After what many Pirates fans thought would be a lost season following the Rutgers drubbing and injuries to Myles Powell and Sandro Mamukelashvili, Seton Hall has begun to play like the team chosen tops in the Big East preseason voting.
Since the abysmal loss at Rutgers, The Hall has won 5 in a row. They are now 3-0 in Big East play, tied with Providence atop the conference standings. The spark to this magical run by Kevin Willard and his squad, was a win against a Top 15 ranked Maryland team without star guard Myles Powell who sat out the game with a concussion.
So what has been the key to the Pirates success? Well, simply put, with added minutes and opportunity, various players have shined. For example, in the games that Powell was out, starting point guard Quincy McKnight stepped up in a leadership role, scoring and playing lockdown defense.
I believe the following 3 players have also contributed greatly to the team’s recent success:
- Romaro Gill
- Jared Rhoden
- Myles Cale
Gill has been a force to be reckoned with in the paint defensively. He has been HUGE for the Hall blocking multiple shots a game, and altering countless others. In addition, Gill has even shown improvement offensively as he has increased his season scoring average. Willard hopes the big fella continues his stellar play.
The sophomore Rhoden has seen an increase in his minutes and therefore, his production. One area where the 6’6 small forward has excelled has been on the boards. He has grabbed double digit rebounds in multiple games this season.
Despite not getting off to his best season on the offensive end, Myles Cale, as Kevin Willard has pointed out in press conferences, has done a tremendous job defensively. He went on to say that Cale is working on finding confidence in his shot. I believe that if/when Cale picks it up offensively, he will be a key component as we head into the meat of the Big East schedule.
As for Myles Powell, seemingly back fully healthy, his play speaks for itself. He is a leader and a fighter, proving game in and game out to be one of the best players in the country.
Next up for the Pirates is Marquette on Saturday at the Prudential Center. In order to continue their hot streak and move to 4-0, they will undoubtedly need to focus much of their defense on the great Markus Howard. The diminutive guard scores in waves, drilling threes from well beyond the three-point arc, finishing drives around the basket, and making the most of his frequent trips to the free-throw line. There is a reason why he leads the nation in scoring at 27 points per game.
Photo: NBC Sports
Marquette versus Seton Hall, and Markus Howard versus Myles Powell, this one should be a beauty!
Photo: Seton Hall University