Coming off two losses to two of the top teams in the Big East, Seton Hall hits the road for the first of three games away from the Prudential Center. The Pirates stand at 10-6 heading into Saturday’s game at Marquette, as both teams are trying to regain their winning ways.
Coming off an 83-67 loss to No. 8 Villanova, The Hall enters Saturday still not at full strength. Senior center Eugene Teague, who suffered a concussion on Dec. 27 in a 90-58 victory over Lafayette, has missed all of Big East play and will be sitting out for the fourth straight game.
After Wednesday’s loss to the Wildcats, head coach Kevin Willard said that Teague is “making progress” but was not committal when asked about a timeline. Willard did indicate that there is a good shot that senior guard Fuquan Edwin (knee) and senior center Aaron Geramipoor (ankle) will return on Saturday.
While big men have been missing for The Hall, there’s no lack of shooting ability. The Pirates are getting strong efforts from senior wing Brian Oliver and sophomore point guard Sterling Gibbs as of late.
Oliver has been rolling from beyond the arc. The latest Pirate named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll knocked down six triples on Wednesday. He has combined for 10 in the past two games.
Gibbs compiled 13 points while also handing out a career-high eight assists in the loss to Villanova.
Gibbs, who averages 15.7 points per game, is the team’s leading scorer and the main initiator of the Pirates’ offense. He is shooting 42 percent from the field and 83 percent from the free throw line. Averaging 30 minutes per game, Gibbs brings a challenge to Marquette junior point guard Derrick Wilson.
The Golden Eagles have stability in the post, but where Buzz Williams’ team has been exposed is in the backcourt.
Wilson only averages 4.6 points per game, but does compile almost four dishes per contest. Averaging nearly eight points per game, senior Jake Thomas is the other starting guard for Marquette.
The Golden Eagles is last in the conference and 206th in the nation in points per game with 71.4. While scoring is an issue, the Golden Eagles hold opponents to 63.1 points per game on average.
The man that the Pirates have to watch out for defensively is Davante Gardner. The senior forward scored 19 points in the Golden Eagles’ 86-79 loss to Xavier on Thursday while going 7-for-14 from the field.
Gardner grabbed a team-high four boards and is averaging almost six per game, but Marquette was outrebounded 39-20 against Xavier.
Along with Gardner, senior center Chris Otule poses another challenge in the frontcourt, standing at 6-feet-11-inches tall. Otule scores seven points to go along with five boards per game in an average of 18.4 minutes.
Senior forward Jamil Wilson fouled out in Thursday’s loss to Xavier, but is normally averaging 11.3 points per contest. This trio of Gardner, Otule and Wilson will look to expose the shorthanded Pirates frontcourt.
Marquette is on a five-game home winning streak and the only loss for the Golden Eagles at home was to Ohio State on Nov. 16.
Tip-off is set of for 2 p.m.
John Fanta can be reached at email@example.com.