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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

BIG EAST GAME PREVIEW: Seton Hall @ Providence

February 1, 2006

with back to back road wins over North Carolina St and Syracuse, things have certainly gotten a lot brighter around the Seton Hall campus. Suddenly the Pirates find themselves with a little momentum and a 3-3 conference record as they head into a conference road tilt with the Friars of Providence. Providence had their 2-game conference win streak snapped by Connecticut over the weekend and will look to get back on the winning side tonight when they host Seton Hall.

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

Hall Forging an Identity (
PC vs SHU Match-up (Providence Journal)
Hall Wont Relax at Providence (Star-Ledger)
SHU/PC Scouting Report (Courier News)
Make or Break Time Here for Friars (Providence Journal)
To Be, Orr Not To Be (NY Post on Louis Orr)

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


This is an interestin ggame that I hope to keep a close eye on. each team desperately needs to find a way to win this game. The Pirates and coach Louis Orr have suddenly put themselves back into the mix for, gulp, an NCAA bid with a solid record (12-6) and RPI (37, ahead of Kentucky, Temple, Colorado, Xavier, etc) with a reasonable schedule ahead, especially in the near term with Providence on the road tonight, Rutgers at home and then USF on the road and then three home games with UConn, WVU and ND before finishing with SJU, DePaul, Cincy and Pitt. There are wins to be had ahead of them, but getting one tonight is a BIG first step.

The Friars also have a favorable schedule ahead of them and begin a 2-game home stretch tonight on must wins with Seton Hall and St John's which will be followed by a trip to DePaul. At 2-5 in the conference, finding some distance from Notre Dame and Louisville while closing the gap on Rutgers and Seton Hall is the immediate goal of the Friars as that would land them in Madison Square Garden for the Big East tournament.

These teams match-up pretty well. The Pirates will likely start Donald Copeland, Jamar Nutter, Brian Laing, Kelly Whitney and Grant Billmeier and bring a scoring threat in Paul Gause off the bench. The injury to Stan Gaines is a big blow to their team as it has sapped some of the depth and a versatile player that filled several roles.

The Friars do not have much depth either and are very young. They will start Sharoud Curry, Donnie McGrath, Weyinmi Efejuku, Geoff McDermott and Randall Hanke and bring in big men Herbert Hill and Jonathan Kale off the bench, along with wing Charles Burch.

I do believe that Seton Hall is slightly the better team because of their experience with Copeland and Whitney being seniors. However, on the road with out Stan Gaines might catch up to them here. They will need another big shooting game from Jamar Nutter and/or Paul Gause. The Friars will need to score, as the Pirates will defend pretty hard, but can have trouble scoring. Winning three games in a row on the road is just a little too much to ask for from the Pirates, I believe, however, as 3-pt underdogs, I look for them to take this to the wire and have the chance to win.

NBE Blogger Prediction:

Providence 70 Seton Hall 68


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