With Big East Conference play winding down, Seton Hall will need to find a way to leverage it’s positioning before the Big East Tournament. The one and two seeds are heavily protected by Marquette and Villanova, respectively, but the team slotted in tenth place, can theoretically finish as high as third.
The Pirates’ leverage point has to come from its go-to player, Myles Powell. Without a clear second option night in and night out, Powell’s production is heavily relied on. In games in which the junior guard scored less than 17 points, Seton Hall has lost four of seven such games.
The scoring is a given from Powell, but what will push the Pirates over the hump is how well he scores. The Pirates are an undefeated 8-0 when Powell shoots 50 percent or better from the field.
For the first game of the season against Wagner University, Powell asserted his presence with a 30-point outburst while shooting an efficient 77 percent from the field. He accomplished the feat all while only taking 13 shots.
As the Pirates played their first neutral site series of the season, Powell shined perhaps the most all season during that stretch. In the first game of the Wooden Legacy against Grand Canyon University, Powell scored a career-high 40 points to go along with seven rebounds and 4 assists. Not often do players hit that scoring plateau shooting 75 percent from the field on only 16 shots.
Powell’s most recent 30-point game came against Providence in a two-point victory. The game was a must-win considering that they may have slipped into a deeper hole in terms of the conference standings with a loss. He showed up when the team needed him most and once again and shot over 50 percent.
In the game against then Kentucky in December, Powell had a slow and inefficient first half as his only points came from the free throw line. Powell’s second half explosion enabled Quincy McKnight to get involved in the scoring, and with the defense focused on Powell in overtime, good ball movement freed up Myles Cale for the game-winning three-pointer.
While shooting a good percentage from the field does not translate to winning every game, it usually means other players have more chances to score with defenses keying on slowing down Powell. Powell is a volume shooter capable of taking over a game at any moment and the Pirates become that much more dangerous when he does it an efficient rate.
Evando Thompson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Thompsev.