Game preview: Seton Hall hosts Creighton in a top-25 gameDate: February 11, 2020
By: Christian Gardner
The Pirates are the top team in the Big East after beating Villanova on Saturday and Butler last month, this is an undisputed fact. But they do not hand out any hardware in February. The challenge is just beginning for the Pirates and with the No. 23 Creighton Bluejays coming to Newark, another win will not come easy.
The Bluejays are locked into a tie for second place in the Big East. They are hungry for a win as they are one of the hottest teams in the Big East. In the past week the Bluejays have handled the Villanova Wildcats on the road to the score of 76 - 61. They also beat St. John’s significantly in their last game 94 - 82.
The Bluejays have a prolific offense given that three times this season they have scored over 90 points. The Bluejays have four players averaging double figures led by junior guard Ty-Shon Alexander. Alexander is averaging 16.4 points per game along with leading the team in threes made. Alexander has been constant with his scoring throughout the year and has continued that trend averaging 15.7 points in the past three games.
In that St. John’s matchup, that high flying Creighton offense was on display. The Bluejays had six players finish with double figures. Alexander had his usual night with 16 points. The brunt of the Bluejays offense came from sophomore guard Marcus Zegarowski who finished with 23 points.
The Bluejays stellar backcourt will be a problem for the Pirates. However, Quincy McKnight and Shavar Reynolds will have some type of answer if the Pirates are going to win Wednesday night.
The Pirates may have the advantage defensively. The Bluejays currently are giving up just under 70 points per game. Along with that, they only have three players listed above the height of 6-feet-6-inches. The Bluejays may struggle attacking the paint given the big height disadvantage.
With the Pirates third in the nation in blocks look for senior Romaro Gill to have a big night on defense. With the trees of Gill and Ike Obiagu the Bluejays will most likely look for jump shots from outside. This is no problem for the Bluejays as they are averaging 37% from behind the arc as a team.
As for the Pirates game plan on offense another big night should be in store for Sandro Mamukelashvili. With 17 points against Villanova, look for him to go to work yet again for the Pirates. Given that Mamukelashvili is 6-10 and has found his three-point shot, he should feast against this smaller Bluejays team.
Look for the Pirates to use the pick-and-roll throughout the night. It will be working very well for the Pirates leading to either a good look from behind the arc from Mamukelashvili or an easy Gill dunk.
Tip-off is slated for 6:30 p.m. from the Prudential Center with pregame coverage starting at 6:00 p.m. hosted by Wilnir Louis and Liam Plate. On the call for the game are Jose Feliciano and Ronny Castaneda.
Christian Gardner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.