Defensive development: Angel Delgado now a dual asset
Since breaking through as a freshman in the 2014-15 season, Angel Delgado has been a key cog in Kevin Willard’s offense for Seton Hall. The 6-foot-10 center possesses an imposing amount of physical strength in the post, which allows him to dominate almost any opponent down low and knock down a few quick buckets for the Pirates at any given time.
So far in his collegiate career, Delgado has amassed 64 double-doubles. He also averages a double-double per game with 11.8 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. However, this season, his game has stretched beyond being a big man that can overpower opponents offensively.
Delgado has become more reliable defensively while continuing his methodical assertiveness on the glass. As a result, not many players on the team or in the Big East on a whole can match up with the numbers that Delgado is putting up on both ends of the floor.
In terms of rebounding, Delgado has an advantage, with a conference-leading 233 total rebounds. The next best, Georgetown’s Jessie Govan, is 26 behind.
A majority of these rebounds come on his own end of the court as well, as he sits tied for first with Xavier’s Kerem Kanter in defensive rebounding percentage at 26.8 percent. However, when the two matched up in the Pirates’ most recent contest against the Musketeers on Jan. 20, Delgado grabbed 18 rebounds in 38 minutes, compared to one rebound in nine minutes for Kanter. Defensive rebound percentage takes into account how many defensive rebounds were available while Delgado was in play, which is a testament to how controlling he can be in the paint.
Furthermore, Delgado is fifth in the league in defensive box plus-minus at 4.8. The league average usually hovers around 0.0 for this statistic, so the higher a player is, the more effective the player is shown to be in that area.
The statistical evidence for Delgado’s defensive play does not stop solely with rebounds, as his presence is felt across the floor and he is a key factor in why Seton Hall has won 15 games to date.
Delgado is currently 20th in the Big East in win shares – a metric that determines a player’s contribution to team success – at 2.5. He trails only Desi Rodriguez amongst Seton Hall players.
Defensively, though, the story is different yet again. Delgado is fourth in the conference with 1.4 defensive win shares, which takes into account a number of key statistics, including possession and player rating. For example, Delgado is also seventh in the Big East in defensive rating at 94.3 percent, which highly influences his defensive win shares.
Both overall and defensive win shares are equally important, but the defensive side of these statistics show how important Delgado has been for the Pirates defensively. Even when he is scoring, Delgado is having an impact on the game and Seton Hall’s success.
The Pirates need Delgado to continue these trends now more than ever. After having a week off and losing three of its last four games, Seton Hall needs to return to the form that knocked off Butler in Hinkle Fieldhouse on Jan. 6.
It’s not a coincidence that Delgado was the driving force in that victory, as he dominated Butler throughout the first half and finished with 28 points and 15 rebounds.
To get back to playing at that level, the result will revolve around Delgado playing at his best, on both the offensive and defensive ends.
Kevin Kopf can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @KMKTNF.