Cardiac Hill Big East Basketball Preview: Seton Hall Pirates

The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

The Big East basketball preview rolls on with the Seton Hall Pirates

Returnees:Seton Hall will enter the 2013 season without their two leading scorers from last year in Herb Pope and Jordan Theodore. Coach Kevin Willard, former Pitt backup guard, will try to build on the NIT appearance from last season even without his two stars. Fuquan Edwin took major strides between his freshman and sophomore seasons and there is hope he can make another big jump in his game. At 6-6, Edwin is able to be a factor in rebounding as well as being a top scorer. Aaron Cosby had a respectable freshman campaign but his ball handling responsibilities may grow this season with Theodore gone. The post will certainly miss the presence of Pope. Patrik Auda and Brandon Mobley are the top top candidates to see the most minutes down low. Both players averaged four rebounds apiece in 2012, and those numbers should increase. Freddie Wilson and Haralds Karlis are two reserve guards that may see some minutes.

Newcomers: Kevin Williard did not bring any new recruits for the 2012 class, although Seton Hall will have three transfers added to the mix. Brian Oliver returns home to New Jersey after two seasons in the ACC with Georgia Tech. Oliver had a big sophomore season in 2011 averaging 10 points per game and he will make a major impact to this team. Kyle Smyth played three seasons at Iona. He is a 6-4 guard and will have to see some time at point guard. Gene Teague is another New Jersey native that is coming home. He played two seasons at Southern Illinois, and his 6-9 frame will help the inside presence. The lone freshman on the roster is Tom Maayan. He is a relatively unknown commodity that is coming over from Israel, so it's hard to gauge what kind of impact he will have.

Final Outlook: Seton Hall is trying to make their first NCAA tournament since 2006 and this season does not look much better. The Pirates have some talented players, and some intriguing newcomers, but they will have a tough time cracking the top half of the Big East standings. Edwin and Oliver could be poised for big seasons, but the lack of a true point guard and a stable post game will end up hurting Seton Hall in the end. This team does not have a senior on the roster, and this could be a season to grow.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics.

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