Manhattan Jaspers Projected Starters: C- Arturo Dubios F- CJ Anderson F- Mike Konovelchick G- Jason Wingate G- Jeff Xavier
Seton Hall opens their season on November 14th against the Manhattan Jaspers in the Preseason NIT. This match up should be a full 40 minutes of trench warfare. The Jaspers return 5 of their top 6 scorers from last season's squad. The Jaspers will be led by the trio of CJ Anderson, Arturo Dubois and Jason Wingate, who combined for 34.5 points per game. Anderson is an explosive scoring wing who was a top 75 recruit that was sought after by a lot of big time schools including SHU. Sr PG Jason Wingate was another player recruited Seton Hall. Wingate has the ability to score as well as lead the offense. He is the kind of guard that does the little things for you to win games. Artie Dubois is that classic undersized PF that gives teams fits. He will remind you of Kelly Whitney from his sophomore year. Put up very respectable numbers last year as a freshman and looking to become a star in the league. Jeff Xavier and Mike Konovelchick averaged a combined 14 points per game and figure to round out the starting 5. Manhattan's starting five should be able to keep even keel with the Pirates. Konovelchick is that jack-of-all-trades swingman. He can shoot the ball from deep and as well as take it to the tin. The biggest concern for the Jaspers is the lack of depth as well as their youth.
Freshman and local Rice HS alum Tasicko Brown looks to add backcourt depth along with senior Kenny Minor and sophomore CJ Lee. Big men Mihai Enescu, Guy Ngardi and Franck Traore look to eat up space in the paint, give a couple of fouls and take care of the boards. Forwards Darren Johnson and Devon Austin look to provide relief on the wings. It will be interesting to see the Jaspers game plan for the Pirates. I look for Manhattan to press and play a 2-3-zone defense against the Pirates. I believe this strategy will force the Pirates to hit their open shots, which has been a weakness in the past. I believe the Pirates must push the ball down the floor, make Manhattan work on defense with good ball movement, ball reversal and good shot selections. Donald Copeland will have to exhibit that he will be able to dribble penetrate, so the big men and wings will get opportunities. The Pirates must using there size advantage to lock up the boards and they MUST limit their turnovers. I believe both teams will be real rusty in the beginning, but both teams warm up as the game goes on and provide an exciting game.
Shakes' take- If the key sophomores for Manhattan show that they are ready to step their games up to the next level, I think this will be a bit of a nail bitter with the Pirates escaping 63-60.
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