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!

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Champions of New Jersey

The Seton Hall Pirates took on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Friday in the Garden State Hardwood Classic. The Pirates came in at 9-2 while Rutgers came in at 11-1. The Pirates were the reigning champions of NJ and would take home the trophy again with a 72-61 victory.

The Pirates did not have a good first half at all. Five minutes into the game and the two teams combined for just 6 points. Rutgers was the team in control in the first half. While the Pirates looked lethargic, the Scarlet Knights built a solid lead. Rutgers entered the locker room with a 32-23 lead.

The Scarlet Knights were led by Nigel Johnson who had 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists in the first half. Corey Sanders chipped in 6 points and a block. Jonathan Laurent led the team on the glass with 6 rebounds. Rutgers shot 34.6% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc in the first half.

The Pirates were led by Angel Delgado who had 4 points and 8 rebounds in the first half. Khadeen Carrington and Desi Rodriguez each scored 6 points. Ismael Sanogo grabbed 6 boards in the first half. Seton Hall shot 24.2% from the field and 16.7% from beyond the arc in the first half.

The Pirates were a much different team in the second half. They cut into the lead for the first few minutes of the half. The major difference in this half was that the Pirates exploited the match up down low with Angel Delgado. The Pirates would take their first lead with 12:15 remaining after a Delgado bucket. From there the two teams would be in a dog fight. They exchanged the lead on multiple occasions. Seton Hall would take the lead for good with 6 minutes remaining and go on to open the game up. In the end the Pirates would come away with a 72-61 victory.

Rutgers was led overall by Corey Sanders who had 17 points and 2 assists. Nigel Johnson had a solid game with 16 points and 4 rebounds. Deshawn Freeman led the way on the boards with 11 for the Scarlet Knights. Mike Williams chipped in 7 points and 5 rebounds. Rutgers shot 36% from the field and 30% from beyond the arc for the game.

The Pirates were led overall by Angel Delgado who had 19 points and 16 rebounds. He was named the Joe Calabrese MVP of the game. Khadeen Carrington added 20 points and 2 rebounds. Desi Rodriguez chipped in 13 points while dealing with foul trouble. Ismael Sanogo had a huge game with 16 rebounds and numerous hustle plays. Seton Hall shot 38.1% overall and 35.7% from beyond the arc.

With the loss the Scarlet Knights drop to 11-2 on the season. Rutgers will head to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers on December 27. The Pirates improve to 10-2 with the victory. They will now begin Big East play on Wednesday as they travel to take on Creighton.

Check out the PPI below to see how each player fared. We will have full coverage of the Creighton game. Until then, Hazard Zet Forward.

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Pirates Decimate Delaware

The Seton Hall Pirates were back in action on Saturday at the Prudential Center to take on the Delaware Blue Hens. The Pirates came in with a record of 8-2. Delaware came into the game with a record of 5-4. Seton Hall would come away with an 81-68 victory.

The Pirates led the game from the opening tip and would lead throughout the half. Seton Hall got the lead up to 10 at one point and maintained a consistent 7-9 point cushion. With 5:10 remaining in the half, a Myles Powell bucket gave the Hall a 10 point lead. In the end the Pirates would enter halftime with a 34-26 lead.

The Blue Hens were led by Anthony Mosley in the first half. He had 8 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists. Ryan Daly added 8 points and a pair of rebounds. Cazmon Hayes and Eric Carter led Delaware with 4 rebounds each. The Blue Hens shot 31% from the field and 12.5% from beyond the arc in the first half.

The Pirates were led in the first half by Angel Delgado who had 10 points and 8 rebounds. This was despite tweaking his ankle before the game. Khadeen Carrington added 7 points and Ismael Sanogo chipped in 5 rebounds in the first half. Seton Hall shot 44.1% from the field and 28.6% from beyond the arc in the first half.

The Pirates came out strong to start the second half. They built on their lead and grew it to 14 points with 13:10 to go in the half. The rest of the half was a bit sloppy for the Pirates. The game never seemed in doubt, but it also didn’t feel like the Pirates were playing their best. The highlight of the second half was a huge dunk from Desi Rodriguez. The Pirates would ultimately come away with a 81-68 victory over Delaware.

Delaware was led by Anthony Mosley who had 21 points and 5 assists. Ryan Daly had a solid game with 19 points and 7 rebounds. Cazmon Hayes and Eric Carter grabbed 6 and 5 rebounds, respectively. The Blue Hens shot 40% from the field and 25% from beyond the arc.

The Pirates were led overall by Angel Delgado who had another double double with 22 points and 15 rebounds. Madison Jones had a great game with 15 points and 4 assists. Desi Rodriguez added 12 points and Khadeen Carrington chipped in 10 for the Hall. Ismael Sanogo grabbed 8 boards for the Pirates. Seton Hall shot 46.4% from the field and 38.9% from beyond the arc.

With the loss the Blue Hens fall to 5-5 on the season. They return home on Tuesday to take on the Marist Red Foxes. The Pirates improve to 9-2 on the season with the victory. They will now take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Friday at the Prudential Center in the Garden State Hardwood Classic.

Check out the PPI below to see how each player performed. We will have full coverage of the Rutgers game on Friday. Until then, Hazard Zet Forward.

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Pirates Down South Carolina

The Seton Hall Pirates were back in action Monday as they took on the South Carolina Gamecocks in the UnderArmour Reunion at Madison Square Garden. The Pirates came in with a record of 7-2 while South Carolina came in at 8-0. The Pirates would hand the Gamecocks their first loss of the season, defeating them 67-64.

The Pirates did not come out strong in this game. Sloppy play and turnovers plagued the Pirates early on. South Carolina took advantage early on and opened up a 7-2 lead. Seton Hall fought back and then exchanged buckets with South Carolina for several minutes. The Gamecocks looked like they were beginning to open up the game towards the end of the half. An 8-0 run gave them a 25-17 lead with 6:54 remaining in the first half. The Pirates cut into the lead but South Carolina would take a 34-27 lead into the locker room.

The Gamecocks were led by PJ Dozier in the first half. He scored 12 points and had a pair of steals. Maik Kotsar led the Gamecocks on the glass with 5 first half rebounds. Chris Silva was second on the team with 5 points in the first half. South Carolina shot 44.8% from the field and 28.6% from beyond the arc in the first half.

The Pirates were led by Angel Delgado in the first half. He scored 7 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Khadeen Carrington had 7 points and Ismael Sanogo led the Pirates with 6 rebounds. Myles Powell chipped in 5 points and 5 rebounds. Seton Hall shot 25.9% from the field and 25% from beyond the arc in the first half.

The Pirates faced an uphill battle early on in the second half. South Carolina refused to relinquish the lead. But, with 11:30 to go in the half the Pirates tied it up. From there the two teams were back and forth and provided a great half for the fans at MSG. With 31 seconds to go South Carolina tied the score at 64. The Pirates would not let the game get away though. Desi Rodriguez shook a defender and powered home a layup with 10 seconds to go that would ultimately be the difference in the game. The Pirates handed South Carolina their first loss of the season by a score of 67-64.

The Gamecocks were led overall by PJ Dozier who had 20 points and 5 rebounds. Chris Silva had 11 points and 9 rebounds before fouling out in the second half. Hassani Gravett chipped in 11 points and Maik Kotsar added 7 rebounds. South Carolina shot 38.6% from the field and 31.3% from beyond the arc.

The Pirates were led by Khadeen Carrington who had 21 points on the night. Desi Rodriguez had the winning bucket and scored 16 points overall. Angel Delgado had another double double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Myles Powell chipped in 11 points and Ismael Sanogo grabbed 12 rebounds. Seton Hall shot 34.5% from the field and 25% from beyond the arc.

With the loss South Carolina falls to 8-1 on the season. They will now head to Tampa, Florida to take on South Florida on Saturday. The Pirates improve to 8-2 with the victory. They will be back at the Prudential Center on Saturday to take on the University of Delaware.

Check out the PPI below to see which players stood out. We will have full coverage of the Delaware game on Saturday. Until then, Hazard Zet Forward.

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