Anyone who knows college basketball will tell you success starts with guard play. Starting with the guards we will breakdown the Pirate roster. First is the senior leader of this team Donald Copeland. Copeland comes into his final year as the unquestionable starting PG. While starting 19 of the 26 games he played in last year, he averaged 6.9 points per game dishing out 2.4 assists in 27.1 mpg. Copeland is more known for his shooting then his penetration and playmaking but did see an improvement in these categories as the season progressed. I got a chance to see DC play over the summer and I could see that his driving ability has definitely improved. I see Copeland giving us about 8 ppg and 5 assts a game this year.
Fan favorite Jamar Nutter will either be the starting shooting guard or the 6th man for this coming year. Playing in 25 games last year "Nutt" averaged 4.3 ppg in 14 mpg. Nutter shot a respectable 38.5% from downtown last year. Nutter will be asked to do a lot offensively if this team is to be competitive in the Big East. Nutter is a good defender and has above average athleticism. The main question is will Nutter's health prevent him from being able to perform to level needed for 25 minutes a game. I see Nutter at 10 PPG and 2 APG.
The new comers that will look to add depth to pirate backcourt are Carl Marshall and Paul Gause. Marshall is a juco player from one of the big time Juco's in the land via transfer from Baylor. Marshall played 25 mpg as a true freshman at Baylor averaging 4.0 ppg and 0.8 apg. His sophomore year at Indian Hills saw him ave 9.1 ppg and 2.7 apg. Marshall is known for his 3-point shooting and he does this pretty well averaging over 38% in his college career. What Marshall doesn't do is pass the ball well. He was the 4th leading assist man last year for Indian Hills. Considering he is a PG this does not bode well for our offense. I expect to see Marshall serve in a Ty Shine role off the bench for firepower.
Paul Gause comes in as one of the most decorated athletes in South Jersey history. This terrific athlete led the state in both football scoring and basketball scoring. Gause averaged a staggering 33.9 points per game as a senior, as well as 6.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 3.7 steals per game. The question is, why were only low to mid majors recruiting this kid? After originally committing to James Madison, Gause backed off and jumped on the pirate ship. This is one player I am very egger to see play. Hopefully Gause will bring in an explosive scoring touch that the Pirates lost in JR Morris.
Lastly we will look at Swingman Brian Laing. Laing could start at the 2 or 3 this coming season. By the end of the season last year, Laing was playing big minutes and showing flashes of what could develop into a legit Big East starter. Laing is an athlete deluxe who is built like a Linebacker. Combine that with his warrior attitude and you are looking at a player who will give Pirate fans a reason to be optimistic towards the future. After playing mostly center in high school, he has improved his outside shot and ball-handling immensely. If Laing's growth has progressed like I think, look for this talent to average 10-12 ppg this year.
There you have the guards, tomorrow look for the review on the Centers and Forwards….
Seton Hall Basketball breakdown-The Guards
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