program on and off the court, but have we seen the results required that would warrant such an extension? Many would argue that we haven't.

Q) Who will be the coach of the 2015-2016 Seton Hall University Pirates, Willard or other coach?

After predicting the Pirates would make the dance in 2013-14 yesterday, it would be foolish of me to say anything other than Kevin Willard in this space.

Q) Getting Jaren Sina is a huge win, but will he be able to replace the offensive production that Cosby provided? If not who'll step up?

Aaron Cosby averaged 10 points per game during his two years at Seton Hall, and 12.6 last season as he split time at both guard positions. I think it would be fair to expect Jaren Sina to average somewhere in the area of 6ppg his freshman year with the minutes he's expected to log. When you consider Sterling Gibbs will easily topple Tom Maayan's offensive output and Patrik Auda's (8ppg) return to the rotation, I think the Pirates are in great position to surpass last season's mark of 65 points per game, before even weighing the contributions of projected role players Stephane Manga and Hakeem Harris to the roster.

Q) Can they get better announcers for the radio broadcasts?

I imagine this question is pertaining to the WSOU radio broadcasts, not Gary Cohen and Dave Popkin on WMTR, and the subsequent, "Hall Line" radio program that immediately follows the finish of each game. Let's keep in mind these are students and not professionals, such as Gary & Dave. The kids are learning the art of broadcasting, we can't possibly to expect them to go out there and put on a flawless performance night-in and night-out. Now, with that said, if the students have an interest in sports broadcasting, talking about basketball and calling games, they need to be properly educated in the team and what's happening around the program. No doubt, there have been embarrassing moments when callers ask questions in which the hosts aren't able to answer, simply because they haven't done their homework. On the other hand, WSOU has had some fantastic PBP and color analysts in recent years, Jason Guerette and John Lopiano both come to mind as voices that have stuck out, due to their approach, research and knowledge of the team. In sum, if you don't want to listen to a student broadcast, there are other avenues where you can listen to the game, but if the students are serious enough to put in the required work, it can be and has been a good listen before.

To briefly touch on Hall Line, it definitely needs to be cleaned up. The hosts should take the caller's question, thank him, and hang up, before they go about answering the question. It's a difficult listen when they leave the caller on the line, only to allow him to riffle off question after question from what Villanova has to offer recruits, to how embarrassing Mike Rice is on the sidelines. Allowing the caller to control the conversation and essentially change the topic on the hosts multiple times within a minute can get quite sloppy. The idea for a post game radio show where fans can call in to discuss the game with the student radio hosts is tremendous, it just needs a little polishing.

Check back tomorrow, same time, for Part III!