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Big East Breakdown: #6 Seton Hall

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Is Isaiah the Savior of the Hall?

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Last Year: 17-17 (6-12) No postseason

Key Losses: Fuquan Edwin 14.5pts, Eugene Teague 11.2 pts, Brian Oliver 10.2pts, Patrick Auda 9.6pts, Aaron Germanipoor 2.2pts

Key Returnees: Sterling Gibbs 6'2 Jr PG/SG 13.2pts, Brandon Mobley 6'9" Sr PF 7.6pts, Jaren Sina 6'2 So PG/SG 6pts, Stephane Manga 6'6 Sr F 3pts, Harold Karlis 6'6 Sr SF 1.8pts

Key Additions: Isaiah Whitehead 6'4 Fr PG/SG (McDonalds All American 5 star), Angel Delgado 6'8 Fr PF/C (Consensus top 50 recruit), Khadeen Carrington 6'3 Fr SG, Desi Rodriguez 6'6 Fr F, Ismael Sanogo 6'7 Fr F, Rashed Anthony 6'9 RSFr PF/C, Chier Ajou 7'2 So C (transfer from Northwestern eligible at end of 1st semester)

Breakdown:

The Pirates are on their 5th year of the Kevin Willard administration. It might also be the last. This ought to be a do or die season for Willard (although that may not be the case according to sources close to the program). Either way, Seton Hall's season will rightly or wrongly be placed on the shoulders of incoming McDonald's all American and top 25 recruit Isaiah Whitehead. Picked to be the Freshman of the Year in the Big East at media day, he'll need to excel from day one for the Pirates to reach the NCAA tournament.

The Pirates lost a lot of production from last year's team which was perplexingly inconsistent. They swept NCAA tournament team Xavier and our Hoyas, but only managed 2 other wins in conference: a 2OT win at Providence (another NCAA tournament team) and a home win over DePaul. Gone from that team is leader Fuquan Edwin who led the team in points and was one of the national leaders in steals. Gone too are big man Eugene Teague, mercurial sharpshooter Brian Oliver, and heady PF Patrick Auda who opted to go pro in Europe rather than use his last year of eligibility in South Orange, NJ.

Luckily the Pirates do return three players of note. Most important is Sterling Gibbs, who was the second leading scorer on the team and leading assist-man. Up front, Brandon Mobley returns and he'll be counted on to do work on the boards as the only experienced frontcourt player. Jaren Sina returns behind the arc as the teams returning best outside shooter.

The freshman class includes a number of newcomers besides Whitehead. Most important will be Angel Delgado. He's supposed to be an aggressive rebounder. The rest of the class is made up of unheralded and perhaps underrated NYC talent. Pirate fans are especially high on Kadeen Carrington and Desi Rodriguez. If their talent is legitimate and not just offseason optimism, then the Pirates have a shot to make the NCAA tournament. Michael Nezi 6'7 F was also supposed to join the Pirates this year but did not qualify academically.  Two players who were with the program but will see their first action this year are Rashed Anthony and Chier Ajou, both of which should give a very shallow frontcourt some depth.

Seton Hall is arguably the league's biggest question mark. They have brought in a lot of young talent, and they have a few veteran leaders in the fold as well. On the other hand, they've been down for so long it's hard not to second guess them, and they lost a lot of talent off of last year's team that wasn't able to break through to begin with. This team could finish anywhere between 2nd and 9th and no one should be surprised.