Coming off of their 77-68 loss at No. 11 Wichita State on Tuesday, Seton Hall is up against a stretch of four non-conference games they will want to finish at least 3-1 in, starting with Saint Peter's on Sunday.
John Dunne's Peacocks are sitting at 4-6, but should not be overlooked by any means. For one, Saint Peter's essentially has the same exact team back that upset Seton Hall 83-80 in overtime at Prudential Center a year ago tomorrow. Dunne's team has also won at Rutgers by a comfortable 18 points while four of their six losses came by a total of eight points, resulting in the 347th-best luck rating in KenPom. Lastly, senior guard Desi Washington had missed eight games with a wrist injury that he sustained on opening night against Brown; Washington scored a game-high 18 in his return against Princeton on Wednesday night and poured in 34 against Seton Hall last season.
Scouting Saint Peter's:
(We consulted DalyDoseofHoops.com for some help here)
The Peacocks will roll with four of the same five starters that they had last year at Prudential Center. Experienced past-first sophomore point guard Trevis Wyche (7 ppg, 3.7 apg) and seniors Desi Washington (14.5 ppg) and Tyler Gaskins (7.9 ppg, 2 apg) will join together for a three-guard look similar to Seton Hall's. Freshman Chazz Patterson (6 ppg), a former Trenton Catholic standout, will be the first guard off John Dunne's bench after receiving six starts in place of Washington.
6-foot-7 senior Marvin Dominique (15.9 ppg, 8.7 rpg) is the guy to watch in Saint Peter's frontcourt. Dominique has scored in double figures every game this season but one including 22 at both Rutgers and Boston University. Gene Teague had plenty of trouble against Dominique, who scored 25 and added six rebounds and four blocks last season at the Rock. The senior also boasts the 59th-best defensive rebounding percentage in the country, which will play a factor when Angel Delgado tries to crash the offensive glass. A pair of 6-foot-8 forwards in sophomore Quadir Welton (6.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and junior Elias Desport (2.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg) will support Dominique in the paint with Desport coming off the bench as the first forward.
Par the course for John Dunne teams in Jersey City, Saint Peter's plays at the 346th-quickest tempo in the country so far this season. In other words, only five schools play at a slower pace than Saint Peter's. Just one of Dunne's teams (2007-08) has even cracked the top-200 in tempo since he began his tenure at Saint Peter's in 2006-07, indicating this is by design. If the Peacocks can get some early stops and don't attempt to match Seton Hall shot for shot, they'll have a chance to grind out a game that comes down to the last several possessions.
Three things to watch for:
Who dictates the tempo. Saint Peter's will want to shorten the amount of possessions and make this a half court game. John Dunne will look to win the defensive battle early and try to get Seton Hall off to a slow game and make them run set plays. If Seton Hall is able to speed up the tempo, I think they can outscore Saint Peter's.
Quadir Welton and Marvin Dominique vs. Angel Delgado and Brandon Mobley. The Peacocks have a pretty formidable frontcourt if they can out-muscle Mobley and Delgado in the paint. Keeping Delgado and Desi Rodriquez off the offensive boards will limit Seton Hall's possessions. Seton Hall must improve on their 18 turnover display at Wichita Sate on Tuesday.
Seton Hall's half-court offense. Wichita State forced Seton Hall to run entirely through tough Isaiah Whitehead shots on Tuesday and Sterling Gibbs didn't start contributing until Whitehead went to the bench injured. Jaren Sina struggled. Saint Peter's will be difficult to be efficient against in the half court unless Seton Hall improves on their Tuesday performance. Kevin Willard has stated the team needs to start getting the ball in the post more often and earlier in their sets, so look for that.
Recent series history (Last 15: Seton Hall 14-1):
Nov. 14, 2013 - Seton Hall 80, Saint Peter's 83 (OT) - Newark, N.J.
Nov. 25, 2012 - Seton Hall 76, Saint Peter's 61 - Newark, N.J.
Nov. 26, 2011 - Seton Hall 63, Saint Peter's 54 - Newark, N.J.
Nov. 29, 2010 - Seton Hall 69, Saint Peter's 49 - Newark, N.J.
Nov. 13, 2009 - Seton Hall 53, Saint Peter's 51 - Newark, N.J.
Dec. 13, 2008 - Seton Hall 60, Saint Peter's 46 - Jersey City, N.J.
Dec. 4, 2007 - Seton Hall 85, Saint Peter's 75 - Newark, N.J.
Nov. 27, 2006 - Seton Hall 80, Saint Peter's 60 - East Rutherford, N.J.
Nov. 28, 2005 - Seton Hall 66, Saint Peter's 57 - East Rutherford, N.J.
Dec. 11, 2004 - Seton Hall 82, Saint Peter's 78 - East Rutherford, N.J.
Dec. 13, 2003 - Seton Hall 91, Saint Peter's 62 - East Rutherford, N.J.
Feb. 9, 2003 - Seton Hall 97, Saint Peter's 80 - East Rutherford, N.J.
Dec. 11, 2001 - Seton Hall 78, Saint Peter's 63 - East Rutherford, N.J.
Nov. 27, 2000 - Seton Hall 104, Saint Peter's 85 - East Rutherford, N.J.
Nov. 29, 1999 - Seton Hall 79, Saint Peter's 65 - East Rutherford, N.J.
KenPom says: No. 47 Seton Hall 66, Saint Peter's 55 (89%)
Time: Noon, Sunday
TV: FOX Sports 1
Radio: 970 AM
Opening line: Seton Hall -13.5