Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Angel Delgado Notches 14th Double-Double as Seton Hall Scores Key Big East Win Over St. John’s
NEWARK — Angel Delgado backed down Tariq Owens on the block midway through the second half and overpowered him for a soft layup off the glass.
Owens was giving up about 40 pounds to the 6-foot-10, 240-pound Delgado, who over-matched and over-powered Owens and the entire Red Storm front line to the tune of 21 points and 20 rebounds in a 86-73 Pirates’ win at Prudential Center.
It was the Big East’s first 20-20 game since Providence’s Jamine “Greedy” Peterson in 2010. Delgado’s 14th double-double ties him for third nationally.
“It feels great, that was my dream,” said Delgado, adding that he had a 19-point, 19-rebound game as a freshman. “As soon as I came to the school, I say one day I gotta get 20 and 20, and I did it. I feel great right now.”
Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard initially took Delgado out when he had 19 rebounds and then inserted him after Delgado said, “Please, put me back in.”
“He looked like Moses Malone tonight to me,” St. John’s coach Chris Mullin said.
“He carves out space and keeps it. He’s got good hands, takes his time. Any time you get 20 points and 20 rebounds, you do a lot of good stuff so he’s pretty solid.”
Said Willard: “He’s our workhorse, he does it every game. He’s been playing fantastic basketball. We gave him three days to get his legs [rested] and I think it really helped him.”
Freshman guard Myles Powell added 19 points in the win on 7-of-12 shooting. Desi Rodriguez scored 11 points, Khadeen Carrington had 10 points and 8 assists and Michael Nzei added 10 points.
It was a must-win game for Seton Hall, which snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 13-6, 3-4 in the Big East entering Wednesday’s tilt with Butler.
Marcus LoVett (22 points) and Bashir Ahmed (19) combined for 41 points for the struggling Red Storm (9-12, 3-5), who lost for the fifth time in six games.
Delgado, a native of the Dominican Republic who has become a fan favorite, is playing like a first-team All-Big East selection and will need to continue that trend for the Pirates to return to the NCAA Tournament after winning the Big East Tournament championship last season.
He entered the day leading the Big East in rebounding at 12.0 per game. The next-closest player is DePaul’s Tre’Darius McCallum with 7.2.
Delgado should get a shot at making an NBA roster, but may have to impress at the Portsmouth Invitational if he comes out after his junior season.
Chris Chavannes, Delgado’s old coach at The Patrick School, said about half a dozen NBA teams have reached out to him this season, including the San Antonio Spurs.
“He’s an under-sized four with limited athletic ability,” one NBA executive said. “He has ability and is a good college player.”
“Obviously, he’s a work in progress, but he’s right in the middle of the action,” one veteran NBA scout told the Asbury Park Press recently. “He’s big, strong, tough, a natural rebounder. He’s an NBA rebounder, no question. He has the size, the toughness, he’s a natural double-double guy.
“What he’s very good at is put-backs, and that’s important. Those guys are hard to find. His offensive skill set needs work. Right now, he’s a second-round pick, but with improved offense, he could move into the first round.”
The scout added: “This guy, there’s not a lot of guys, 6-10, 240, that want to play to contact and do what this kid can do, but it’s obvious where he needs the work.”
For his part, Delagado is just focused on getting more wins and moving toward the NCAA Tournament. Oh, and notching more 20-20 games.
“This is another level,” he said, “now I’m trying to get it every game.”
KEY RECRUITS WATCH SETON HALL ROLL
Seton Hall had several key recruits on hand, including the Class of 2018 Hudson Catholic trio of Jahvon Quinerly, Luther Muhammad and Louis King and the Patrick School trio of Jordan Walker, Al-Amir Dawes and Valdir Manuel.
The 5-9 Walker, who is a senior but is considering attending prep school in 2017-18, has played brilliantly of late, winning MVP honors in the Celtics’ win Monday over Wendell Carter and Pace Academy (GA) at the Hoophall Classic and then going for 22 points in Friday’s win over rival Roselle Catholic.
“In the competitive recruiting market in the tri-state area with all these talented young men, anytime Seton Hall can defend their homecourt and come away with a win, it helps,” Patrick School assistant Ayton Branch said.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.