Feb. 24, 2017
Are the Pirates Back?
Are the Pirates back? Did they ever go away? Or to paraphrase the legendary Dennis Green, are the Pirates who we thought they were?
No one has a definitive answer on that. However, one play in the closing minute of Seton Hall's 87-81 win over Creighton made those who follow the program wonder if the best is yet to come from this junior-laden SHU squad:
Khadeen Carrington's improbable slide/steal/dunk highlighted a career night for the 6'4 guard. Carrington scored a personal best 41 points (including 18-22 from the foul line) while adding 7 assists and committing just 1 turnover.
"More than anything, I love how efficient he was," coach Kevin Willard said after the game. "He rebounded, he defended. That was the best game I've seen him play from an all-around standpoint. I just think his efficiency was off the charts."
Career high in points aside, this is the version of Carrington that people around the program were hoping to see all season. Though his ball handling and decision making have been shaky at times down the stretch of games, there was no evidence of that Wednesday night. The Brooklyn native scored 10 points in the final 41 seconds of the contest, including 6-6 from the foul line.
Meanwhile, Angel Delgado continues to make a push for All-America honors, as he registered his 20th double-double with 17 points and 17 rebounds against Creighton's freshman phenom center (and potential NBA first round pick), Justin Patton.
A dozen NBA scouts showed up to The Rock tonight for Justin Patton. They left with a handful of Khadeen Carrington and Angel Delgado. #shbb— Dennis Chambers (@DennisChambers_) February 16, 2017
This Seton Hall performance couldn't come at a better time. The first of a pivotal three game home stand, the Pirates now prepare for a battle with #2 Villanova on Saturday afternoon (12:30 ET, FOX) followed by Xavier next Wednesday (7:00 PM, FS1) at Prudential Center.
A win on Saturday would be type of signature win SHU needs to solidify their bid for the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Though the Pirates lost to the Wildcats 76-46 at The Pavilion on January 16 this year, it will be Seton Hall's 69-67 win over VU at the 2016 Big East Tournament Championship that will be on the minds of the Pirates.
How far this team goes depends on Carrington's confidence as a ball handler and on-court leader. If he can emerge as the type of combo guard Isaiah Whitehead was down the stretch last season (21.5 ppg, 5.8 apg over his last 15 collegiate games), look for the Pirates to dance again this March.