Seton Hall Pirates vs. St. Joseph’s Hawks Pick & Prediction MARCH 20th 2024

Seton Hall coach Shaheen Holloway decided that if his team didn’t make the NCAA Tournament, the Pirates’ starters would make the call on whether to accept a bid to the NIT.

That exact situation played out over the weekend, and the players decided unanimously that they’d surge forward into the NIT, beginning with Wednesday’s home date against Saint Joseph’s in Newark, N.J.

“For those guys to sit in a room and be mature enough to have a conversation and say, ‘We want to play,’ I was happy to hear that,” Holloway said. “Because I was super sad for those guys and my heart was broken for them (that they didn’t make the NCAA Tournament).”

All five starters for top-seeded Seton Hall (20-12) are seniors or postgraduate players, which should give the team an advantage in experience against the eighth-seeded Hawks (21-13).

The Pirates have three players averaging double figures, led by Kadary Richmond (16.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 2.1 steals). Dre Davis chips in 14.7 points and 5.8 boards, while Al-Amir Dawes adds 14.0 points with a team-high 72 3-pointers.

“I’m super proud of my guys for understanding that for some of these guys, this is their last go-round,” Holloway said. “Guys like Al and guys like Jaden (Bediako), they’re done with eligibility. Guys like Kadary, Dre and Dylan (Addae-Wusu), they’ve still got eligibility (as postgrads next season), and still don’t know what they’re going to do.”

Of course, any decisions regarding the transfer portal will wait until the Pirates are through with their postseason.

They entered the Big East tournament having won seven of 10, but fell to St. John’s in the quarterfinals. Still, they boasted a solid resume highlighted by a 15-point win over UConn, the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The Hawks, meanwhile, lost to VCU in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament but still posted their most wins in a season since 2015-16 (28-8 record). Erik Reynolds II (17.0 points) is the team’s leading scorer and knocked down 108 3-pointers. He committed only two turnovers in 110 minutes in the A-10 tournament.

“It was a tough feeling,” Rasheer Fleming, who had eight points and 12 rebounds, said after the loss to VCU. “But we’ll be back.”

Fleming (10.9 ppg) is Saint Joe’s leading rebounder at 7.5 per game.

–Field Level Media

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