World News – USA – Five observations of Seton Hall’s opening season loss to Louisville: Mamu’s big game, Aiken’s injury, more


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Seton Hall opened the season against Louisville on Friday. Andrew Mills | NJ Advance Media for NJ. com

After emerging from a 14-day COVID-induced layoff earlier this week, Seton Hall played his first game of the new college basketball season against Louisville in the Wade Houston Tip-Off Classic on Friday.

In the first competition of the post-Myles Powell era, the Pirates marginalized Louisville before losing 71-70 when Takal Molson missed the third of three free throws . 7 seconds left.

After Sandro Mamukelashvili tested the NBA Draft Waters and then was unanimously selected as the All-Big East Preseason for the first time, he had a big opening game for the Pirates. Head coach Kevin Willard planned to run an offensive through the 6-foot-10 senior, and he finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and two assists.

His 3-pointer put the Pirates in the lead by about three minutes on 65-62. But with the Pirates 67-66 behind, he made a tough fadeaway jump shot that was out.

Mamu had nine points and six rebounds when Seton Hall entered halftime at 38.

Jared Rhoden (11 points, six rebounds) scored two free throws to bring Seton Hall to 68-67 before Louisville took a break at 35. 5 more seconds. J. . J. . Traynor scored on a layup to bring the Cardinals to 69-68.

Seton Hall had three options near the bucket to move on after a 12 break. 1 second left but couldn’t convert. Molson was fouled 71-68 and shot a three from the left. He made two free throws after being fouled in the final second but missed the third.

If the Harvard Transfer can get back to the level it played two years ago when it was 22 on average. With 2 points in the Ivy League, this could go a long way towards making the Pirates a factor in the NCAA tournament.

The 6-foot Aiken looked pretty good physically in his first few minutes but then went down late in the first half with a sprained right ankle before walking away with some help. Fortunately, it wasn’t his left knee that he was operated on.

« I just don’t know if he can be a healthy NCAA team if he’s not healthy, » said ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla on the air.

After Aiken missed his first three shots, he scored the first points of his Seton Hall career on a beautiful swimmer in the suit and then on a free throw. He finished the 1: 4 shooting with three points.

« Bryce worked really hard getting his body physically ready to play, » Willard said in his pre-game radio interview. “I think the problem is that he just started practicing and got a few bumps and bruises and got some confidence in his knees and body. Then we shut down for two weeks, so he was probably affected more than anyone. . . . I’m just not sure what else we’re going to get from him and I think everyone needs to be really patient with Bryce. ”

Let’s face it, this was Seton Hall’s first game in 8 1/2 months and they had to deal with a 14 day break after positive COVID tests. They started training on Monday and practiced on Tuesday.

Given all of this, Willard wasn’t sure what shape his team would be in. You looked fit, but it will take time for the pirates to be in full shape. They’re playing in Rhode Island next Wednesday.

« I would say we are probably a good two weeks behind where we want to be, » said Willard before the game. « We’re going to be really easy [offensive] for the next week. . . It’s not an ideal situation, but it’s better than not playing at all. ”

Ike Obiagu, the sophomore year 2-2 man, steps into Gill’s role as primary center and shot blocker amid great expectations. It could be too much for him to replace the feat of Romaro Gill, reigning Big East Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Player who is now at Utah Jazz.

One thing is certain, however: He must avoid nasty problems as Seton Hall is not laden with bigs.

Obiagu had three fouls in the first half and his fourth early in the second. He finished with six points, eight boards, and two blocks. Sophomore Tyrese Samuel also had four fouls at the beginning of the second half and ended with three points and two rebounds.

The pirates should be No.. 1 set. 2 Baylor on Sunday at the Prudential Center, but both teams agreed to cancel the game after Baylor’s manager Scott Drew tested positive for COVID-19.

Before that, Baylor canceled both of his games at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Opposing coaches, including Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley, whose team was due to take on Baylor on Wednesday, expressed concern about the different testing protocols for the Big 12 and Pac-12.

Baylor reportedly flew to Las Vegas Thursday night to play two games against an undisclosed opponent on Saturday and Washington on Sunday.

So the bears will be playing this weekend, just not at The Rock. Seton Hall will therefore miss a golden chance in an NCAA tournament resume win. Who knows if Seton Hall would have won the game, but a win would have been a big feather in her hat heading for the big dance.

You will have plenty of opportunities for quality wins in the Big East, including two games against No.. 3 Villanova, but remember that the missed opportunity against Baylor is the seed of the NCAA tournament.

Adam Zagoria is a freelance reporter covering Seton Hall and NJ College Basketball for NJ Advance Media.

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Seton Hall Pirate Men’s Basketball, Louisville, Big East Conference, College Basketball, Kevin Willard

World News – USA – Five Observations of Seton Hall’s Open Season Loss to Louisville: Mamu’s Big Game, Aiken’s injury, more
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