For the first time since the 2000-01 season, the Seton Hall men’s basketball team finds itself ranked at the start, sitting at No. 23 in the AP Top 25. It is a nice honor to kick off what looks to be a special year in South Orange, but there is still a lot of work to be done if the Pirates want to stay ranked and meet the expectations they have set for themselves.
This is the last chance for seniors Angel Delgado, Desi Rodriguez, Khadeen Carrington and Ismael Sanogo to leave their mark at the school they came to as freshmen back in 2014 with the hopes of bringing a once perennial contender back to national relevance. While all four players share the same goal of winning a national championship, Carrington has made it clear that anything less than winning it all would not satisfy him.
Fittingly, his play will be a determining factor in whether or not that becomes a reality for Seton Hall this season.
After spending three seasons playing off the ball, Carrington will be the man running the show at point guard, a challenge that the senior has not backed down from despite the sacrifices he must make as a scorer.
Carrington is a natural scorer and on any given night, he can give opposing defenses nightmares with his shooting ability and fearlessness taking the ball to the hole and finishing through contact. Now, Carrington will have to worry about getting everyone else involved as well.
The Bishop Laughlin product has always been a ball-dominant guard who has no issue having the rock in his hands, but he has never had to worry about dominantly running the point full time. Last year, that was the job of Madison Jones, who cared more about setting his teammates up for good shots more than shooting the ball himself. The year before that, Isaiah Whitehead made a similar transition to the one Carrington is making now and turned into an all-conference point guard.
Whitehead proved that transitioning from shooting guard to point guard in a year’s time is doable and Carrington has embraced his duties as the team’s floor general early on. With many outsiders still concerned about Carrington’s ability to move the ball heading into the team’s first exhibition game against La Salle on Nov. 2, Carrington responded by dishing out five assists. Ball movement was not a problem for the Pirates on that night, as the team totaled 20 assists in an 87-74 win.
Carrington followed up his performance against La Salle with a vintage scoring effort, putting seven up of Seton Hall’s first nine points in an eventual 77-48 victory over LIU-Post on Nov. 4. While he finished with just 13 points and two assists on the day, Carrington showed he could still fill the box score while balancing point guard duties and getting his teammates their fair share of touches.
Will Carrington be able to keep everyone involved once the level of competition ramps up? That remains to be seen, as Carrington is one of the more competitive players in the Big East and it may be hard for him to fight off the urge to take over a game with his scoring.
Despite these concerns, winning is the most important thing to Carrington and if that means sacrificing his scoring output for the success of the team, so be it. As long as he can help his team reach their goal of bringing home some championships in their final year together he will be more than happy.
Tyler Calvaruso is a journalism major from Howell, N.J. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tyler_calvaruso.