Coming off a Big East Championship, an NCAA Tournament appearance and the loss of Isaiah Whitehead, the Seton Hall men’s basketball team has many questions to be answered before the new season. The Setonian’s Elizabeth Swinton, Kyle Kasharian, Olivia Mulvihill and Gary Phillips dive into some of them with an early preview of the season.
Where does Seton Hall rank in the Big East going into the season?
ES/KK: The Pirates have often said they like being the underdog, but they should expect to be near the top of the ranks this season. With Whitehead, the Hall could have battled for first in the conference, but watch for them to be ranked third behind Villanova and Xavier. With the Hall’s junior-laden squad, it is hard to see any team slipping above them, but watch out for an under-the-radar St. John’s squad to be a threat.
GP/OM: The preseason rankings will look like this: Villanova (of course), Xavier, Creighton and the Hall. This ranking fits the reigning conference champs well, as Xavier and Villanova are still the top dogs and the Bluejays are better than they were in 2015-16.
With Carrington likely to shift to the point, who do you expect will step up and join him in the starting backcourt?
It’s unanimous: Myles Powell for sure, being the shooter that he is. Three-point shooting was something Seton Hall lacked last year, hitting the trey 34.7 percent of the time on 594 attempts. Of those 594 attempts, Whitehead led the team with 81 made shots and 222 attempts. Regarded as one of the top three-point shooters in his class, Powell will provide a scoring spark through his creative finishes and marksmanship from beyond the arc.
Which sophomore do you see having a breakout season similar to what Ismael Sanogo did last year?
ES/KK/GP: Fan favorite sharpshooter Veer Singh showed flashes of brilliance from behind the arc last season, but never put it all together over a stretch of time. If he can bring talent and consistency to the table, Singh provides the Pirates with a serious deep threat on the wing who is also capable of grabbing a few rebounds. If Singh can expand his talents beyond the catch-and-shoot role and learns to also finish around the rim, look for him to see more minutes.
OM: Myles Carter could be someone who steps up. When Carter had his breakout game in the Big East quarterfinals, he had an energy surrounding him where you could feel that it could potentially turn into something within the next year.
Will Seton Hall make the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row?
It’s unanimous: Yes, yes they will. While Whitehead could have made this team elite, he leaves behind a core of juniors in Angel Delgado, Desi Rodriguez, Carrington and Sanogo. Throw in Powell and the experience that comes with last year’s early exit from the Big Dance and the Pirates should find themselves punching a ticket for the second straight year. Look to Seton Hall’s non-conference games to be a strong precursor of their March Madness chances.