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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Pirates of Seton Hall

Your Somewhat Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown take on the Pirates of Seton Hall on Saturday night and as usual we here at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON are bringing you everything you need to know about Georgetown's next opponent.  Here with us is our internet bro @CerasolisGhost of, your trusted source for all of your Seton Hall desires. Let's do this!

This Seton Hall team looks...not terrible this season. What has been the key to the Hall's relative success so far?

If I had to key in on one thing, it  would be this that this is a young team: Not a single kid on the roster was in South Orange the season before last and there's only one guy -- Derrick Gordon -- who is older than a sophomore (Braeden Anderson technically is, but has hardly played during his career).

So, a combination of freshmen maturing into sophomores and four core guys -- Khadeen Carrington, Isaiah Whitehead, Angel Delgado and Desi Rodriguez -- that logged a bunch of minutes last year sticking around is starting to pay dividends.

The Pirates lost both Sterling Gibbs and Jaren Sina after last season. Looking back do you think chemistry issues played a large part in the Hall's disappointing season last year?

Jaren Sina actually left the team after the 86-67 beat-down Georgetown inflicted on Seton Hall last February. I'm not sure how many people outside of Seton Hall circles know this, but Sterling also was actively trying to leave the team too, but he had to be persuaded to make the trip to Providence for the following game (which preceded his forearm to Arcidiacono's face).

Chemistry issues very much played a part. It's not entirely his fault, but Kevin Willard failed in his responsibilities of integrating both Gibbs and Whitehead while the latter's high school coach (Tiny Morton) did not help things at all as an assistant last year. 

There are cons to their youth, but Seton Hall's starting five for nearly every game this season is their heralded 2014 recruiting class that has grown together over a year and a half now; defensive guru Ish Sanogo rounds out the starting five along with the "four core guys" I mentioned previously.

Other than the (very lonely) Seton Hall Final Four banner that hangs from the rafters, what's the best part of the Prudential Center for you?  What's the worst part?

hall banner

For me personally, it's the convenience due to it's location two short blocks from Newark Penn Station. But a ton of other fans who come from the north and west of Newark preferred the Meadowlands. The arena is also still state of the art despite closing in on its 10th birthday.

The worst part is the atmosphere on most game nights. In many areas, fans are completely justified in not showing up anymore after really coming out during the Bobby Gonzalez era and early Willard years but going home disappointed time and time again. There were some packed crowds for classic Syracuse and West Virginia games of years past, but they are growing more rare. From what I've seen on TV, the Verizon Center appears to have similar attendance issues (or do I tune in on bad nights?) outside of the awesome banners that are put up by Hoya fans.

What's your perception of this Georgetown squad?

Besides some of their neutral court games over the opening weeks, I honestly haven't seen them play a whole lot. Like most, the common and perhaps lazy perception is that they can beat top-25 teams but also lose to sub-200 schools (although the latter hasn't actually happened, at least KenPom-wise).

As far as personnel go, Georgetown always throw off the tough-as-nails vibe and their size from the 1-to-5 spots validates that a bit this season. I'm glad that Reggie Cameron (Jersey kid that they beat Seton Hall to on the trails) is finally getting a run-out and curious to see how Jessie Govan (another Hall recruit) pans out down the road.

I had the pleasure of attending the Springsteen show at The Rock last weekend. I'm not going to ask you to give me your ultimate 25 song Bruce setlist (thought I really want to), so instead maybe give me like 10 tunes that you'd really want to see the next time you see a Bruce show.

bruce nj
Yes, that's Bruce crowd surfing during "Hungry Heart"

I'm probably the only dude born and raised in Jersey who doesn't listen to Bruce Springsteen, so here is me jokingly taking offense to your assumption that I'm a fan.

I assume Kevin Willard has bought himself at least another year under the West Orange (it's South Orange) sun with the Hall's performance so far. In your mind though does the team need to make the Dance for this season to truly be a success? How far do you think the Hall can go in March?

At this point, it does look like he has bought himself another year barring a duplicate dumpster fire over the next month-plus. His contract details are shrouded in secrecy (he basically chose his own AD, Pat Lyons, who he worked under at Iona), but I've heard his buyout goes significantly down starting this off-season (could have an extension through 2019-20), so there's a lot of variables there.

If this weren't Willard's sixth season, just missing the NCAA tournament would be a success for most programs outside of the top-25 considering the team's youth. However, it has been six years and in most eyes not making the tournament in that span is a failure; including mine.

This team is talented for sure and Willard appears to be pressing the right buttons currently, but I'm not sold on their resiliency yet and I'll take most other coaches in purely Xs and Os scenarios with the shot clock turned off.

New Jersey has the most diners per capita of all US states. Which Jersey diner is your favorite and what are you ordering?

White Diamond in Clark is a few minutes from where I grew up, so they get the plug (Google it; now THAT's a diner). I'm not particular when it comes to food so anything on the grill (porkroll - egg and cheese; burgers on great Kaiser rolls) is where it's at. 

Final score prediction?
Oh man, haven't done one of these in awhile. Seton Hall by four, 72-68