Quentin Goodin entered the Seton Hall game with
no starts one start under his belt and the possibility of the 30 minutes staring him in the face. 35 minutes later, he emerged from the first crucible with seven assists and only two turnovers in a performance that was extremely encouraging. The Pirates aren’t a team predicated on turning opponents over, though, and figured to be a good first test at replacing Edmond Sumner. Will Creighton be any different?
The short answer is probably no, but the short answer isn’t much fun. Creighton forces turnovers at a rate about 1% higher than the Hall does. Seton Hall goes for more steals, where Creighton forces mistakes. Seton Hall’s top steal threat was Madison Jones, who spent some time trying to check Trevon Bluiett as well. Goodin was able to neutralize Jones, who is whip thin, by getting his shoulders or butt into him and moving him back.
Creighton’s top steal man is 6-3, 205 Khyri Thomas. It would be no surprise at all to see Thomas on Goodin and Davion Mintz moved off ball. Thomas weighs 45 pounds more than Madison Jones, so he’s not going to be as easy to back off the ball. Goodin was very patient against SHU, a team that is willing to jump the lanes for a steal. Creighton’s somewhat more passive approach to forcing turnovers should allow Quentin that same time to move into the lane and find open shooters.
One thing that the Jays do far better than Seton Hall is block shots. Where Goodin absorbed some contact on Wednesday, it wasn’t blocked shots that forced his 2-11. In this game, Justin Patton, Martin Krampelj, and Ronnie Harrell will be looking to challenge shots once guards get in the lane. Q will have to be aware of that and looking for back cuts from the post players. If Sean O’Mara is awake and catching the ball, he could have a huge game.
Once again, this isn’t a team that puts high pressure on the ball and tries to force turnovers. Quentin Goodin has the advantage of not coming in to a HAVOC style defense or an aggressive half trap. This is one more chance for the freshman point guard to put Musketeers fans minds at ease and turn the focus back to March.