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.
That’s some high expectations, for sure.
Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com has Seton Hall at No. 10, while Rob Dauster of NBCSports.com has the Pirates just outside the Top 10 at No. 11.
With the 6-foot-2 Powell back on campus, Seton Hall returns everyone except senior Mike Nzei, while adding 7-foot-1 former Florida State shot-blocker Ike Obiagu and bouncy Canadian forward Tyrese Samuel.
Pirates coach Kevin Willard has always stressed a strong non-conference schedule in an effort to boost his team’s NCAA Tournament resume — and ultimately its seeding heading into March.
This year the Pirates will play preseason No. 1 Michigan State, as well as Maryland, Rutgers and Iowa State. The Pirates will play in the Battle 4 Atlantis Nov. 27-29 that features North Carolina, Gonzaga, Michigan, Oregon, Iowa State, Alabama and Southern Mississippi.
During four straight NCAA appearances under Willard, the Pirates have been seeded 6, 9, 8 and 10. During that span they’ve won just one game — in 2018 as an 8 seed.
In order to live up to the hype this season, Seton Hall needs to build towards a top-5 or 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament to make its life easier come March. Keep in mind the East Regional will take place at Madison Square Garden, where the Pirates won the 2016 Big East Tournament over Villanova and have traditionally done very well.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.