2013-14 College Basketball Season Preview: Seton Hall

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Seton Hall Pirates (Last Year: 15-18, 3-15 in Big East)

2013-14 Projected Depth Chart:

F/C: Gene Teague (Sr)/Aaron Geramipoor (Sr)

PF: Brandon Mobley (Jr)/Patrik Auda (Sr)/Rashed Anthony (Fr)

SF: Brian Oliver (Sr)/Stephane Manga (Jr)

SG: Fuquan Edwin (Sr)/Haralds Karlis (Jr)/Hakeem Harris (Jr)

PG: Sterling Gibbs (Soph)/Jaren Sina (Fr)/Tom Mayaan (Soph)

Gone: SG-Kyle Smith, G-Aaron Cosby (transfer-Illinois), PG-Freddie Wilson (transfer-Drexel), C-Kevin Johnson (transfer)

2013-14 Outlook:
With their three conference victories last season, the Seton Hall Pirates finished with their lowest league win total since the ’85-’86 season. The Big East has a new look to it this year, but it’s hard to imagine Kevin Willard’s team making a significant jump in the standings.

The strength of this year’s Seton Hall Pirates squad will be on the wing with seniors Fuquan Edwin and Brian Oliver. Edwin made a name for himself early due to his defensive tenacity but really took a step forward last year as a scorer. He connected on 41% of his three-point attempts and can also attack the tin with his athleticism. Oliver was average at best in his first year at Seton Hall after transferring from Georgia Tech, but is capable of becoming a dangerous wing man alongside Edwin, which the Pirates need due to the transfer of Aaron Cosby.

Haralds Karlis also returns after a sophomore season in which he really struggled shooting the rock. Karlis could lose playing time off the bench with the arrival of junior college transfers Hakeem Nicks and Stephane Manga.

The Pirates also return their starting frontcourt of Gene Teague and Brandon Mobley, who are pretty much polar opposites. Teague is a load down low and knows how to carve out space in the paint. while Mobley is a face-up four who can stretch defenses with his outside shooting. Patrik Auda missed most of last season due to injury, so getting him healthy adds needed depth inside since Aaron Geramipoor is really nothing but a 6-11 body. Rashed Anthony is probably too raw to become a real factor during his freshman year.

The biggest question for Willard comes at the point guard position where Texas transfer Sterling Gibbs and freshman Jaren Sina figure to compete with Tom Maayan for playing time. Out of necessity, Maayan saw significant minutes as freshman, but to put it bluntly, Gibbs and Sina possess more talent, and that could push Maayan back in the rotation. Whatever the case, Willard needs one of his young point guards to step into the floor-general role.

While this year figures to be a struggle, Willard is beginning to make some noise on the recruiting front by recently landing commitments from top-50 recruits in the 2014 class, shooting guard Isaiah Whitehead and power forward Angel Delgado. Nevermind that Willard also hired their high school coaches to become assistants at Seton Hall; those signings are what he needs to try and turn around the program while also keeping his job.

Player to Watch: Sterling Gibbs, PG
The point guard position is the biggest mystery for Seton Hall this year. Mayaan can run the offense, but isn’t a scorer. Sina can light it up from deep, but can he get his teammates involved? Gibbs appears to the be most ready to take over the position even though he didn’t see much playing time during his lone year at Texas. If Gibbs was a true sponge last season and soaked in all the information during his year off, the point guard spot should be his to lose.

Key Non-Conference Games:
  • 11/9 vs. Kent State
  • 11/22 vs. Oklahoma (Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Brooklyn)
  • 11/23 vs. Michigan State/Virginia Tech Oklahoma (Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Brooklyn)
  • 12/8 at Rutgers

  • Predicted Big East Finish: 9th

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