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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Pirates of Seton Hall

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Another day, another Big East game for your Georgetown Hoyas. The march continues Saturday in Newark against Seton Hall. For expertise on the Pirates, we turned to our friend Chris McManus of SHUHoops.com. You can find him on Twitter @ChrisSHUhoops and you can also find my responses to his questions in his game preview here.

So the Pirates looked really good until that stinker against Marquette. What happened?

Ask the average Seton Hall fan, and they will tell you they have their clearly-defined doubts about this team. From an outsider, a senior-laden team ranked in the top-25 passes all surface level tests, but this group is about as prone as any to not showing up on a given night -- they just have the talent to make up for it.

That said, there were likely some lingering health/travel issues that played a role in the loss. Several players have been dealing with what Kevin Willard has labelled a flu (it seems to be an annual epidemic), and they had been cooped up in hotel rooms for a few days due to travel and weather. Oh, and Marquette ain’t too bad.

Apart from that, though, this team seems to be the best Hall team in a long time. What are the biggest strengths (or any weaknesses) for this squad?

Strengths: They will match just about any team’s experience, are extremely athletic and physical, and ball movement in full court plus half court has been very good, despite no point guard

Weaknesses: The last time I did a Q&A (Rutgers), I said that Seton Hall is prone to giving up big runs when they get knocked off the rails; Rutgers closed on a 17-2 run to win. The Pirates also succumbed to a similar crippling run against Marquette in the second half -- this has to be their biggest flaw.

Angel Delgado’s been really good for a while now. Is he (or anybody else on the team) going to play their way into an NBA Draft pick?

I can’t see Delgado, Khadeen Carrington, or Desi Rodriguez making it to the NBA -- although Angel has the best shot as of now. While that last bit may seem obvious, ask most Hall fans this question a year or two ago and they’ll tell you that Rodriguez has the most upside.

Delgado has just about all the tools of an NBA ‘four’ except for athleticism; he so rarely dunks that when he did last season, media wasn’t sure if it was the first time in a game. His teammates would also make fun of him for it “I’ve never seen a guy who can’t dunk grab so many rebounds.”

I do think all three will have long, lucrative careers overseas.

The top three scorers on this team are all seniors. While this year seems to be the year for the Hall, how worried are you about the future of this team? Does it look like Kevin Willard has promising recruits lined up?

Recruiting is a sensitive topic in South Orange. Despite the on-court success, Willard has not been able to reel in any major prospects, but he will have a decent core of top-150 type guys to build around.

While not incoming recruits, Myles Powell and Sacred Heart combo guard transfer Quincy McKnight will be high-volume guys next year, plus current freshman guards Myles Cale and Jordan Walker project to be a strong four-year guys. The staff was also able to land a pair of top-150s in Jared Rhoden (will replace Rodriguez) and point guard/wing Anthony Nelson -- the future for Seton Hall is very much up in the air.

How has it looked to you to see Patrick Ewing coaching the Hoyas?

I admittedly haven’t caught many Georgetown games this year (Marquette, Creighton, Xavier have received the most neutral views), but I did see the St. John’s game and the obvious Ewing-Mullin-MSG theme was historically wild..

On a related note, I will say that Ewing has been interesting from a media standpoint. He came off as very awkward, raw, and unprepared at conference media day (compared to an impressive LaVall Jordan), plus I’ve heard some abrasive anecdotes regarding his past and present dealings with writers.

Where is the best diner in New Jersey and what should I order when I get there?

Everyone probably has their favorite diner, right? Growing up here, I didn’t even realize this was largely a Jersey thing until I got older.

Not a big diner guy. I don’t know if its a personal perception, but I associate them with low quality food for lower prices -- I will usually only entertain a trip for breakfast. (Hint: trigger someone from N.J. by calling the breakfast meat ‘pork roll’ instead of ‘Taylor Ham’)

A new professional competitive gaming league launched this week. Would you ever watch an e-sports/competitive gaming event, and do you think there’s a chance that could ever take off as a spectator sport?

It’s very interesting you ask this off-topic question. I actually play a little Overwatch every now and then, and was a big competitive gamer (early Call of Duty on PC, anyone?) way before anyone could fathom how that industry has ballooned to what it is now.

You ask if there’s a chance it could take off, but there are already millions and millions of people who tune in to streams to watch other people play (Forbes). I don’t quite understand the phenomenon -- I’ve always preferred to play instead of watch -- but clearly many others enjoy it.

I’m sure this will spark the “Is it a sport?!?!?!” debate, and my definition of sport tends to gravitate to competitiveness and teamwork rather than athleticism; Overwatch requires a ton of the former.

Is the Oxford comma necessary?

Another great off-topic question. I’m far from formally trained as a writer and I’ve actually bounced back and forth between using it. Personally, it comes naturally to add the comma or else it feels like I’m grouping the two last list-items into the same “phrase”.

Final score prediction?

SH 79-72