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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

BIG EAST GAME PREVIEW: Seton Hall @ South Florida

February 8, 2006

Surprising Seton Hall, winners of five straight, including four in a row in the Big East, look to make it six in a row tonight as they travel to meet the South Florida Bulls.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Bulls have lost 10 straight, including all eight of their conference games. On January 20th, they looked poised to grab their first conference at Seton Hall, but they blew a 12-pt lead in the last four minutes before falling in overtime against the Pirates.

Here are the pregame stories and previews from around the internet:

SHU @ USF Notes (Tampa Trib)

USF/SHU Preview (St. Petersburg Times)

Hall Aims to Extend Win Streak (Star-Ledger)

Seton Hall - South Florida Scouting Report (Courier News)

For our preview and prediction on the game, click below!


This is one of those tricky "sandwich" games for Seton Hall as it sits in between their rvalry match-up with Rutgers and a date with #1 Connecticut coming up as the next game on their schedule. I do not expect them to take the Bulls lightly as they had seen what the Bulls could do earlier in the season when the Pirates were forced to make an amazing comeback to defeat USF on their home floor.

To get another win, the Pirates will need to keep on playing hard and tough defense and take advantage of what is given to them on the perimeter. During their 5-game streak, Jamar Nutter has averaged 19.2 PPG (season average is 12.3), Kelly Whitney is averaging 16.4 PPG and 8 rebounds and Donald Copeland is averaging 15.6 PPG, but the most important thing the trip has given Seton Hall is consistent production in each game, allowing other players (Grant Billmeier, Brian Laing, Paul Gause, etc) to settle in roles of support for their "Big Three".

For the Bulls, it has pretty much been the same story all season long as their depleted roster fights as hard as they can to compete, but they lack the depth to sustain their effort the entire 40 minutes. They have lost their share of close ones, but now has to dig deep again and find the effort on the defensive end as they are coming off a lackluster performance defensively against DePaul on the road.

Again, I expect the Bulls to fight hard and they could draw the Pirates into an offensively challenged mode that they have been prone to showing at times throughout the season. But, the Pirates have too many answers and will be able to rotate fresh players in to win the battle on the boards and play defense for 40 minutes and will pull it out again.

NBE Blogger Prediction:

Seton Hall 67 South Florida 61

Early look shows the Pirates as 4-pt favorites.


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