It was the narrative on Wednesday in a loss to Providence and it was no different today: Seton Hall was not short on energy and played well for some key stretches today in a 73-67 loss, but lost their focus at key times, notably an early 9-0 Georgetown run out of the halftime break that deepened their deficit to 17 in an instant.
Kevin Willard told his side of the Tyler Adams ceremonial dunk story, added his thoughts on a potential NIT bid providing experience, and said he believes that Angel Delgado should be Big East Rookie of the Year on AM 570 after the game, all of which is included after my thoughts.
I don't understand John Thompson III's reasoning. I haven't heard any explanation and I'm not sure there will be one, but why did they not give Seton Hall a bucket after subbing Tyler Adams out and also apply a full court press on the subsequent inbounds play. Gary Cohen called it "puzzling" after the game and I agree, while Kevin Willard deflected and spoke highly of Tyler Adams (see below).
[Correction: Georgetown was trying to foul to get Adams out of the game, though they did call a timeout instead and also initially had three players pressing]
You see this at least one a game in soccer: a player gets hurt while the opposing team has the ball, so they intentionally kick it out and then the other team throws it back to them after the injury is resolved. Both teams win. Georgetown could have easily let Seton Hall score a layup and then start the game at 2-2 and with possession.
When Seton Hall wasn't turning it over, they looked good offensively in the first half. Ten turnovers (Gibbs had four, Mobley had three on the day) and 1 of 8 foul shooting before the break tainted what was a pretty good offensive 20 minutes from the field. Brandon Mobley was sinking mid-range jumpers and was found on the baseline in the Hoyas' zone while Angel Delgado was also active in the offense. The overall product wasn't great, but we saw a few things that we haven't for most of this season. The Hall's four-pass sequence along the perimeter that set up a Gibbs three-ball in the second half was also impressive.
Angel Delgado made a strong final impression for being Big East Rookie of the Year. He finished with his 10th double-double of the season (10 pts, 15 rebs), had two early assists, two blocks, one steal and just two turnovers. Kevin Willard said he deserves the reward after the game and after I was on the fence between Angel and Xavier's Trevon Bluiett, I think he's won my vote. The Big East will announce their season award winners on Wednesday at 4:30.
On turnovers and missed free throws spoiling the effort: "Especially in the first half, we had chances ... and our two best free throw shooters were the ones missing them, that was tough. We had two blown defensive assignments to start the half, left [Isaac] Copeland open and [Jabril] Trawick made a tough one."
On Georgetown's zone giving trouble: "Yeah it did. We're just not moving the ball fast enough against zones, we're just holding on to it just a little bit too long, but then we started screening the zone, we got some good looks, some easy layups and then they got out of it and then late in the game they went back to it and sometimes when you're in scramble mode it's tough to make a good decision against the zone ... [offensively] we had pretty good numbers, we just turned it over too many times."
Story on Isaiah Whitehead sitting during comeback: "Nothing, he had four fouls. You sit for four minutes and you're making a run it's tough to put you back in that situation and expect to be at the same wavelength. It was more or less he had four fouls, he was cheering his teammates on, he had a great attitude but he always sits at the end of the bench."
On Angel Delgado being a Rookie of the Year candidate: "He really has, he's battled the bigger bodies. He's really maintained his level of play, he's only had a couple of bad halves all Big East [season], which is tough as a freshman. I think he deserves it, the sort of battles he's done, the consistency that he's had I think has been impressive. I think as he matures and gets stronger his defense is going to get better, his offense is going to get better and he'll be more and more of a better player."
When asked about how it was strange Georgetown didn't reciprocate on the early game Tyler Adams gesture and then Jabril Trawick dunked the ball late with the shot clock off:
"I talked to John, I said ‘I'll let the kid shoot a layup and you just give us a layup' he said ‘Nah don't do that.' I'm sitting there watching and this kid gets an NCAA waiver, Senior Night, everyone you talk to [says] he's just a great young man. I think we have a bigger responsibility in life sometimes than the game of basketball. I told our kids in the locker room ‘We're going to lose the tip and we're going to give them a bucket.' We haven't been getting off to great starts, not the greatest way to start but I think it's important to reward good people. Everything I've heard about this young man, what he's had to fight through, has had to battle. In my mind, I think kids should be rewarded if they're good people and to me that was the only decision to make."
On the Trawick dunk with shot clock off: "What teams do at the end of the game, I always hold onto the ball, different teams do different things."
On a potential NIT/BET run benefitting the team in the future: "Uh, yeah, I think anytime you get to play more games it's good for young kids. Difference is, it's not like we're losing four seniors and it would be good to get the freshmen some experience. I don't think they can get any more experience than they've already had. Again, I'm extremely proud of the way that they've hung in there and battled through some tough times."