Seton Hall Athletics
“Sina to inbound. Gibbs—Gibbs the step back for the win. Got it.”
We all remember the words from Fox Sports 1’s Justin Kutcher that put the bow on the 2013-14 Seton Hall men’s basketball season. Gibbs’ game-winning shot over top-seeded Villanova in the quarterfinals of last season’s Big East Tournament is what the entire Seton Hall basketball community took with them from another, well, mediocre season.
There was hype swirling around the Pirates last year before the first tip; the additions of guards Sterling Gibbs and Jaren Sina to compliment the veteran presences of Fuquan Edwin and Eugene Teague and the return of big man Pat Auda from his foot injury—this team had aspirations of taking the next step in the new Big East.
Things didn’t pan out. 17-17 isn’t exactly taking the next step.
Before the season started, in a column for this publication, I urged fans to be patient with the Pirates. In so many words, I was not as eager to jump on the ship that was sailing toward Big East greatness, which most Pirates fans were jumping on.
This season, I urge fans to have the same type of patience. But this time, it’s for different reasons: I’m hearing a lot of buzz around campus that someone by the name of Isaiah Whitehead is going to lead this team all the way to the NCAA Tournament this season. While the headline of our top recruiting class is the face of this team and unquestionably has the talent to carry this team, he is still a freshman. And so are seven other players on this roster.
This team, especially given all of the newcomers, is going to need time to gel before we can really assess the ceiling of the 2014-15 Seton Hall men’s basketball team.
Before the season is over, I have complete faith that this year’s squad will be light years better than last year’s. Watching this team in practice after Seton Hall Media Day, I was in awe of how the quickness of Kevin Willard’s group.
I’m not ready to call this team a legitimate contender in the Big East just yet, but what I will say is that this team is going to set a tone for Seton Hall basketball that we have not seen in quite a while.
Just give them time to get there together.
David Heim is a junior journalism student from Roselle Park, N.J. He can be reached at email@example.com or on twitter @davidheim12.