Wow. Simply incredible.
In an overtime masterpiece that featured some clutch lay-ups from Nunu, a couple huge jumpers from Laing, and even a charity stripe prayer of a “bank shot” from St. Augustine Okosun, Seton Hall pulled out a gritty victory over Rutgers in Piscataway, 84 - 71. There’s a ton to analyze about the game, but we’d be remiss if we did not first address one burning question sure to be on everyone’s mind:
HAS ANYONE SEEN BRANDON WALTERS?
Considering the Hall’s lack of depth at the forward position, it’s been surprising over the course of the season that freshman big Brandon Walters hasn’t seen more playing time. But last night, his absence was nothing short of astonishing. With fellow big men John Garcia and Mike Davis both fouling out of the game with more than seven minutes left, and St. Augustine fouling out shortly thereafter, we all expected that Walters would see some significant minutes. How wrong we were. Opting instead for a four-guard lineup, Gonzo kept Walters beside him on the bench for the entire rest of the game, including the overtime session.
We presume that when Gonzo was recruiting Walters out of powerhouse Lincoln high school, he must have liked his game enough to warrant giving him a scholarship. So what’s happened? Why this lack of faith? It goes without saying that freshmen rarely see a lot of playing time, but it’s not just that Walters isn’t getting minutes. He also isn’t getting seconds, or even fractions of them. Over the course of watching almost an entire season of Seton Hall hoops, I can honestly only remember one play that Walters has made in all that time: it was a game against Morgan State, and he received the inbounds pass, pivoted once (which was unnecessary since the opposing team had stopped pressing a long time ago), and passed back to Harvey. It was just one play, a sheer instant in time, but at the time, I remember thinking that this pivot marked a big step forward for him, even though technically it was not a step. How wrong I was then, how wrong, how wrong…