Who is gone:
Kyle Smyth – expired eligibility – 25.5 MPG, 5.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 2.1 APG
Aaron Cosby – transferred – 31.2 MPG, 12.6 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 3.0 APG
Kevin Johnson – transferred – 7.9 MPG, 2.5 PPG, 2.0 RPG
Freddie Wilson – transferred – 5.4 MPG, 1.4 PPG
There were high hopes for Cosby as he was expected to be the team’s point guard after moving over from shooting guard last year, but it didn’t go as planned. He decided to transfer at the end of the season and has landed with Illinois. The loss of Johnson to transferring is a blow to the front court depth. Wilson was constantly in coach Willard’s doghouse who barely saw the court in his 1+ year and is another point guard who decided to transfer. And Smyth, who transferred from Iona with 1 year of eligibility remaining, was a solid player, but never developed into the 3-point threat that some thought he would.
Who is back:
Fuquan Edwin – Guard/Forward – 32.3 MPG, 16.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.9 APG, 2.4 SPG
Eugene Teague – Center – 28.4 MPG, 11.2 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.5 APG
Tom Maayan – Guard – 21.5 MPG, 1.8 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.4 SPG
Brandon Mobley – Forward – 21.4 MPG, 9.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG
Brian Oliver – Guard/Forward – 23.9 MPG, 7.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.0 APG
Patrik Auda – Forward – 25.4 MPG, 7.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.2 APG
Haralds Karlis – Guard – 17.4 MPG, 2.8 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.0 APG
Aaron Geramipoor – Center – 7.6 MPG, 0.9 PPG, 1.7 RPG
The Pirates were riddled – absolutely riddled – by injuries last year. Auda, a starter, only played in five games before breaking his foot. Mobley, another starter, played in 22 games before missing the remainder of the season due to a shoulder injury that required surgery. Oliver and Johnson both missed time, and others played with nagging injuries. Coach Willard was excited about last year’s squad due to its depth, but that excitement was quickly derailed.
All but Johnson return, and coach Willard will no doubt be hoping for better injury luck this year.
Edwin, a swingman, is the team’s top returning scorer and one of the few Pirates to play in all 33 games last year. He’ll be one of the most versatile players in the conference given his offensive capabilities, but he is also one of the country’s best thieves.
Teague, who is not overly big or the most skilled with the ball, does give the Pirates an inside presence that allows them to throw the ball down low. Willard would like for him to step up this year to meet his expectations of becoming a difference maker that commands constant attention and double teams. Last year he was often sloppy and seemed to lack assertiveness from time-to-time.
Maayan, who was thought to be lost to a mandatory commitment to the Israeli military, is back after-all. He will provide sound point guard depth and plays excellent defense for the position, but offers little in terms of scoring.
Oliver, who can play at Shooting Guard or Forward, brings his scoring abilities and positional versatility back to the squad.
Jaren Sina: 6-foot-2 Point Guard
ESPN’s 91st ranked recruit and 22nd ranked PG
Rivals.com’s 121st ranked recruit and 27th ranked PG
Rashed Anthony: 6-foot-8 Center
ESPN 2-star recruit
Stephane Manga: 6-foot-6 Small Forward
Hakeem Harris: 6-foot-1 Shooting Guard
Sterling Gibbs: 6-foot-2 Point Guard
Transfer from University of Texas
Probable Starting Lineup:
Sterling Gibbs, PG
Fuquan Edwin, G
Brandon Mobley, F
Patrik Auda, F
Gene Teague, C
It’d be difficult for Seton Hall to be as unlucky with injuries this year as they were last. Coach Willard had high expectations for his team in year 3 of his tenure after just missing the NCAA Tournament the previous season. He lost some key starters from the year before, but the experience and depth returning in his pivotal third year were enough for him to be bullish.
Things didn’t go as planned and he will no doubt be expecting a better season this year. He returns talented pieces in Edwin (especially), Teague, Mobley and Mayaan and welcomes two talented guards in Gibbs and Sina. The Pirates will win their fair share of games in the Big East, but they don’t seem to have the talent spread across multiple positions to compete with the upper tier of the league. I could be wrong as Willard is an under-rated coach who was dealt a bad hand last year, but another bumpy season seems to be on the horizon.