The Seton Hall men’s basketball team has had a lot of excitement around it heading into the regular season, and it showed Monday afternoon as the team held its annual preseason Media Day. More media members attended the availability than in recent years, looking for the latest team thoughts and final preparation before the season kicks off.
Head coach Kevin Willard was made available for questions, along with the rest of his coaching staff and the players. Following the interviews, media was invited to watch the first half hour of the team’s practice.
Here are some takeaways from the day:
Depth will be a strength this season
According to Willard, this team is one of, if not the deepest teams he has ever had at his disposal, a luxury for a team that is eyeing a deep NCAA Tournament run.
“I think we’re a good basketball team,” Willard said. “I think we’re as deep as we’ve ever been.”
Willard was able to play 11 players in the team’s scrimmage at Boston College on Oct. 28, a testament to the depth of this team as each player had double-figures in minutes. Along with the core four of Khadeen Carrington, Desi Rodriguez, Ismael Sanogo and Angel Delgado, freshmen Myles Cale, Sandro Mamukelashvili and Jordan Walker will have their part in the team’s rotation.
Willard even mentioned walk-ons Shavar Reynolds and Philip Flory could see legitimate minutes thanks to the work that they’ve put in during practices, with Reynolds even playing 11 minutes in the Boston College scrimmage.
Myles Powell continues to grow
After a freshman year that featured a hot start, a midseason slump and a strong end to the season, Powell has grown as a player heading into his sophomore year, drawing the praise of Willard in the process.
“[Myles] Powell has played as good as any freshman or sophomore I’ve ever had,” Willard said. “This year, he’s been working really hard on the defensive end.”
Powell looks to slide into the starting lineup at the shooting guard spot this season, and with increased minutes could come an increase in scoring output and overall production.
Khadeen Carrington’s responsibilities in his new position
Carrington was a ball-dominant guard for the Pirates one year ago, but his responsibilities will be a bit different in 2017-18 now that he is a full-time point guard.
“The biggest thing with [Carrington] is that there are so many levels to being a point guard that you’re responsible for,” Willard said. “The last thing he needs to worry about is him…it’s like being a father.”
Carrington will still look to fill it up on the offensive end, but now it is on him to be aware of getting his teammates enough touches and to run the offense the way Willard wants it to be orchestrated. That is what Willard sees as Carrington’s next step in his role as a point guard.
During the team’s open practice, Willard and his staff had players run through various warmups and drills. Both the team’s three-point shooting and inside protection stood out. Freshman Myles Cale showed a smooth shooting stroke, and Sandro Mamukelashvili and Romaro Gill supplied a presence in the paint both on offense and defense. Seton Hall’s seniors also looked comfortable in their roles.
The Pirates’ first test at home comes on Thursday, Nov. 2 against La Salle at Walsh Gymnasium. The matchup, which was announced last week, is a charity exhibition game with all proceeds benefitting Puerto Rico. The team will then play LIU Post in an exhibition on Nov. 4 before starting its regular season on Nov. 10.
Tyler Calvaruso can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tyler_calvaruso.