A Seton Hall beat writer breaks down the Pirates ahead of their matchup with Maryland

Anthony Cowan's teammates celebrate with the guard after Maryland basketball's 59-58 win over Illinois on Dec. 7, 2019. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

After a two-game conference stretch, the Maryland Terrapins hit the road to face the Seton Hall Pirates. Seton Hall defeated the Terps last year in College Park but have stumbled out of the gate this season. Ahead of the highly anticipated non-conference clash, we reached out to Tyler Calvaruso of The Setonian to learn more about the Pirates. Our conversation has been lightly edited for clarity.

 

How will the loss of Myles Powell impact Seton Hall?

It’s hard to put into words how big of a loss Powell is for Seton Hall. It’s always hard when you lose an All-American who can score in bunches, but for Seton Hall, a loss like that is compounded by the fact that its offense goes off the rails without Powell on the floor. Seton Hall looked lost against Rutgers once Powell went down and never recovered. Not having Sandro Mamukelashvili didn’t help in that regard, but without Powell, it’s tough for Seton Hall to put points on the board and stay competitive. Powell is also the Pirates’ undisputed emotional leader. Without him, this team might not be able to get up for a team like Maryland — even in front of its home crowd.

Who do you expect to step up to fill the role that Powell has played?

To be honest, nobody can really step up and fill the role Powell plays for Seton Hall. Nobody on the roster has a skillset that can replicate what Powell does on and off the ball. If someone is going to come close to doing what Powell can do, it’s going to have to be either Quincy McKnight or Myles Cale. Those are the two most talented scorers on the roster with Powell and Mamukelashvili out. They’re going to have to up their production against Maryland if Seton Hall wants to have any chance at winning.

Who has stepped up in Mamukelashvili’s absence?

Nobody. I’m not being facetious when I say that either. Legitimately nobody on Seton Hall’s roster has stepped up with Mamukelashvili out. Jared Rhoden and Tyrese Samuel have tried, but they simply have not gotten the job done and the Pirates have suffered tremendously as a result.

What went wrong in the Pirates’ loss at Rutgers?

Everything that could possibly go wrong in a basketball game went wrong for Seton Hall against Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights came out on fire and Powell went down early. Seton Hall’s offensive sets were non-existent, the Pirates couldn’t get a stop, turned the ball over on what felt like every other possession and got dominated on the glass to the tune of a 46-29 rebounding advantage in favor of Rutgers. It was just one of those games where the Pirates couldn’t get out of their own way and Rutgers was up for the task. It’s not ideal when it happens in a rivalry game in a raucous environment, but that’s the way the cookie crumbled for Seton Hall last weekend.

Seton Hall wins if…

One or two players step up and score, the Pirates force turnovers, defend well and shoot the lights out. Frankly, I don’t see most of, if not all of what I listed, happening. This team is in serious trouble without Powell and Mamukelashvili.

Maryland wins if…

They avoid a poor shooting night like the one at Penn State and take care of the ball. If Maryland avoids self-inflicted wounds against a Seton Hall team that finds itself in dire straits, it won’t have much of an issue emerging victorious.

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