Hall in a free fall

Amanda Boyer/Photography Editor

In a winter that’s been brutal outside, the troubles inside haven’t been any easier—at least not for the Seton Hall men’s basketball team, who fell to Georgetown 86-67 at home on Tuesday night.

The news didn’t get any better on Wednesday as sophomore guard Jaren Sina announced he would be leaving the program.

The decision to leave was mutual, according to Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press, who spoke with Sina on Wednesday.

Sina played 29 minutes coming off the bench on Tuesday, the first time all season he did not start for the Pirates in what would ultimately be his final game with the program.

For all of the inconsistency and shooting woes that have made the sophomore guard a popular target for fan frustration and criticism it’s a considerable loss. Sina averaged 32.2 minutes per game for the blue and white. Head coach Kevin Willard will be tasked with finding some support from off the bench behind an inexperienced freshman in Ismael Sanogo and senior Haralds Karlis, whose recent decline in minutes would suggest he has might be in the ‘doghouse’ with Willard and company.

While the loss of Sina could be seismic, equally concerning is alleged team problems of a locker room that Sina labeled “untenable” according to Carino. This was compounded by the events that unfolded between Sterling Gibbs and freshman Isaiah Whitehead, who had to be separated during a timeout at Tuesday’s game.

And so, a team that once had hefty anticipation and hype has garnered considerable questions of ego and division within.

Senior Brandon Mobley vented his frustration following the team’s 57-54 loss to Marquette on Feb. 7. “We've got some guys too worried about their points and not doing their jobs."

Now the Pirates approach their toughest stretch and are imploding within. Whitehead and his relationship with Gibbs have come under fire. A division between upperclassmen and freshmen has emerged. And Willard’s handle on the team has been brought into question. Now, for the first time since being a nationally-ranked program, people are talking about the Pirates again, but not for the right reasons.

The Pirates will play three games over the course of eight days, a tough stretch for any team, and amidst a free fall in the standings this is a team that looks to have darker days ahead.

Many questions continue to exist: Is there a rift between Whitehead and Gibbs? Is it freshmen versus upperclassmen? Does Willard have a full handle on this group?

For now questions left unanswered. But the coming days are sure to be a test of the core and structure that is the Seton Hall men’s basketball team.

Author: Neal McHale

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