DePaul Blue Demons vs. Seton Hall Pirates – Saturday, January 2nd, 10:00 a.m. Central – Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Television – Fox Sports 1
Radio – WSCR AM 670
Seton Hall comes into Saturday's game against DePaul as one of the hottest teams in the Big East. The Pirates are riding a six-game winning streak and will be making their Big East home debut come Saturday morning in the Big East's annual all-day marathon. As you might expect, this is the first game of the all-day five-game marathon.
After a tumultuous and often times turbulent 2014-15 season, Seton Hall (11-2) is playing above expectations this season and are spurred on by a group of excellent sophomores. The Pirates are coming off a most-impressive 83-63 win at Marquette Wednesday to open Big East play, a game where five players scored in double figures.
Considering DePaul swept Seton Hall last season, the Pirates will have no trouble getting up for this game to get some measure of revenge, as they look to carry on their momentum.
As previously mentioned, Seton Hall is getting great contributions from its promising core of sophomores. In fact, Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard starts five sophomores and gets great balance from all of them.
Former McDonald's All American Isaiah Whitehead, who has now shifted to point guard, leads the team in scoring (14.9 ppg) and assists (4.3 apg). He can slash to the basket with the best of them, and this year his shot selection is much better.
Where DePaul has to be concerned with most, though, is the play of Angel Delgado down low. Last season's Big East Rookie of the Year is a threat to go for a double-double every time he takes the floor. He averages 9.5 points and a Big East-leading 10.2 rebounds per game. He is a very gifted space eater and defender.
Seton Hall is also getting breakout seasons from sophomore wing Khadeen Carrington and sophomore forward Desi Rodriguez. Carrington (13.8 ppg) and Rodriguez (12.8 ppg) are second and third on the team in scoring, respectively. They can get hot at a moment's notice, as both know how to put the ball through the hoop.
The Pirates other sophomore starter is Ismael Sanogo. While he may not make his mark in the box score (5.3 ppg and 7.4 rpg), he does the dirty work and does a little bit of everything, especially on defense. His defense on Marquette stud freshman Henry Ellenson on Wednesday was vital, as he was partially responsible for him going 3-14 from the field.
Willard also gets fine production from UMass grad transfer Derrick Gordon off the bench, as he chips in 7.8 points per game. It should also be noted that Willard has an ex-Demon signee in Braeden Anderson in his rotation.
With the game slated to begin at the very early hour of 10:00 AM Central, the Demons will need all their coffee and be ready to face a team enjoying a lot of momentum. They simply can't be caught napping Saturday.
If DePaul can cut down on its turnovers, hit its free-throws and play defense like it has been showing lately, it may come out a winner. That's easier said than done and we'll see soon enough which DePaul team shows up Saturday.
The Last Time
On February 3rd, 2015 at Allstate Arena the Blue Demons defeated Seton Hall for the second time in the 2014-15 season. DePaul prevailed in a 75-62 win.
DePaul finished the game on a 16-3 run over the final six minutes to shut down Seton Hall.
It was one of DePaul’s best defensive performances of the year. The Blue Demons held the Pirates to 36% shooting from the field.
Jamee Crockett finished one shy of his career-high with 21 points, on nine of 17 shooting, and three assists to lead the way for the Blue Demons.
Billy Garrett, Jr. contributed with 20 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Myke Henry chipped in with 11 points and six rebounds. Rashaun Stimage added eight points and blocked three shots in what was one of his best defensive performances of the season.
Sterling Gibbs led the Pirates with 21 points. Freshman phenom Isaiah Whitehead added 14 points coming in off the bench for Seton Hall.
Seton Hall Roster
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Prev School)
0 Carrington, Khadeen G 6-3 180 SO Brooklyn, N.Y. (Bishop Loughlin)
1 Nzei, Michael F 6-7 200 RS FR Makurdi, Nigeria (Our Savior New American - N.Y.)
2 Thomas, Jevon G 6-1 185 JR Queens, N.Y. (Kansas State)
4 Anderson, Braeden F 6-9 240 JR Okotoks, Alberta (Fresno State)
13 Dowdy Jr., Michael G 5-10 185 JR Chicago, Ill. (University of Chicago Laboratory)
14 Sanogo, Ismael G/F 6-8 210 SO Newark, N.J. (East Side High School)
15 Whitehead, Isaiah G 6-4 210 SO Brooklyn, N.Y. (Abraham Lincoln)
20 Rodriguez, Desi F 6-6 215 SO Bronx, N.Y. (Abraham Lincoln)
21 Soffer, Dalton G 6-5 205 FR San Diego, Calif. (Poway)
23 Carter, Myles F 6-9 220 FR Chicago, Ill. (St. Rita's)
25 Anthony, Rashed F 6-9 235 SO Orangeburg, S.C. (Flora Macdonald Academy)
31 Delgado, Angel F 6-9 245 SO Bajos De Haina, Dominican Rep. (Patrick School - N.J.)
32 Gordon, Derrick G 6-3 205 SR Plainfield, N.J. (Massachusetts)
33 Singh, Veer G/F 6-7 195 FR New York, N.Y. (Thurgood Marshall/St. Peter's Prep - N.J.)