Seton Hall hopes week off gets it back on track
Entering Big East play, Seton Hall looked like a team ready to ascend to the top half of the standings.
However, the Pirates got knocked down last week, dropping a hard-fought game on the road against Villanova, and losing to Creighton by double figures on their home floor. Luckily, Seton Hall had a full week off to regroup and prepare for a pivotal game at Providence on Saturday evening.
"It's been a good week," Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard said on Thursday morning during the Big East coaches' teleconference. "It really has. As a team, I think we're still in a really good situation."
"Practicing without having to prepare for somebody" has been beneficial for @SetonHallMBB this week, says Kevin Willard.— John Fanta (@John_Fanta) January 14, 2016
Following the 82-67 loss to the Bluejays, guard Derrick Gordon called a players-only meeting. That's sort of leadership Willard expected from the graduate transfer guard; an experienced player who has been to the NCAA Tournament at both Western Kentucky and UMass.
"Derrick's been great for us," Willard added. "He's brought a great level of maturity to a very young basketball team."
Seton Hall heads into the Dunkin Donuts Center this weekend to take No. 12 Providence, which is fresh off its worst offensive performance of the season. But when you have arguably the best player in the country, you can overcome poor shooting nights. Kris Dunn was able to lift the Friars to a 50-48 win with a step-back jumper at the buzzer.
"That looked like an old-school, classic Big East game," Willard said of Tuesday night's game in Omaha.
The Pirates and Friars are set for a 4:30 p.m. (ET) start on Saturday on FS1.