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Seton Hall’s problems go beyond an 86-67 loss to Gergetown

February 12, 2015 Columns No Comments
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NEWARK, N.J. – It is now three straight losses for Seton Hall after Tuesday night’s 86-67 loss at the hands of Georgetown. The game at the Prudential Center saw many details ailing the Pirates.

Giving up a 123 efficiency on offense.

Allowing the Hoyas to shoot 53 percent, including 8 of 19 (42 percent) from downtown.

Fifteen turnovers, resulting in a 27-11 points off turnovers deficit.

A 40-22 disadvantage in points in the paint, some of those courtesy of turnovers turned into Georgetown layups. Just too many wild penetrations on offense resulting in off balance attempts in the paint.

Yes, a multitude to correct. Unfortunately, Seton Hall has bigger issues to contend with off the floor.

First was the social media issue in the aftermath of the loss at home Saturday to Marquette. “Brandon (Mobley) tried to say something the other day, believe it or not, he tried to say something that is positive and kind of ran his mouth the wrong way which sometimes players do,” Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said following the Georgetown loss. “He didn’t mean it the way it came out but, he’s got to learn.”

kevinwillard

Kevin Willard’s team has had a rough go of late, and not just with playing the game (Ray Floriani photo)

Then there was a near confrontation between Sterling Gibbs and Isaiah Whitehead. The two did not throw punches but South Orange Juice reported had to be separated by assistant Shaheen Holloway during the under-12 minute (second half) media time out. Whitehead, the prized recruit from Brooklyn, missed several games with an injury and has struggled of late.

Finally, Wednesday, the day after the Georgetown loss brought news Jaren Sina was leaving the team and planning a transfer. Sina, popular with fans, had started every game this season up until the Georgetown game. The sophomore combo guard averaged 7.5 points per game and shot 32 percent from three point range.

“I tried my best, I think I was a good teammate,” Sina told Jerry Carino on NJHoopsHaven. “I’ve always been positive. I’ve always worked hard. I always gave it 100 percent. At the end of the day, I think it’s best for me and my family.” Freshman Khadeem Carrington is expected to see more minutes in Sina’s absence.

It all adds up to a combustible situation at Seton Hall. The normally media-friendly program had the locker room closed to reporters following the Georgetown game, though Willard did spend appreciable time in his post game interview. It began as a season with high hopes including a Paradise Jam title and wins over then-ranked St. John’s and undefeated Villanova. It bore great promise with an NCAA bid a virtual certainty and the possibility of advancing a few rounds. Presently it has transformed into a situation that is beginning to circle the drain. As noted, it goes beyond missed defensive assignments and rushing possessions on the offensive end. The Pirates, to their credit, came back from a 20-point first half deficit to tie the game early in the second half. When Georgetown answered with a brief run of their own, Seton Hall was unable to respond.

The loss to Georgtown dropped the Pirates to 5-7 in the Big East, 15-9 overall. Next up are road games at Providence, Villanova and St. John’s. “It’s tough,” Willard said. “I’m not going to sugar coat it. It is a tough time with three road games. We have to find a way. We have to figure it all out.”

Willard was alluding to the road contests on the horizon. Now, there is more for him, the staff and team to figure out and address.

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