Inside The Enemy Ship: Providence Friars – Home Edition

Creepiest. Mascot. Ever.

Welcome to the latest edition of Inside The Enemy Ship, featuring recurring guest on the site, Kevin McNamara from The Providence Journal! He was kind enough to answer some questions about the upcoming game!

BBA: What do you think of the team’s 14-10? Does it accurately reflect the team?
McNamara: They let two games slip away – DePaul, St. John’s – and being 16-8 would be a major difference right now.

BBA: Who do you consider Providence’s biggest Big East rival?
McNamara:

BBA: What do you think of the Secondary Mascot concept that Providence is trying?
McNamara: I’ve given it 1.5 seconds of thought.

BBA: After their exit against Villanova in the semi-finals of the Big East Tournament last year, what do you see them doing this BET?
McNamara: If they can reach the semis for the 4th year in a row, they should hold a parade in Downtown Providence.

BBA: Record aside, who do you think is the worst team in the Big East?
McNamara: DePaul, but they’re getting better.

BBA: Who do you consider the biggest challenge to Nova in the Big East this season? What rank do you see them ending up nationally by season’s end?
McNamara: Butler is the 2nd best team. Nova will remain top 5, really benefit by injuries to Edmund Sumner (X) and Maurice Watson (Creighton).

BBA: Earlier this season, Cartwright and Bullock were both major reasons Seton Hall lost the first match up between these two teams earlier this year. Are they the two players Seton Hall should be most worried about again?
McNamara: For sure. Both must play well for Providence to go for the sweep.

BBA: What Pirates do you think the Friars should be most worried about?
McNamara: The Big Three: Delgado-Carrington-Rodriguez.

BBA: Which teams from the Big East will ultimately end up making the NCAA tournament?
McNamara: Villanova, Butler, Creighton, Xavier for sure. I can see 2 more with Marquette, PC and Seton Hall still holding chances

BBA: Final Score Prediction for the upcoming game?
McNamara: Seton Hall 72 Providence 67

Thanks again to Mr. McNamara for taking the time to talk with us! Check him out on twitter @KevinMcNamara33 and online here. These two teams tip off tonight at 8:30 from the Rock, and for those who can’t be there, you can catch it on FS1. Seton Hall hopes to remain in and around the NCAA bubble with a win, as Angel Delgado looks to solidify the title of the nation’s top rebounder! As always, Hazard Zet Forward

Advertisements

Inside The Enemy Ship: Butler Bulldogs – Home Edition

A fine career.

Welcome to the the latest edition of Inside the Enemy Ship, your exclusive look into the upcoming Seton Hall game through the lenses on the opponnet! This time, we have had the pleasure of talking to Grant Anschuetz! Check below for what he thinks about the upcoming game! [EDITOR’S NOTE: The following interview took place before #1 Villanova was upset by Marquette late last night, hence why they are referred to as undefeated in the interview]

BBA: What do you think of the team’s 17-3 record and #11 national ranking? Does it accurately reflect the team?
Anschuetz: Overall, I would say it does accurately reflect this team. Butler has proven time and time again this year they can win against solid opponents. They are 5-1 against ranked teams this year, including wins over Arizona and Villanova.

BBA: How did it feel going into overtime against DePaul after two straight wins?
Anschuetz: That game was the epitome of the saying that there are no off games in a conference like the Big East. The Bulldogs got off to such a poor start in the first half that I think there was a feeling of relief to make it to overtime and have a fresh five minutes after trailing for the majority of the game.

BBA: Who do you consider Butler’s biggest Big East rival?
Anschuetz: To me, Butler’s biggest Big East rival is Xavier. That answer is solely based off of how hostile the arena becomes whenever those two teams hit the floor, especially between fans.

BBA: Do you think the Big East has been a good home for Butler compared to the Horizon League?
Anschuetz: Yes. Although the change has led to tougher competition, the national exposure and ability to attract higher ranked recruits is a positive thing for the program.

BBA: How far do you now expect Butler to go into the NCAA Tournament?
Anschuetz: In this year’s NCAA Tournament, I believe Butler can realistically make it to the Elite Eight. With that being said, based on 2010-2011, a trip to the National Championship is not out of the question.

BBA: After last season’s early exit during the Big East tournament, what do you see the Bulldogs doing this year?
Anschuetz: I could see Butler making it at least one more round deeper into the Big East tournament. It is always hard to predict how hot a team is going to be down the stretch, but they should make it farther than last year.

BBA: Roosevelt Jones and Kellen Dunham played huge roles in making sure that Butler was the only Big East team that Seton Hall didn’t beat last season. Who is going to fill their roles?
Anschuetz: Kelan Martin, Kamar Baldwin and Kethan Savage have all performed well for the Bulldogs as of late. Senior Andrew Chrabascz is a crafty player down low and is also a great facilitator.

BBA: Which player should the Seton Hall Pirates be the most worried about meeting on the court? Why?
Anschuetz: The Pirates should be most worried about Kamar Baldwin. Specifically, the guards for Seton Hall because Baldwin is known for making big steals in big moments. His defensive presence is just as strong as his offensive presence.

BBA: Who do you consider the biggest challenge to Nova in the Big East this season? How about nationally? Butler is still the only team to beat them so far!*
Anschuetz:The biggest challenge to Villanova before the injury to Maurice Watson was Creighton. Now, I have to go with Butler since they are the highest ranked Big East team who has beaten them.

BBA: Which teams from the Big East will ultimately end up making the NCAA tournament?
Anschuetz: From the Big East, I believe Villanova, Butler, Creighton are basically locks at this point. Marquette, Xavier and Seton Hall all have a realistic chance to make it.

BBA: Final Score Prediction for the upcoming game?
Anschuetz: Final Score Prediction = Butler 72 Seton Hall 65

Once again, thanks to our new friend Grant Anschuetz for taking the time to talk to us! He can be found on twitter @Granschuetz and on Slump Sports!

Tip-off is tonight at The Rock at 8:30 PM! If you can’t make it there in person, it will be broadcast nationally on FS1. Be sure to check by later for the game recap, and as always Go Pirates and Hazard Zet Forward!

Inside The Enemy Ship: Villanova Wildcats

Villanova Parade

Welcome to the latest (and long overdue) edition of Inside the Enemy Ship! This time, we have recurring guest on the site and Villanova super-fan Steve Fortino with us to answer a few questions about the upcoming game between the Seton Hall Pirates and the #1 Villanova Wildcats!

BBA: What do you think of the team’s 17-1 record? Does it accurately reflect the team?
Fortino: I do think their record reflects the quality of the team. The team destroyed Xavier which was a top 20 team and beat Creighton which is a top 20 team. Many people don’t realize this but when Nova plays the other Philly teams, the competition is fierce and emotions run high so those games push the team as well.

BBA: Were you worried that DePaul was almost able to pull off the upset on Nova’s home court?
Fortino: Every team has an off game. The mark of a good team is can you win when you don’t play well. I think the DePaul game was a good example of that.

BBA: How far do you now expect Nova to go into the NCAA Tournament? Do you see repeating as National Champions as a legitimate possibility?
Fortino: As you know anything can happen in college basketball, especially during the tournament. Nova has been highly ranked before and lost in the 2nd round. My expectation is for them to get to the final four again. Repeating as National Champions is certainly a possibility but they need to improve defensively and of course hope that Josh Hart stays healthy.

BBA: After last season’s Big East Tournament Championship, how do Villanova and their fans feel about Seton Hall and theirs? Is Seton Hall their biggest rival in the Big East?
Fortino: Seton Hall has been a thorn in the side of Villanova basketball for the past few years and I think that has helped the rivalry. Sorry to say, I will always see G-Town as our biggest rival but that’s because since the beginning of the Big East, G-Town was always that team to beat.

BBA: Which player should the Seton Hall Pirates be the most worried about meeting on the court? Why?
Fortino: Josh Hart – Because he is the best player in country. The kid can shoot, defend and rebound. He will make a great pro basketball player.

BBA: Is the team missing Ryan Arcidiacono?
Fortino: I think Josh Hart has filled the void of Ryan. Ryan was a great leader but Josh Hart is the one player that needs to be on the court all the time.

BBA: Who do you consider the biggest challenge to Nova in the Big East this season?
Fortino: Butler may be the team to beat this year

BBA: Which teams from the Big East will ultimately end up making the NCAA tournament?
Fortino: Villanova, Butler, Creighton, Xavier are definites. I think Seton Hall and Marquette will battle for the 5th spot.

BBA: Final Score Prediction?
Fortino: Villanova – 85 / Seton Hall – 71

Thanks again to Mr. Fortino for taking time to talk with us! Tip-off is tonight at 6:30, and for those not lucky enough to be at the Pavilion in Philadelphia, it can be watched on FS1! As always, Hazard Zet Forward!

Inside The Enemy Ship: Gonzaga Bulldogs

IMG_9472

After ten years of waiting, the Seton Hall Pirates are back in the NCAA Tournament! The reigning Big East Champions are a 6-seed in the Big Dance, and drew 11-seed Gonzaga in the Midwest region! The euphoria around campus is electric, and it’s spreading around the country as well, with the Pirates being the #4 best selling college team on http://www.fanatics.com, one of the country’s largest sports merchandise retailers. Pirate fever is sweeping the nation!

In this special postseason edition of “Inside the Enemy Ship”, we had the pleasure of speaking to Andy Buhler, the Managing Editor of the Gonzaga Bulletin. Check below for his thoughts on the upcoming game!

BBA: When the regular season started, where did you see Gonzaga going? After 17 straight NCAA tournament appearances, it must be expected at this point, right?
BUHLER: With a preseason No. 9 ranking, a front court dubbed by many as the country’s best and a lot of young talent seemingly poised for a high output right off the bat, there was nothing to dissuade anyone that Gonzaga would put itself in the position it did of having to win the WCC Tournament to secure an auto-bid. But after the loss of Karnowski, a true defensive treasure, the slow early play of the guards and a lot more losses than expected, it appeared as though the wheels might be falling off. That said, when the regular season started, I still saw Gonzaga coming full circle as a starting five and making the tournament. Those top six guys did that, and then some down the stretch.

BBA: What do you think of head coach Mark Few’s comments that the rest of WCC is “dragging the top three down”?
BUHLER: He’s certainly not wrong. I’m sure it’s frustrating having two real perennial competitors each year in conference play. A co-worker, Bulletin sports editor Josh Horton, put it nicely saying “Three teams compete for the top three spots year in and year out. The other six play for fourth.” Four WCC coaching jobs are vacant, so those programs, and the conference by extension, are at a critical juncture.

BBA: Do you think two time All-WCC first team Kyle Wiltjer has a future in the NBA?
BUHLER: At least a three-year future, yes. Regardless, though, Wiltjer has a long career in store in Europe — that, I’m quite sure of. I see him going in the second round and second rounders usually get a guaranteed contract. But it will be tough in those three years for him to create a need for his skillset. A lot of guys can score the ball and aren’t a defensive liability. I see guys like Ryan Anderson, though, and see a glimmer of hope for him.

BBA: How big was the loss of center Przemek Karnowski in December?
BUHLER: Catastrophic. It really would be a different season with him. I don’t think a lot of folks realize how much he impacted the game when he was on the floor from a defensive standpoint. Not to mention his leadership has certainly been missed.

BBA: What was the highlight of Gonzaga’s regular season?
BUHLER: Beating BYU in the Marriott Center on their senior night to close out the regular season. At that point, the Zags were 0-3 against Saint Mary’s and BYU and fresh off a loss at SMU. The scenario of having to win the conference tournament in order to go dancing was starting to look like a legitimate possibility, and at the very least, it needed momentum. Beating BYU in its own house, in what was a gutsy, gutsy win was definitely the highlight.

BBA: Heading into the NCAA Tournament, what are the expectations for the ‘Zags?
BUHLER: I really think now that the 18-year streak is still going, that a first-round exit would not be the end of the world for the Zags. But I know the team expects more and there are a lot of people, myself included, that believe Gonzaga can and will beat Seton Hall.

BBA: Before drawing Seton Hall, was the school common knowledge on the West Coast?
BUHLER: I can’t speak for the entire West Coast, but I had to google the university when they got the draw. I had no clue where it was. I knew it was in the Big East, and the impressive run to close out that conference tournament with wins over Xavier and ‘Nova caught my attention. But I can’t say I’ve seen an entire Seton Hall game.

BBA: Who should the Pirates be most worried about meeting on the court?
BUHLER: A rolling tandem of Wiltjer and Sabonis if Delgado gets in foul trouble. Those two are the team’s on-court leaders and can alter the momentum of any game. If Delgado is on the bench with fouls, the Pirates should be worried.

BBA: Which Seton Hall players do you believe Gonzaga should be most worried about on the court?
BUHLER: Isaiah Whitehead. WCC DPOY Eric McClellan will check him, as will Silas Melson off the bench for spells, but his impact on the game, motor and skill-set should raise concern in the scouting report.

BBA: What is the key for Gonzaga to win this game?
BUHLER: Few-to-no turnovers from McClellan and Perkins and shooting around 50 percent from the field as a team.

BBA: Final Score Prediction?
BUHLER: *Gulp* 78-75 Zags.

BBA: Anything else we should know about Gonzaga?
BUHLER: Starting PG Josh Perkins is from Denver and this will be his first time playing in Denver in three years. Also GU’s fan base travels really well.

While we respectfully disagree with Mr. Buhler’s prediction of a Bulldogs victory (BBA predicts a 77-70 win for the Pirates), we can’t thank him enough for lending his time and expertise to the site! Give him a follow on Twitter @a_buhla, or check out his work on The Gonzaga Bulletin.

The Pirates play in Denver on St. Patrick’s Day, with a 9:57 PM tip-off. For all those Pirates who are still on the East Coast, you can catch every moment on TRU TV, or via the the official NCAA March Madness apps. Now, more than ever, Hazard Zet Forward.