|3:30 PM PT4:30 PM MT5:30 PM CT6:30 PM ET11:30 PM GMT7:30 PM 北京时间4:30 PM MST6:30 PM EST, Nov 5, 2019
Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey Attendance: 1,655
Powell, No. 12 Seton Hall ready to go vs. Wagner
Ever since Seton Hall guard Myles Powell announced May 29 that he was holding off his NBA aspirations for another year and returning to school, the anticipation has been building for the No. 12 Pirates.
Expectations are the highest they have been since the end of the P.J. Carlesimo era for Seton Hall, which is projected to win the Big East, and Powell is expected to be the league's player of the year. The quest begins Tuesday night when it hosts Wagner at Walsh Gymnasium in South Orange, N.J.
"It's exciting for the players, it's exciting for the program, but at the same time it's also a huge challenge," Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said last month at Big East media day. "We got to stay focused and we got to stay humble. It's something we talked about as a team: How did we get to this moment?"
Powell announced he was coming back for his senior season in a common way used by athletes for big announcements -- social media. He tweeted a photo of himself with the caption, "Guess who's coming back," and did so shortly before the deadline to withdraw from the draft.
Powell and the Pirates are seeking a fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, and Seton Hall enters this season with its highest ranking since Jan. 12, 2001, under Tommy Amaker. The last time Seton Hall was the Big East's preseason favorite was 1992-93 when Terry Dehere was the projected player of the year and won the award.
Seton Hall has not won the conference's regular-season title since that season.
Last season, Powell averaged 23.1 points, scored at least 30 points eight times, and enters the season 831 points shy of Dehere's school record of 2,494.
Besides Powell, Seton Hall returns three starters in junior guard Myles Cale, junior forward Sandro Mamukelashvili and senior guard Quincy McKnight, along with its entire reserve unit from a team that finished 20-14 and finished with an 84-68 upset loss to Wofford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Pirates will not be coached by Willard on Tuesday. Willard was suspended for at least two games due to an NCAA investigation, and assistant Grant Billmeier will coach again after doing the same in last week's exhibition game.
Tuesday's game also is a tune-up for a loaded nonconference schedule. After hosting Stony Brook on Saturday, the Pirates will face top-ranked Michigan State on Nov. 14, 15th-ranked Oregon on Nov. 27 and No. 7 Maryland on Dec. 19.
Wagner is projected to finish ninth out of 11 teams in the Northeast Conference under coach Bashir Mason, who is 123-96 in seven seasons at the school.
The Seahawks lost their top two scorers, Romone Saunders (16.5 points per game) and Elijah Davis (12.2), from last year's 13-17 team and are incorporating 10 new players into the mix including several transfers, while Nigel Jackson will likely be among their top scorers.
"It's motivation," Jackson said at NEC media day of the low expectations. "We've been picked third, not too high last year. I'm not too big on where they pick us but being picked that low is definitely motivation for me and the guys."
The Seahawks are facing Seton Hall for the third straight season and visiting the Pirates for a second straight season opener. In last year's season-opener, Powell scored 30 points on 10-of-13 shooting as the Pirates shot 57.1 percent in an 89-49 rout.
--Field Level Media
Updated November 4, 2019