"Seton Hall will win it all. Teams just won't be able to score with Sam Dalembert and Eddie Griffin guardin' the hole. Add in 'Deadly' Darius Lane poppin threes, and you have a lot of trouble for the opposition. Only lost two players, and a monster recruiting class. WATCH OUT ARIZONA, WE ARE COMING FOR YOU!"
|11. SETON HALL
||LAST YEAR: 22-10
||'99-00 RANK: NR
|Why No. 11?: Seton Hall is the "It" team this year, picked as high as No. 1 by at least one publication due out later this month. But that's too high for us. The Pirates had the best recruiting class, but placing a No. 1 tag on them without playing a game isn't fair. The backcourt is loaded, but still needs to mesh. Ty Shine and Darius Lane were responsible for getting Seton Hall to the Sweet 16 after Shaheen Holloway went down. They return as the starters, giving the Pirates two different options at shooting guard -- a straight shooter in Lane and a slasher/deep threat in Shine. Andre Barrett should come in and start at the point, making this diminutive group tough to matchup with in the backcourt. But the Pirates go deeper with swing guard Marcus Toney-El and UNLV transfer Desmond Herod. The frontcourt is set, but still untested. Samuel Dalembert is the most feared shot-blocker in the Big East, but he's still got to improve his offensive skills before he's deemed a complete player. Eddie Griffin will come in and take some pressure off him, drawing immediate attention in the post. But he's got to play stronger, too. Greg Morton and Charles Manga add the necessary beef to give Dalembert and Griffin room to maneuver in the post.
Will Climb If: Dalembert is the real deal offensively and becomes a double-double threat; the backcourt can coexist, and Griffin meets at least three-fourths of his expectations. Griffin is being held at an unfair level, but staying on the floor and avoiding defensive mistakes is a must. Seton Hall has a good schedule to build confidence with only two potential given loss games at Illinois and against Michigan State in the Jimmy V Classic.
Will Fall If: The Pirates can't win at least one of the two marquee non-conference games, or drop a road game at Clemson or at La Salle. The Pirates need to establish themselves as a contender with at least one major non-conference win.
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