UPDATE: Seton Hall has taken a tepid stance against on court elbow drops by suspending Gibbs for two games. That's one game more than the standard suspension for the catchall of "violating team rules" and the exact same a Kansas assistant got for a violation of the law last summer that resulted in absolutely no one being injured in any way. It's also two games fewer than Dez Wells and Landen Amos got for not punching anyone lying defenseless on the floor, the same as Tu Holloway got for not punching anyone lying defenseless on the floor, and one game more than Mark Lyons got for talking. Well done, Pirates.
Seton Hall has watched a promising season, 13-2 an 19th in the nation at one point, go completely in the tank amid accusations of racism, locker room splits, freshman with posses, and players walking off the team. That season went even farther afield tonight when The Hall was roundly obliterated by Villanova, 80-54, in a game that was essentially done after ten minutes.
That won't be what everyone is talking about tomorrow though, this will be:
That, in case you can't tell, is Sterling Gibbs punching Ryan Arcidiacono directly in the face. That's not a flailing arm, that's not a triple threat position gone awry, that's a hammer fist to the face in the middle of a basketball game. With 4:39 to play, Arcidiacono stole the ball from Gibbs. That was Gibbs' third turnover in a game in which he was going 4-15 from the floor and watching his final chance at making the NCAAs this year completely vanish. Frustration must have been running high, but what happened is simply inexcusable. As Arcidiacono laid completely defenseless on the ground grappling for the ball, Gibbs took his chance.
Sterling Gibbs is not a clean player. Anyone who has seen Seton Hall this year has noticed the junior guard working his body and mouth for every possible advantage. Against Xavier on January 7th, he received a flagrant for shoulder checking an airborne and defenseless Myles Davis. Gibbs hip checks screens, pulls jerseys, pokes, prods, and antagonizes all game long. It's how some players play and it is, to an extent, an acceptable part of the game. What happened tonight isn't.
You'll read quotes about Gibbs apologizing, or how this was a heat of the moment decision, or that this is out of character. None of that matters. What matters is that Arcidiacono was lying on the ground and could nothing about the simple assault that Gibbs conducted on his face. That's not a basketball play and it has no place on the court. The apologies and self-serving tweets will start soon enough, but Kevin Willard and Seton Hall have an opportunity to make things right. Gibbs needs to be set down for the year (possibly only five games). When a two game suspension becomes the only punishment for unprovokedly attacking someone, this sport will have gone utterly off the rails.
Man that's not who I am. I'm sorry to my family, friends, fans, and team for being an embarrassment. Even more sorry to @RyArch15 .. I let— Sterling Gibbs (@SterlingGibbs4) February 17, 2015
My emotions get the best of me and that wasn't acceptable at all. I hope you're alright and I will face any consequences coming.— Sterling Gibbs (@SterlingGibbs4) February 17, 2015
"I expected that. I could have called that before the game started. That's nothing new." - Myles on the flagrant he rec'd from Gibbs Jan. 7— Banners on the Park (@BannersParkway) February 17, 2015