SETON HALL PIRATES, 15-18 (3-15)
Head Coach: Kevin Willard - Willard begins his 4th season at Seton Hall and prior to a week ago, was squarely on the hot seat (We'll get to that later). A disappointing 2012-13 beset with injury and followed with Aaron Cosby's defection is into the past and Willard looks to begin anew. He was an assistant under Rick Pitino at Louisville for 6 years before taking the Iona job and helping turn the Gaels around.
Final Four: 1, 1989
Elite 8's: 2, 1989 & 1991
Sweet 16's: 4, most recently under Tommy Amaker in 2000
Seton Hall's greatest success came under P.J. Carlesimo who guided the Pirates to the 1989 title game and 3 of their 3 Sweet 16 appearances. Since then, Seton Hall has been up and down while mostly muddling in the middle behind a variety of coaches.
2013-14 Glance: Despite the aforementioned departure of Aaron Cosby, the Pirates do return swingman Fuquan Edwin who is their best player. Edwin played nearly every spot on the court last season as the Pirates were ravaged by injury, largely in their frontcourt. Edwin averaged 16.5 ppg and 5.8 boards per game while shooting 41% from beyond the arc. He should play the 2 for the most part this season and will be SHU most dynamic player.
Joining him in the backcourt will be the twosome of Sterling Gibbs who has bounced around the nation from Maryland-to-Texas-to the Hall and FROSH PG, Jaren Sina. Big things are expected of the local product Sina who also had an offer from Indiana and was Northwestern bound until Bill Carmody was let go.
The frontcourt was a mess due to injury last season as 3 of the 4 key players in this year's rotation missed time due to injury. Returning at C is Gene Teague who put up a respectable 11 & 7 last season. In 25 games last year, F Brandon Mobley averaged 9 and 5.5 on 49.6% shooting but missed time with a seperated shoulder. SR. Patrik Aura should give the Pirates plenty of minutes after playing only 5 games last year with a broken foot. Swingman Brian Oliver figures to see time as well.
Seton Hall will likely finish in the bottom 3 of the Big East this year. Luckily for Kevin Willard, he was able to secure the services of Isaiah Whtehead, a top SG out of NYC. He was believed to have been St. John's bound but Whitehead committed to SHU instead. Didn't hurt his coach got an assistants job with the Pirates. Whitehead is expected to try and bring a top-level big with him. Willard had already reeled in a pretty impressive class before that, so the future is brighter. Just don't expect great things this season.
Seton Hall Basketball Blogs: southorangejuice.com