Marquette to Take on Seton Hall

As Marquette prepares to host Seton Hall on Tuesday, here's what you'll need to know about the Pirates.

As Marquette prepares to host Seton Hall on Tuesday, here's what you'll need to know about the Pirates.

Current Record: 10-4 (0-1 in Big East play).

Last Big East Game:  Lost to UCONN 98-86 at home.

Last Game: 89-81 win over Morgan St.

Projected Starting Lineup

C – John Garcia

F – Brian Laing

G – Eugene Harvey

G – Jeremy Hazell

G – Larry Davis

Key Reserves

Jamar Nutter

Augustine Okosun

 

Bobby Gonzalez goes into his second year as head coach of the Pirates hoping to have a better record than his first year.  2006-2007 saw Seton hall go 13-16 (4-12), but there is renewed hope this season.  Seton Hall returns their top 5 scorers from last year.  The Pirates are led by their trio of guards, Laing, Harvey and Hazell.

When Gonzalez was asked where he sees his team fitting into the highly competitive conference, he said "In a league like this, 16 great head coaches, you've got to take steps and build a foundation, you can't change history overnight. We think we fit in the middle of the pack where any team on a given night can play with anyone else."  His Pirates showed the ability to hang tough, as they took a lead going into halftime over UCONN in their opener.  Gonzalez is getting to be known as a hard working, confident coach.  At only 43 years old, many in the conference believe that he can do what it takes to turn a team around. 

The Pirates main strength is their ability to put the ball in the hoop.  They've scored at least 70 points in each game so far this year, and are averaging 85 per game.  Laing leads the team in scoring this year at 19.6 PPG.  Other top scorers, Harvery, Hazell and Nutter are averaging 17, 12 and 10 respectively.  They have topped 100 twice, vs. Robert Morris and James Madison.  They also have one of the most efficient rebounders in the country in John Garcia, who is averaging 8 rebounds per contest, while only averaging 20 minutes a game. Basketball Prospectus rates him as the 4th most efficient rebounder in the country.  Garcia does half of his rebounding on the offensive glass.  Garcia needs to be efficient, with the Pirates shooting only 43% from the field, strange with the amounts of points they score.

The weakness for Seton Hall is their defense.  They've allowed 81 points per game this season, as well as giving up over 100 to Robert Morris and James Madison.  More recently, they allowed UCONN to score 98 in a loss last Thursday.  The Pirates can be a gambling defensive team, as they led the league in steals last year, and are close to the top again this year.  With this style of play, opponents have frequently scored easy baskets.  They run an exclusive man to man set, the same style of play that Gonzalez had while in Manhattan.  In their conference opener vs. UCONN, they pressed 11 times, and UCONN scored 19 points in those situations.  Their best defensive effort came against #23 Virginia in November, where they only gave up 60 points en route to a 74-60 victory. 

After the Pirates beat Morgan State, they found out that they would be without guard Paul Gause for the next two to three weeks due to a broken hand.  Gause was the main ball handler in the UCONN game, and sources close to the team said that the team ran crisper with him at point.  Overall, expect the Pirates to be tested with the speed of Marquette constantly putting pressure on them.  The key for the Pirates will be getting good shots, and not turning the ball over. 

 

Prediction: Marquette wins 89-73

 

 


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