Monday, December 22, 2008

Popkin, Mitchell Not Enough; Hall Loses 70-64

What was supposed to be a nice peaceful evening listening to the Prodigal Son and Gary Cohen announce an easy Seton Hall victoryA turned into an actual nightmare. The Hall travelled south this evening to take on James Madison University in what should have been a rather winnable OOC game. Instead, James Madison came out swinging and led at one point by 21 points in the first half. Overcoming their second straight sluggish start, the Hall battled back in classic Hall form, overcoming the 21 point deficit with a combination of steals, three point daggers and pressure D. However, it just wasn't enough.

For the third straight game, Seton Hall relied heavily on their "sprint squad," playing with four guards and Robert "Stix Mitchell" as their "center." Stix actually single handedly kept the Hall in the game, putting up 23 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. However, there is no possible way that Stix can be expected to matchup with the likes of Harangody, Thabeet and Onuaku. Mike Davis and Brandon Walters were virtually invisible tonight playing a combined 20 minutes and zero collective minutes in the second half. With John Garcia out for the next few games, Seton Hall is going to have to learn how to play its young big men, especially when BIG EAST play begins. If Davis and Wawa cant grow a pair of mitts soon, it will be a long, long season for the Pirates - even when John Garcia does return.

Gonzo's reluctance to use either of his backup big men forced him to turn to walk-on Matt "O' Say" Cajuste for a few minutes to spell Paul Gause as he fixed his knee brace. If that's not a slap in the face to Wawa or Davis, I'm not sure what is. Maybe it's a wake up call. Maybe it's the extra motivation they need. The point is - in order to compete in the BIG EAST, Gonzo is going to have to call upon either Mike Davis or Brandon Walters, even when John Garcia does return from his inury. Garcia can not be expected to play day in and dayout on two surgically repaired knees against some of the biggest bodies in college basketball. He is going to need help and someone is going to have to step up. Since I'm not eligble to play yet, it's going to have to be someone else....Ben...??

The other thought that Ben and I kept having was how on earth will Seton Hall compete with the top teams in the BIG EAST if they have to scramble to come from behind against the likes of Delaware, Cal Baptist, IUPUI and James Madison? If they can be go down by 21 to James Madison, what will happen when they play Louisivlle? Or UConn? I've heard many say that Seton Hall plays to its competition. Well that may be true, but where is the mental toughness? If they were to play a high school team, would they lose by 40?

In the lone bright spot of the evening, Ben and I were able to add a new nickname to our list. At roughly the nine minute mark of the second half, the Prodigal Son was true to his name when he coined the nickname "Eu-Genius" in reference to one of Eugene Harvey's circus layups. "Eu-Genius..?" No, Dave Popkin, you're a genius.


Anonymous said...

Y'all don't listen enough. Popkin's been calling Harvey "Eugenious" for three years.

Chris said...

Yep, his freshmen year he was called that on one of the TV telecasts. said...

Sucks man...seems like you guys are in the same boat as we are. Going to be a tough Big East season. Hey at least our game should be a good one! By the way I live in NY so I should be able to hit up the Rock for SHU-PC. Do you guys go to all the games?


Anonymous said...

Great Column! Should be required reading for each member of the Team and, dare I say this, for GONZO too. And, while we're on the subject of motivation, let's tack a copy to the Bulletin Board to avoid those lackluster starts. By the when can we catch the next game on local radio or TV? Happy Holidays and, remember, April 6th will be here all too soon! !

Leptonia said...


I broke it off with Marty. You are all an Irish girl can ever want. I'll be at the bar downstairs everyday at 5 o-clock waiting for you.

-Your Little Leprechaun