While it may be convenient for someone like me, there isn't too much to say about Seton Hall's 65-47 loss at Georgia Sunday night in terms of X's and O's.
Marcus Thornton was too strong in the post for Angel Delgado and Brandon Mobley didn't produce efficiently when the offense was ran through him in the first half. Three good, athletic guards that were boosted by J.J. Frazier's role off the bench then shut down a one-dimensional Seton Hall offense that looked pretty ineffective throughout and failed to score a single point on the fast break.
10-2. Maine is one of the worst teams in Division I, so Seton Hall will likely finish 10-2 in their non-conference. 33-percent of you guys said that the Pirates would finish with this record in a poll we ran before the season. Despite the lack of a resume win away from home, Seton Hall are about on par or slightly exceeding expectations.
Has playing weak opponents hurt the team? Kevin Willard mentioned post-Wichita State how the team didn't have a good practice after the Rutgers win and that the margin of victory played a factor. Perhaps the same could be said of demolishing a weak South Florida prior to a tough Georgia team? Willard did mention regrets about the travel schedule and how the team practiced poorly (more on this below...) beforehand. There were similar comments made about post-Rutgers practices due to the large margin of victory.
Seton Hall was exposed at forward last night. Jerry Carino has called it an Achilles heel, and mentions how Patrik Auda is really missed right now. Auda or a junior college forward would have been a nice stop gap between now and when Angel Delgado is more developed next season. Chier Ajou looked very raw last night and I wonder what will happen to his minutes going forward. We'll certainly see him against a weak Maine team on Saturday, but his role in conference play is anyone's guess.
No one (save Desi Rodriguez) played well, but the guards certainly didn't. Sterling Gibbs, Isaiah Whitehead, and Jaren Sina combined for 11 pts (3-11 fg, 1-11 3pt), five assists and seven turnovers. That's pretty bad. Whitehead didn't have to pick up his third foul when he fouled an opponent on the fast break with the smarter move being to let them score. The guards didn't hit their shots last night, but Georgia's defense also played a role with an 80-percent defensive rebounding percentage, something that Mark Fox said won them the game.
Georgia fans were surprised last night. For what it's worth, the consensus I gathered from Twitter and the Bulldog's beat writers is that their team played one of the best games in recent memory (though one writer noted how bad he thought Seton Hall was playing). 7,556 paid fans (including 'Sweater Guy' along the near sideline during the ESPNU broadcast) showed up to Stegeman Coliseum last night, about 2,000 more than Georgia's season average. The Georgia players took notice, put on a show, and were very appreciative of the attendance during winter break.
On the loss: "They made a couple shots in the first couple of possessions, we missed a couple of shots, we just didn't have a whole lot of fight tonight, that's probably what I'm most disappointed with. We didn't play with the same fight and tenacity that we have been, We didn't play well offensively, we didn't play well defensively, we didn't rebound, just a bad performance, but these guys have battled. We're still 9-2, that's what I just told them [in the locker room]. We're getting a couple of days off here which I think is well deserved. Have a couple guys who are a little bit banged up and need a couple days off. We'll come back, we'll get back to work and put this behind us."
On being overwhelmed with the physicality early: "A little bit. That's a completely different team than we played the other night. They came out and they were physical, they had two weeks [to prepare]. That's what I told the guys, you have to be ready for the first five minutes, they haven't played in two weeks, they're going to know your stuff, which they did a good job with, and they're going to come out ready to play against somebody else. We just didn't do it."
On preparation for the game: "The travel yesterday, if I could go back and do it all over again, I would have traveled the day after the Tampa game, get down here and have a better practice. We didn't practice good yesterday and we're just not good enough, we're too young not to practice well."
When asked about Angel Delgado's visible emotion during game: "It's good all the time. It wouldn't say he was getting dominated, but Marcus Thornton is a fifth-year senior and he was bringing it to him. As a freshman, you get frustrated and he got frustrated, and that's going to happen, that's part of the learning process [...] It's a good learning lesson. We'll go back and we'll watch the film with him and he'll see what hes doing well and what he's doing wrong. Yeah, he got frustrated, again young guys get embarrased and how they react is not always how you want them to. And that's being patient and you want to move them forward."
Perspective about the bad loss: "I don't like losing, I don't like playing bad, but again I'm extremely proud of these guys. Where we are, we're still in great position for the rest of the year. Would have this been a great win? Yes. But scheduling I knew the long shots were Wichita State and Georgia on the road. If we were at home they wouldn't be long shots, you'd expect to win, but you're not, you're on the road. You're going to go through the good times and bad and we saw what being young can do, being young sometimes you can be bad, and we were bad, but for the most part these guys have been great. One bad performance out of 11 games, I'll take from a group."