Men's Basketball Preview - Seton Hall Pirates

WATCH NOW - Media Day Interview with Jeff Robinson
WATCH NOW - Media Day Interview with Jeremy Hazell

The Big Picture:
The Pirates have turned to Kevin Willard as their new head coach. After three successful seasons at Iona, Willard takes over a Seton Hall team that finished 19-13 overall, 9-9 in the BIG EAST, and made the NIT. His first Pirate club will have five players who were at least part-time starters a year ago. If some newcomers can fit in smoothly, Willard may have The Hall moving up the BIG EAST ladder.
Who's Back: Guard Jeremy Hazell was third in the BIG EAST in scoring last year, averaging 20.4 ppg. He made 3.1 3-pointers per game, which was a league high. Hazell was an All-BIG EAST Second Team selection. Forward Herb Pope won the league rebounding crown with an 11.1 average in conference games. The 6-8 junior averaged 10.7 boards overall to go along with an 11.5 scoring mark. Forward Jeff Robinson became eligible in late December and was an immediate factor, averaging 12.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and shooting 53.6 percent from the floor. Guard Jordan Theodore played mostly at point guard. The 6-0 junior averaged 9.3 ppg and was an effective defensive pest. Senior guard Keon Lawrence (4.1) made 13 starts. Senior guard Jamel Jackson (4.8) and sophomore forward Ferrakohn Hall (2.4, 1.7) both played a little more than 10 minutes per game.
Who's Missing: Eugene Harvey enjoyed a solid career at point guard and finished third on the school's all-time assist chart. Last season, he averaged 8.5 points and 4.6 assists. Forward Robert Mitchell averaged 8.4 points and 3.8 rebounds. Center John Garcia averaged 3.3 points and 3.5 boards while starting 16 games.
Storylines: The Pirates were second in the BIG EAST last year in turnover margin (+3.19) and Willard would like to see that efficiency continue this season. The Pirates, already with experienced players at each position, got a late summer boost with the addition of guard Eniel Polynice, a transfer from Mississippi who is eligible to play immediately. Last season, he averaged 8.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and a team-leading 3.9 assists for the Rebels. The other four newcomers are all freshmen. Fuquan Edwin is a 6-6 swingman. The others will contend for playing time in the frontcourt: 6-9 Patrik Auda, 6-11 Aaron Geramipoor and 6-8 Anali Okoloji.