Game preview: No.13 Seton Hall opens Battle 4 Atlantis against No.11 OregonDate: November 27, 2019
By: Justin Morris
The Seton Hall men’s basketball team will take on the No. 11 Oregon Ducks in the first matchup of the Battle 4 Atlantis tonight at 9:30 p.m.
The Pirates were again listed at No. 13 in this week’s AP poll, and with few key losses from teams ahead of them, coupled with a huge win against Oregon, they can easily find themselves in top 10 rankings very soon. The location of the games is absolutely beautiful. Paradise Island (fittingly named) in Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas overlooks a gorgeous ocean front, and the Pirates got to enjoy all of the views, and culture the city had to offer in their first night in the country. Paradise is far from what they’ll see in the tournament’s field, once the games begin. Six top 50 teams loom in the tourney, and four are in the AP’s most recent top 15.
The weight of these matchups cannot be understated; Oregon is the first ranked opponent the Hall has faced since the Michigan State thriller, and if they defeat the Ducks, they’ll move on to face No. 8 Gonzaga, and could see projected top-three pick Cole Anthony and the UNC Tar Heels if they defeat the Zags.
They’ve been on a hot streak since their bout with the Spartans, blowing out each of their opponents afterwards. They breezed past Saint Louis 83-66, and dominated Florida A&M in their second game at the Rock 87-51. The Pirates got almost a week off after each of these games, but there will be no breaks to be head in this battle; and it has the most implications they’ve dealt with all year.
“I don’t like the setup of the tournament,” Seton Hall’s head coach Kevin Willard said after their win against Florida A&M, “I think it’s too much.”
He spoke on the hectic schedule they’ll have to face if they win; having to play another game the following morning if they’re victorious in the opener.
That wasn’t the only thing he wasn’t happy with after A&M. Willard praised the performances of many of his players including Jared Rhoden and Tyrese Samuel, but he was unhappy with the play of Sandro Mamukelashvili, who he replaced early in the matchup. He also didn’t like the start they got out to, saying that playing fast early on would be critical against an opponent like the Ducks
Oregon is undefeated on the season, and has a ranked victory against No. 16 Memphis, who was heralded for their stellar recruiting class coming into the season. They’ve also got impressive wins over Houston, and scored 106 points in a beatdown of Boise State.
Score points is exactly what they do, and the Pirates will have to contend with their lead guard Payton Pritchard, who’s averaging over 19 a game and is projected to be a lottery pick. Anthony Mathis and Shakur Juiston, who is friends with Myles Powell will also be key contributors on the offensive end. The game projects to be high scoring, and neck in neck till the end, but whoever can make their mark on the defensive end is likely to come out victorious.
89.5 FM WSOU has all of the coverage for Wednesday night’s game against Oregon beginning at 9:15 p.m. On the call for the game in Nassau, Bahamas, are Jose Feliciano and Dalton Allison.
Justin Morris can be reached at email@example.com.