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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

July 26th, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball



Seton Hall Pirates

Overall Rank: #110

Conference Rank: #14 Big East


2005-06: 18-12, 9-7, 7th

2005-06 postseason: NCAA


A trip to the NCAAs wasn’t enough for Louis Orr to keep his job at Seton Hall.  Bobby Gonzalez will take over the Pirates after being the head man at Manhattan.  The recruiting news is already good and Seton Hall fans are looking forward to a more consistent product in South Orange, New Jersey.


Who’s Out: The Pirates lose their top two scorers in Donald Copeland and Kelly Whitney.  Copeland led the squad with 16.1 points and 4.5 assists per game last season.  Whitney tacked on 15.2 points and a team high 7.9 boards.  The transfers of big men Marcus Cousin and David Palmer leaves many questions regarding the depth up front.


Who’s In: The only help coming in up front is from redshirt freshman John Garcia.  The 6-9 power forward played in five games last season before succumbing to knee injuries.  Garcia will be the first big man off the bench and could find himself in a starting role if he can overcome the nagging injuries.  The perimeter will be dynamic with the addition of Eugene Harvey, Larry Davis and Kashif Pratt.  Harvey is a quick, pass first point guard who will be starting right away.  He’s a solid defender, but the outside shot could use some work.  As a freshman, he will be just fine dishing off to the scoring options.  Davis, a 6-3 shooting guard, has great range and will always look to take the big shot.  If scoring becomes a problem, Davis can provide a spark off of the bench.  Pratt is a solid prospect at small forward and will add some depth on the wings.

Who to Watch: Grant Billmeier and Stan Gaines aren’t the most intimidating names you’ll see in the Big East, but that duo will be asked to do a lot in the paint.  Billmeier, a 6-10 center, averaged 3.8 points and 3.5 rebounds last year.  The senior always works hard, yet he can only do so much against opposing centers in the conference.  Gaines is a solid defender and averaged 4.8 points and 3.9 boards last year for Seton Hall after transferring from Minnesota.  The pair will have to hold down the frontcourt, along with redshirt freshman Garcia.  If Garcia has any more injury troubles, the frontcourt is in big trouble.


Final Projection: Jamar Nutter will have to do most of the scoring and he was a key part to the success of the Pirates last season.  During that successful run, he proved that he could be a reliable scorer and the pressure to get to the hoop and make the big shots will fall on him.  He has some help in the backcourt with Paul Gause and Brian Laing.  Gause showed flashes of brilliance as a freshman and will likely see minutes backing up the point guard and shooting guard spots.  Laing, a 6-5 wing, has slowly progressed into a solid player and will be asked to increase his scoring this season.  With a freshman point guard and questions in the frontcourt, Seton Hall is back down in the lower half of the conference.  An NIT bid isn’t totally out of the question if Harvey and Garcia are ready to play like seniors instead of sophomores.  An NCAA bid is about as likely as it was a year ago, and we all know how that worked out.


Projected Post-season Tournament: none


Projected Starting Five:

Eugene Harvey, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season

Jamar Nutter, Senior, Guard, 12.1 points per game

Brian Laing, Junior, Guard, 5.8 points per game

Stan Gaines, Senior, Forward, 4.8 points per game

Grant Billmeier, Senior, Center, 3.8 points per game

111 Pacific » Complete List » 109 Arizona State

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