Vanderbilt vs Seton Hall Preview

Vanderbilt vs Seton Hall

The 20th-ranked Seton Hall Pirates were expecting to be playing for the NIT Tip-Off Championship today, but that came crashing down yesterday with a 75-74 loss to Rhode Island. The Pirates trailed by 11 points early, rallying back and then losing on a running jump shot by the Rams’ Jarred Terrell with five seconds left.

Seton Hall (4-1) will play Vanderbilt (2-3) in the third-place game. The Commodores lost to Virginia 68-42 in the other semifinal game Thursday.

Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard was most disappointed in his team’s defense beyond the arc and lack of playmaking ability when it counted against Rhode Island.

“I was a little disappointed by our energy level,” Willard said. “I don’t understand why. Just one of those things. They came out and were more aggressive on the defensive end. We’ve got to stop looking for fouls (to be called).”

Seton Hall totaled nine assists on its 30 field goals made. The Pirates had 15 turnovers.

“That’s something I’m very disappointed in. That’s not how we’ve been playing. We’ve been passing the ball well,” Willard said. “We just put our heads down. It’s everybody, not one person. We didn’t get many inside-out looks.

“Myles Powell (team-high 21 points) got off to a great start and we stopped trying to find him.”

It did not help that freshman point guard Jordan Walker missed his first game because of a torn hand ligament. He is expected to be out at least three weeks.

Vanderbilt on the other hand, comes in after an embarrassing 26-point loss to Virginia–a game in which the Commodores made only 12 field goals and shot 23.1 percent from the field, 22.2 percent from 3-point range.

Guard Matthew Fisher-Davis led the Commodores with 11 points.

“We were missing shots early, and they made some shots,” Vanderbilt head coach Bryce Drew said. “Virginia is not a team you want to get behind on, especially early, because they are hard to come back on. We had some looks, but then they did a great job contesting.”

Drew’s better days are ahead at Vanderbilt. The former Valparaiso coach received two commitments recently from five-star high school players Simi Shittu (a 6-foot-9 power forward) and Darrius Garland (a point guard from nearby Brentwood, Tenn.).

For now, Vanderbilt will try keep up with Seton Hall after dismal performances by both on Thursday.

“Seton Hall is really good, really tough and plays really tough defense,” Drew said. “It will be a really good challenge.”

Prediction

Seton Hall gets back in the win column with a solid victory over a decent-but-not-great Vanderbilt squad.

Seton Hall 75 Vanderbilt 66

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