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Pirate basketball: A tough season but not a complete loss

Over the past nine games, eight loses have been registered by a once promising basketball team. The Pirates got off to a 12-2 start this season and seemed to be headed in the right direction. Within the last nine games a to­tally different team has seemed to take the court each night.

The Hall currently struggles with playing strong at the end of the first and the beginning of the second halves. As soon as the Big East play began the clear flaw in the Pirates scheme was exposed. Guard play for the Hall began to break down under constant pres­sure and suddenly the hot streak and solid play dissolved into a puddle of questions and problems.

Even though they're playing to the best of their ability, the posi­tion just does not have enough depth to hang in the Big East con­ference. While the Pirates rank 81st in the nation in assists per game with 14.4, the other side of the coin shows that their turn­over rate marked at 16.0 per game ranks at a lowly 316 in the nation.

It seems easiest to blame the bad play on the guards, but the Pirates just are not at full strength by any means. Juniors Brian Oliver and Fuquan Edwin along with sopho­more Brandon Mobley are all playing with significant injuries. Mobley requires surgery at the end of the season and Oliver's ankle is barely stable enough to run on, let alone getting proper lift on a jump shot. Head coach Kevin Willard even commented on Mobley's injury after the Pirates game last Saturday against Cincinnati.

"Brandon's our key to our team, just unfortunately he's really hurt." Willard said. "He has to get surgery at the end of the season; basically he's sacrificing his pain for the team which is why he's probably the best teammate to have."

What is clear at this point in the season is the Pirates have prob­lems.

Oliver made comments after the Cincinnati game as well in response to the Pirates mental structure during this losing streak. He spoke truthfully about what needed to be said, and at this point maybe that is exactly what his teammates need to hear.

"I personally think it's mental." Oliver said. "I think there are guys, you know I don't really want to call anyone out but, I think mental wise and being mentally tough, I don't think we're that."

Pirate basketball is hurting right now, literally and figuratively, and they are not many ways that seemingly fix their issues. At this point the best thing for this team is to stay patient and focused while their key players heal. The season is not completely lost yet, they just have to dig deep and find that mental strength to pull through. So let's see what they got.

Dennis Chambers is a freshman journalism major from Mantua Township, NJ. He can be reached at

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