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Monday, March 30, 2009


March 30, 2009

A source with knowledge of the situation has informed us that Seton Hall men's basketball target Quincy Hankins has committed to Nebraska of the Big 12. The 6-foot-8, 230-lb power forward was in his second year at Polk CC in Florida.

Hankins, a native of Roosevelt (NY), helped lead Polk CC to the Suncoast Conference championship this season and a final record of 25-5. Hankins had expressed an interest in returning to school in the Northeast. However, according to sources, Hankins was not offered by Seton Hall and others did not have scholarship room for him at this time.

The Pirates remain hopeful they can close the deal on Westchester CC center Jarrid Famous and are also involved in the recruitment of JUCO guard Jamel Jackson of Technical Career Institute and Memphis White Station forward Ferrakohn Hall.

Some will remember that Jackson, who originally played at Lincoln HS in Brooklyn before spending two post-graduate years at the now defunct Boys to Men Academy in Chicago, signed with the Pirates last spring, but did not have enough accepted credits from TCI in summer school classes to gain acceptance into the University. Jackson is a deep shooting threat that was supposed to re-open his recruitment, but it is unclear who else is involved at this point.

It appears that SHU is no longer involved with prior verbal commitments DeAndre Kane of the Patterson School nor JUCO forward Cliff Dixon of Hutchinson CC.


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Wednesday, March 11, 2009


March 11, 2009

Seton Hall just will not go away. And, if you think Syracuse is in for a walk through Central Park tonight, think again. The Pirates dispatched South Florida in the Bulls Garden debut last night, 68-54, as NYC natives Jeremy Hazell (23), Eugene Harvey (16) and Robert Mitchell (13) combined for 52 points as the Pirates rallied from a two-point halftime deficit. With friends and family in the stands again tonight, look for SHU to give the Orange everything they have left.

Syracuse comes into the 2009 Big East Tournament as the #6-seed, having won four in a row, highlighted by Saturday's overtime victory at Marquette. Syracuse aims to increase their momentum heading to the 2009 NCAA Tournament as they look to make their return after back-to-back NIT appearances.

Here are some pregame stories and previews on tonight's nightcap:

Orange Survived, Then Thrived (Syracuse Post-Standard)
Orange Scouting Report: SU vs. SHU (Syracuse Post-Standard)
SHU Knocks off USF in Big East Tournament (Star-Ledger)
Seton Hall Coach Bobby Gonzalez Surviving, Maturing (Star-Ledger)

This is a game that Bobby Gonzalez can not wait to coach in. These two teams met to open Big East play just prior to the New Year, but 'Gonzo' was not on the Pirate bench due to a one-game suspension for remarks and actions following a loss to Rutgers to conclude the 2007-2008 regular season. The Pirates were embarrassed in the Carrier Dome that night, in a game that was really not even that close.

While SHU was firing away blanks from beyond the arc, going 2-27 from three-point range, they were letting Syracuse do anything they wanted to on the offensive end. The Orange put five in double figures, led by Andy Rautins' 26 points.

That was then, this is certainly 'the now.' The Pirates were without John Garcia in that game and they are a much better team with him available. His size and experience will allow him to go toe-to-toe with SU big man Arinze Onuaku. The Orange definitely have the size advantage as they also start 6'9 sophomore Rick Jackson, and although SHU will use a smaller line-up, SU will not likely be deterred as they will employ their standard 2-3 zone defense against SHU.

In the first game tge SU zone led to the Pirates just bombing away from three-point range to no avail. Tonight, in order to compete, it will be imperative for Eugene Harvey to run an efficient zone offense, attacking the seams and finding players in position for good shots.

In the first game, SHU also pushed tempo and the game quickly turned into something you would see in the summer on the AAU circuit. It is a style that the Orange love to play with Jonny Flynn, Paul Harris and Eric Devendorf attacking the basket in transition for lay-ups and if, by chance, SHU got back on defense, Andy Rautins was open for the three. And, on the rare occasions they missed, Jackson or Onuaku were there to gobble up second chance opportunities.

SHU simply can't afford to let the game turn into that kind of track meet against the Orange again. They will need to play defense, try and keep SU off the boards and strike quickly, but intelligently on offense.

Syracuse is playing pretty well right now and they are mighty confident. While that trait seems to be pretty consistent with this group, their play has been backing up the confidence they have in themselves of late. In the end, they are the better, deeper and more experienced team, and that will lead to a solid win, but expect SHU to make their share of runs at them.

NBE Blogger Prediction:

Syracuse 81
Seton Hall 72


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Tuesday, March 10, 2009


March 10, 2009

Another recent rematch from two weeks ago takes place in the nightcap of the opening round of the 2009 Big East Tournament when Seton Hall faces South Florida.

Seton Hall earned the 11th seed in the conference tournament when they rallied in the second half and ended up beating Cincinnati in overtime on the road Saturday. Bobby Gonzalez's team has continued to play hard all season with just seven eligible scholarship players and will look to earn a Big East Tourney win at the Bulls' expense.

Tonight is a first for the USF program as they are competing in their very first conference tournament game since joining the Big East. Previously, the Big East only invited the top 12 finishers to Madison Square Garden for the annual 'Garden Party', but with the expansion of the conference tourament to all 16 teams, the Bulls have been welcomed in.

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

At Last, USF Bulls Feels they Belong in Big East (St. Pete Times)
Bulls Back at Garden (Tampa Tribune)
Seton Hall Enters Postseason with chip on their Shoulder (Star-Ledger)
Bulls Arrive in 'Garden' in Good Spirits (Tampa Tribune)

The Bulls are coming off a pitiful performance on Saturday afternoon when they lost at Rutgers 45-42. USF shot just 29.8% from the field as they fell to 4-14 in the Big East. While the four wins represented the most in a single Big East season for USF, they still have a long ways to go to become a challenger in this conference.

On February 25th, USF saw Seton Hall pull away from a two-point halftime lead to beat the Bulls 75-60 at the Prudential Center, just across the river from NYC in Newark (NJ). In that game, Dominique Jones (20), Augustus Gilchrist (20) and Alex Rivas-Sanchez (18) combined for 58 of the USF 60 points. Only Eladio Espinosa added another two points to the total.

The Bulls will need similar games from that trip as well as some production from Chris Howard and senior Jesus Verdejo, who has missed much of the last three weeks because of injury. Verdejo gave it a go against SHU the first time, but the Bulls second leading scorer was held scoreless in 21 minutes.

Jerem Hazell led SHU in the first meeting, scoring 20, and he also had help from Robert Mitchell (17) and Eugene Harvey (15) in the win. While the Pirates are not deep, neither are the Bulls, and the top five or six that Seton Hall will use is more talented, especially offensively.

The NCAA Basketball Odds have Seton Hall favored by 5 1/2-points tonight. This should be a relatively easy win for Bobby Gonzalez's team.

NBE Blogger Prediction:

Seton Hall 78
South Florida 68


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Saturday, March 07, 2009


March 7 , 2009

Cincinnati will host Seton Hall in the Big East regular season finale for both teams on Saturday afternoon. The Bearcats will look to finish the regular season at .500 (9-9) in the Big East and hold out hope that a few wins next week in the 2009 Big East Tournament will get them back into the NCAA Tournament discussion.

For Seton Hall, hopes of at least an NIT bid seem to be fading and a loss in this contest will certainly put those dreams to rest. The Pirates are 6-11 in the Big East, losers of five of their last six, and 15-14 overall.

Here are some pregame stories and previews found on the internet:

Unusual Senior Day for UC (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Bearcats Plan Includes more Fans (Cincinnati Enquirer)

This game will bring a contrast of style as Seton Hall will look to push the pace and outscore their opponent while Cincinnati will work for good shots and create opportunities with their defense.

One area Seton Hall can exploit Cincinnati is with their fullcourt press. The Bearcats are a little short on ballhandlers as Deonta Vaughn is forced to double as the point guard and top scoring threat, leaving him surrounded by young backcourt mates that could get in a hurry as Seton Hall pushes the pace towards frantic levels.

On the other hand, SHU does not have much depth inside and Yancy Gates is a strong freshman in the paint that could have a very big game. Even with the absence of Mike Williams, UC has size and depth in the paint.

The Pirates will have Jeremy Hazell bombing away from the outside with Eugene Harvey breaking down the defense and Robert Mitchell scoring in a variety of ways. This is a game with the amount of offensive talent SHU has, they can compete and even win if they were to dedicate themselves on defense and finding one more player to help on the boards inside.

However, in the season finale, expect the home team to be able to play the game on their terms and this will lead to a win for UC.

NBE Blogger Prediction:

Cincinnati 73
Seton Hall 67


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Thursday, March 05, 2009


March 5, 2009

Louisville fans got to send out seniors Terrence Williams, Andre McGee and Will Scott, as well as junior Earl Clark, in style as the Cards Rock a Couple of Halls (Louisville Courier-Journal) with a 95-78 win over Seton Hall last night in Freedom Hall.

Earl Clark had a career-high 27 points and added 14 rebounds, Terrence Williams finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks and Williams surpassed the 500-assist mark in the game, making him the only player in U of L history to reach 1,400 points, 800 rebounds and 500 assists. Rounding out the night's honorees was Andre McGee added 11 and Will Scott chipping in two points.

Seton Hall fell to 6-11 in the Big East and will close the regular season at Cincinnati Saturday before heading over to New York City for the 2009 Big East Tournament (& Tickets) beginning on Tuesday. The Pirates got 24 points from Robert Mitchell in the loss.


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Wednesday, March 04, 2009


March 4, 2009

Louisville has (T-)willed themselves into position to claim the Big East regular season crown and there is going to be a lot of emotion in Freedom Hall tonight as the fans take the opportunity to bid farewell to the seniors on the UL roster. They will also get a chance to honor Earl Clark, a junior, who has made his intentions of heading to the NBA after this season very clear.

Terrence Williams, Andre McGee and Will Scott will be the trio of seniors playing their final game in Freedom Hall and the Louisville faithful will be very determined to help send them out on a high note with a win over visiting Seton Hall.

The Pirates also have something to play for as they hope to do enough in the regular season to have a shot at a bid to the NIT following the 2009 Big East Tournamant next week at Madison Square Garden. The Pirates are 15-13 overall, 6-10 in the Big East, so the odds are quite slim as a win over Louisville or Cincinnati, both road games, will likely be needed prior to NYC.

Here are some pregame stories and previews on tonight's game:

Farewell to four Who Fared Well (Louisville Courier-Journal)
Louisvilleā€™s Scott Closing in on MBA, Not NBA (
UL Senior Day: Feast for the Eyes, Ears (Courier-Journal)

Last season Seton Hall upset Louisville in the Prudential Center, a fact that Rick Pitino will likely use to help motivate his squad, who last season finished one-game behind Georgetown in the regular season standings. This season, Louisville can claim at least a share of the regular season crown by beating the Pirates and West Virginia this week to close out the regular season. So, with senior night and the regular season title on the line, not to mention the possibility of a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament as well, there is plenty at stake for the Cards.

Seton Hall seemed to unravel a bit against Pittsburgh in their final home game before a sell-out crown Saturday night at 'The Rock' in Newark (NJ). The Pirates lost 89-78, but Pitt led by as much as 19 before a surge in the final minute against the Panthers' walk-ons made the final a bit more cosmetically pleasing. Seton Hall was assessed three technical fouls in the game and their frantic team personality seems to wear on opponents, officials and, even in some cases, each other at times.

The Pirates will likely try and create a frantic pace against UL and turn Cardinal miscues into quick points, usually with Jeremy Hazell firing away from the three-point line. However, unlike most nights, SHU will see a team looking to press them as well, so while the pace of the game may be in the SHU comfort zone, UL just has more players, and more talented players, to make it work for them.

The college basketball betting odds list UL as a 16 1/2-point favorite in tonight's game. With the emotion and high stakes for the Cards, expect them to put forth a strong effort, especially on the defensive end of the court.

NBE Blogger Prediction:

Louisville 85
Seton Hall 67


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