Contributions by Kevin Astorino
On Wednesday evening, Kevin Willard is banking on that answer being Seton Hall.
The Indiana Hoosiers are in town tonight to play the 22nd ranked Pirates as a part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games. Named after former Providence College basketball coach, athletic director, and founder of the Big East Conference, Dave Gavitt. This is the third year of an eight-year contract. The games feature matchups between Big East Conference and Big Ten Conference teams. The eight-game series is played at the beginning of each season, prior to the opening of conference play. Each conference hosts four homes games per season. In the first two years of play, the conferences have split sixteen games (8-8).
Photo: Big Ten Official Athletic Site
Which brings us back to tonight’s 6:30 tipoff at The Prudential Center between the Hoosiers and Pirates. Archie Miller, Indiana’s new coach, probably welcomes the road trip to the Garden State because things aren’t all roses for him back in Bloomington. That’s because IU opened its season getting whacked at home by Indiana State 80-69! Not exactly how the longtime Dayton coach figured his inaugural game at Assembly Hall would play out. Following the beat down by the Sycamores, Miller said this about his team: “We’re soft, we’re just a soft team. You don’t have to sugarcoat it at all.” A main reason for their perceived softness is that their two best bigs, OG Anunoby and Thomas Bryant, left school early for the NBA. If Coach Miller thought his team had trouble playing tough against ISU and Howard (86-77 winners), how will they handle the veteran Pirates, led by Angel Delgado? The human double-double machine does not play nice with others in the paint, so he could be in for a big night around the basket.
Photo: Getty Images
For The Hall, playing against the Big Ten school will mark their first game this season against like competition. They have started their year off in fine fashion, however, as we find out in this report from our Hall Monitor, SHU sophomore, Kevin Astorino:
The Pirates capped off their opening weekend with two dominant victories, over Fairleigh Dickinson and Monmouth. On Friday, SHU defeated FDU with ease, 90-68, in the NIT Season Tip-Off first-round game. Desi Rodriguez led the way with 17 points, 13 of which came in the first half. Impressive freshman, Myles Cale, recorded 12 points off the bench in his first collegiate game, and Myles Powell added 10 points. The nation’s leading rebounder last year, Angel Delgado recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, respectively.
Photo: The News Tribune
On Sunday afternoon, the Pirates rolled past Monmouth by a score of 75-65. Powell led the Pirates in scoring, finishing with 18 points on 7-13 shooting and 4-9 from behind the arc. Delgado recorded his 52nd career double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. In total, four total Pirates finished with double figures in scoring, with Khadeen Carrington adding 14 points, and Michael Nzei finishing with 10.
Photo: Monmouth Hawks
Feature photo: heraldbulletin.com