By: Kevin Astorino
The Seton Hall Pirates look to make a big stride this season after coming off a successful 2016-17 campaign posting a respectable 21-12 record and making the NCAA tournament. Among their most impressive wins last season were against ranked opponents Butler, Creighton, and South Carolina.
Numerous analysts and experts predicted SHU to make a run in last year’s tourney; however, the team fell short of its expectations losing to Arkansas 71-77 in the first round. Despite having the season not turn out the way many Pirates fans had hoped, the team collectively showed much improvement and promise for the future. That being said, the Hall looks to capitalize on that this season.
They will have four returning starters entering their senior year. Khadeen Carrington, Desi Rodriguez, Ismael Sanogo and preseason All-American Angel Delgado will be leading the way. This core four, with the addition of sophomore guard Myles Powell and highly regarded freshmen Myles Cale, Sandro Mamukelashvili, and Jordan Walker, will make Seton Hall a dangerous contender in the Big East.
Photo: Seton Hall Athletics
Kevin Willard’s team wrapped up the past two weeks with three exhibition games against Boston College, Lasalle, and LIU-Post. All three teams played respectably; however, they were no match for the Pirates who won all three in dominant fashion. Angel Delgado continued to look like one of the best big men in the country, grabbing rebounds with ease and scoring in the paint. The one area of Delgado’s game that impressed me the most when watching him was his passing ability.
Photo: Big East Coast Bias
He dished out five assists in the team’s win against Lasalle on Thursday night. This is just one facet of Delgado’s game that he worked on over the summer, along with his mid-range jumper and free throw shooting. Statistically, Delgado has been improving his numbers in all areas both offensively and defensively each season. It will be interesting to see how much Angel’s numbers improve this season after coming off such an incredible junior year.
Not to be overlooked will be the contributions of these three key players, Desi Rodriguez, Myles Powell, Khadeen Carrington. All three shot the ball incredibly well both inside and behind the arc, especially Rodriguez. In the victory over Lasalle, he shot 8-10 from the field including 3-5 from behind the arc. Between them, they shot an impressive 16-24. The Pirates will look to continue this impressive shooting streak throughout the season.
Photos: globalbasketball.com and SNY
The Seton Hall Pirates are definitely not a team you will want to sleep on this year. With their mix of veteran leadership and the addition of some key players off the bench, they will be a dangerous team in the Big East. There is a reason they are ranked #23 in the AP preseason top 25 poll, they’re good. The regular season tips off this Friday, November 10 against Fairleigh Dickinson at the Prudential Center (6:30 PM). Pirates fans expect big things from the 2017-2018 team–they are indeed a special one!
Feature Photo: Anonymous Eagle