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|Seton Hall Pirates
This will be a close game. Seton Hall has fared better against ranked teams, but Villanova has shown flashes of dominance against some tough opponents. Villanova lost in overtime to then No. 2 UCLA and only lost by six to then No. 6 Purdue.
Both of these teams will need to fill in for the absence of some key players. Villanova will need to step up their offensive game without Caleb Daniels, and Seton Hall will need to step up their rim protection without Ike Obiagu.
These teams are similarly good, but Seton Hall has been more consistent and only lost their second game against Providence a couple of days ago. This game will be a battle of the guards. Expect Villanova’s Collin Gillespie and Seton Hall’s Jared Rhoden to be trading baskets.
Seton Hall beats Villanova 68-63.
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|8-4 (1-1, 2nd in Big East)
|9-2 (0-1, 9th in Big East)
|Leader (Per Game)
|Collin Gillespie (16.1)
|Jared Rhoden (16.7)
|Jermaine Samuels (6.4)
|Jared Rhoden (7.6)
|Collin Gillespie (3.3)
|Kadary Richmond (3.4)
|Collin Gillespie (1.5)
|Myles Cale (1.9)
|Jermaine Samuels (0.9)
|Ike Obiagu (2.7)
|Brandon Slater (.468)
|Ike Obiagu (.667)
|Eric Dixon (.583)
|Kadary Richmond (.417)
Based on their record, the Wildcats appear to be underdogs, but they could win this game. Their record could be better, but they handled then No. 18 Xavier in their last game. They beat Xavier 71-58 in a game where four Wildcats scored 15 or more points.
Villanova shoots the ball well as a team. They are hitting 42.3% of their shots from the field and 35.8% of their three-point attempts. Luckily, they will be facing a Seton Hall team without center Ike Obiagu in this game. Obiagu’s absence will allow Villanova to penetrate and score at the rim more easily
Villanova needs to attack the basket and step up their defensive presence to win this game. The Wildcats give up almost 63 points per game. That is simply too many points when facing a high-powered offense like Seton Hall. If Villanova steps up on defense and attacks the basket a lot, they will win the game.
Many people will pick Villanova to win this game because Seton Hall lost their last game at Providence. I am not one of those people. I think Seton Hall is the better team. They do not have as many scorers as Villanova, but they hit their open shots. The Pirates are hitting 45% of their shots from the field and 31.3% of their three-point attempts.
Typically, Seton Hall protects the rim well. That is in large part to Ike Obiagu. Obiagu does not offer much offensively but is averaging 2.7 blocks per game in only 16.1 minutes. Unfortunately, Obiagu will likely not be playing in this game because of an ankle injury. Seton Hall will need to improve their rim protection without him.
In addition, Seton Hall will need to shoot the ball well and find the open man. They only average 11 assists per game. Therefore, they will need to pass the ball more and get around 15 assists. If they do so, they will pull out a close victory.
Much of this game will come down to the play of the guards. For Villanova, that means guards Justin Moore and, specifically, Collin Gillespie. Gillespie is having an excellent senior season and is highly relied upon by his team. He leads Villanova in minutes per game (34.4), points per game (16.1), assists per game (3.3), and steals per game (1.5).
Gillespie is also one of the best all-around shooters on his team. He is shooting 44.1% from the field, 87.1% from the free-throw line, and 39.6% from the three-point line.
Gillespie is a leader on this Villanova team and will need to lead the Wildcats to victory on the road. He will need to attack the rim more this game and draw more fouls. If Gillespie plays his game and attacks the rim, the Wildcats will keep this game close.
Jared Rhoden is having an excellent season. He is averaging 16.7 points and 7.6 rebounds in almost 31 minutes per game. His play has been invaluable for Seton Hall and will continue to be in conference play.
Rhoden is 6’6” and has a height advantage over Villanova’s guards. He needs to exploit this advantage in this game. If he does so, he will score many points and find the open man near the basket for an easy assist.
Rhoden is a talented player but does not pass very much. He only averages 1.2 assists per game. He will need to look for the open man more in this game. Seton Hall will get a lot of easy points that way.
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|No. 22 Villanova vs No. 15 Seton Hall Information
|No. 22 Villanova vs No. 15 Seton Hall
|Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
|Saturday, January 1, 2:00 PM EST
|How to Watch
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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