Despite the influence of youth that is becoming more and more prevalent on the men’s basketball team, the return of four key seniors this season should play a major role in the team’s potential success.
Fuquan Edwin, Brian Oliver, Eugene Teague, Aaron Geramipoor and walk-on Kevin Lynch have set their sights and goals as they embark on their final season at Seton Hall, yet they realize together the potential their team has in store before they each step off of the court for the final time.
According to the four seniors, a major component that will play a big role for the Pirates in 2013-14 is depth, an area the team was not accustomed to last season.
“It means a lot because last year I wouldn’t practice much,” Edwin said. “Coach would sit me, I would just get some shots up, but now I’m actually practicing and working on my game.”
Fuquan was one of the few Pi- rates who found a way around the reoccurring injuries last season.
“Fu” was named to a 2013 All-Big East Honorable Mention as he started all 33 games for the Pirates in which he averaged a team- best 16.5 points per game, good enough for eighth highest in the conference. Edwin became just the 40th player in Seton Hall history to record 1,000 career points, only the 23rd player in program history to do it in less than three full seasons.
Two players who were constantly nagged with injuries last season were guard Oliver and center Teague. Oliver played much of last season with a bum ankle, yet with the lack of depth on the team, still found himself in roles he had rarely played in before.
“I definitely feel more comfort- able coming into this season,” Oliver said. “Just knowing that you have a bunch of guys around you just in case something goes wrong in a game or if you get tired is big. We have guys that can come in at any moment and give us a big time spark.”
Oliver, who has been identified as a sharp-shooter for this team will look to continue his high-percentage three-point shooting this year.
In a game against Stony Brook last season, Oliver tallied a season-high 20 points in the first half behind a 6-8 shooting performance from behind the arc. Oliver hit four three’s in an exhibition game against Caldwell last week.
The newfound depth for the Pirates is a huge asset for Teague as well.
“It’s a great thing when I have in the back of my head that I have four guys in the interior down low, the fact that I’m not going to be the only one getting knocked down,” Teague said.
“I feel like I’m going to be one of the best big guys in the conference and I’m just trying to win,” Teague added when asked what he has to prove to Pirate fans this year.
“I want to take my team to the tournament.” For backup center Geramipoor, this season is all about proving what he is capable of as well as making a name for Seton Hall in the first year of the new era of Big East basketball.
“We feel the fans are ready for a big season,” Geramipoor said. “We’re ready to put Seton Hall back on the map.”
The regular season tips off for the Pirates at 6 p.m. Saturday as they take on Niagara at the Prudential Center.
David Heim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.