MSG basketball writer has high hopes for men’s team
Jon Rothstein, talk show host on 1050 ESPN Radio and College Basketball Insider on the MSG Network, has ranked Seton Hall University sixth in his Big East Preseason Power Rankings.
Most notably, he has selected the Pirates to finish above conference powerhouses Marquette, Connecticut, and Louisville, who he picked to finish seventh, eight, and twelfth, respectively.
“The biggest thing I noticed when I was at Seton Hall’s practice, in terms of personnel, is they have much more depth and a different theme this year,” Rothstein said.
He says that new head coach Kevin Willard has done a great job improving the team so far, especially during the off-season.
“Willard has great connections overseas, and has found ways to improve his team in unconventional ways, bringing in two freshmen from the Canarias Basketball Academy in Europe,” he said. “He has also recruited highly touted freshman Fuquan Edwin, as well as Anali Okoloji.”
Rothstein raved about two of the four incoming freshman the Pirates have brought in this year, Fuquan Edwin and Patrik Auda. He says both will make big impacts right off the bat.
“Incoming freshman Fuquan Edwin was one of the better high school players coming out of New Jersey this year, and he will score in bunches,” he said. “Auda, from Europe, has tremendous range, and is going to be a matchup problem for all opponents.”
According to Rothstein, Sophomore Ferrakohn Hall is in for a monster jump this season and is going to surprise many people.
“He reminds me of Robert Dozier, from the Memphis University team that went to the championship game in 2008. He has added 15-20 pounds, and in a good way, he seems nasty,” he said. “Put him with Herb Pope and Jeff Robinson and there is nobody that Seton Hall can’t matchup with right now, from a personnel standpoint.”
The big men were not the only ones Rothstein was raving about.
“I have been very adamant about true definition of a point guard, someone who is going to run the team, get the offense in motion, and get high percentage shots for his teammates,” he said. “Nobody is better at that right now then junior point guard Jordan Theodore. He is extremely unselfish on offense and defense.”
Rothstein stood by his bold preseason Big East pick of sixth for the Pirates. Without hesitation, he said the Pirates can absolutely make the NCAA Tournament this season.
“They can matchup with any team in the Big East conference. They haven’t done it yet, as games are not played on paper,” he said. “In terms of personnel, they are as good as I can remember any Seton Hall team being; with size, great rebounders, and many different scorers. They definitely can make tournament.”
John Provenzano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.