Carrington, Delgado Provide Star Power as Seton Hall Wins Opener | Zagsblog
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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.
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Thursday / June 13.
  • Carrington, Delgado Provide Star Power as Seton Hall Wins Opener

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    SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – Nets rookie Isaiah Whitehead sat courtside for Seton Hall’s season-opener, but two of his former classmates carried the day without him.

    On opening night in Walsh Gymnasium, the Pirates found their answer in a most familiar spot: Angel Delgado and Khadeen Carrington.

    The two juniors, who came to South Orange in the same recruiting class as Whitehead, unloaded on Fairleigh Dickinson – an NCAA tournament team last year – for a combined 49 points in the team’s 91-70 win.

    Seton Hall unveiled two banners, one for winning the Big East Tournament title, and a second for making the NCAA Tournament.

    Carrington scored 27 points, making five shots from downtown, while Delgado muscled his way to 22 points and 14 rebounds.

    With the vacancy left by Whitehead after he jumped to the NBA, attention turned to these two Pirates to step their game up. But for them, it was business as usual.

    “I didn’t take it (playing without Whitehead) as any pressure,” Carrington said. “This is basketball, I’ve been doing this my whole life. I just tried to keep the guys focused, keep them calm, and go out and get a W.”

    Delgado put up shots in volume Friday night – 15 – which led to the first 20-point game of his Seton Hall career. Centering the flow of the offense is something head coach Kevin Willard sees from his frontcourt anchor.

    “Twenty-two points is nice,” Willard said of Delgado’s performance. “He’s definitely going to get the ball more.”

    Delgado knows the responsibility he and his teammates now carry trying to replace an NBA player.

    “I’m expecting a lot,” Delgado said. “I’m expecting a lot for me, for (Khadeen), for Desi (Rodriguez), for all the guys on the team. I’m expecting a lot because we really gotta step up. There’s a lot of people not believing in us, but we really don’t care about that.”

    Playing without someone of Whitehead’s caliber does have its benefits though, as Delgado noted with a smile that “it’s good because not a lot of shots are just going to one player.”

    Responsibility is key for the Pirates as they begin their Big East Tournament title defense season. The scoring load might be bounced from guy to guy on a nightly basis, but with a major piece like Whitehead missing to start the year, it was a good sign to see more than one player step into the role of being “the guy.”

    “All these guys understand and respect what Isaiah did for them last year,” Willard said. “If you talk to them, they know it and they’ll say it. And with that respect they understand the responsibility they have to kind of step up their games. They’re not looking forward to it, they’re not trying to do it, they just know as a group ‘hey, we lost a really great player,’ and everybody’s got to take a step up.”

    Delgado said Pirates’ point guard Madison Jones – who finished his debut with 10 assists – told him “keep passing me the ball, I’m going to get you assists.”

    On banner night in South Orange, fans were eager to find out who their new star would be. With any luck, the Pirates may have found two guys to replace the one they lost as they look to defend those banners.

    Delgado seems up for the challenge.

    “I’m expecting to have two more (banners) next year, too,” he said.


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