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Big East Preview: Seton Hall

NCAA Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament-Seton Hall vs Georgetown Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Last season was a mixed bag for multiple teams and Seton Hall was no exception. They started out 6-2 in the conference with losses to Creighton and Providence before going 4-7 through the remainder of the regular season. Their lack of depth started to show towards the end of the season and they bowed out to a Georgetown team that got smoking hot in the conference tournament.

Looking Ahead

The biggest blow to the Pirates is undoubtedly the loss of Sandro Mamukelashvili. Mamu was the go-to guy on offense as a capable scorer from just about everywhere on the floor and did well rebounding on both ends. Shavar Reynolds is also moving on after running the point and leading the team in assist rate last season. Reynolds saw an increased role as Bryce Aiken dealt with injuries for most of the season.

Speaking of Bryce Aiken, he returns to the Pirates this season and, when he’s been healthy, has been a scoring machine in his career. He doesn’t have the size or physicality to bully opposing guards but his quick release and shooting ability will make him tough to guard. Jared Rhoden also returns and brings back his incredible athleticism and rebounding ability. Offensively, Rhoden has shot over 50% from 2 the last 2 seasons and shoots well enough from 3 that you have ot guard him. Myles Cale also returns for what feels like his 8th season at Seton Hall. Cale shoots well and isn’t a turnover machine on offense and rebounds decently on defense. He’s not gonna light it up every night but he’s more than capable of taking over when he needs to. Ike Obiagu will return as a towering, shot blocking center with an offensive game that relies on dump offs and putbacks.

As far as incoming players goes the Pirates have added sophomore Kandary Richmond from Syracuse. Richmond did most of his damage inside the arc offensively and distributed well but was incredibly turnover prone in his freshman season. Jamir Harris comes in as yet another guard who can shoot the ball. In just 10 games at American last season he attempted 89 3s and shot 43% on them. He probably won’t have the same looks in the Big East but he’s very capable and confident.

What’s the Verdict?

The preseason poll puts Seton Hall in 5th and that feels about right for this squad. Rhoden is expected to lead the team and has shown he is capable of doing so the last couple years. Aiken, Harris and Richmond are all guards who are trigger happy and if they can all get space and they can light teams up. Myles Cale will probably be the glue guy as he can do a bunch of things decently and hit timely shots while Obiagu will defend the paint well. This team has the pieces to push towards the top of the conference and should stay well ahead of the bottom half. Lack of depth may prove to be an issue though and will probably hold Seton Hall back from Big East title contention.