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Beginning Monday, June 21st, 2004 CHN began unveiling 144 Team previews in 144 Days. CHN ranked the nations top 144 teams, and is unveiling one per day leading up until the opening day of the 2004-05 Season.


Bookmark the 144 Teams in 144 Days home page, and check back each day to see which team is previewed next.

#59 Seton Hall Pirates
Big East
2003-04: 21-10, 10-6, 6th
2003-04 postseason: NCAA 2nd Round

Joel Welser

The Pirates return four of five players who averaged over ten points per game last year, but that one player did so much more then just put points on the board.  Andre Barrett was the team leader on the floor.  It will be interesting to see how Louis Orr’s squad reacts without their point guard leading the way.  Returnee Donald Copeland and newcomer Justin Cerasoli will have to take over the spot.  Neither are proven point guards at this level, but should be able to manage with help from their teammates.

Who’s Out: The aforementioned Barrett averaged 17.3 points and 5.9 assists last year.  The 5-10 Bronx, NY native was a solid defender as well, nabbing 1.4 steals per outing.  Marcus Toney-El started all 31 games for the Pirates.  The 6-6 small forward had a solid career in East Orange, scoring 6.4 points and grabbing 4.9 rebounds per contest his senior season.  Damion Fray never quite got things going at Seton Hall, but was still a good option off the bench.  The 6-8 forward only averaged 9.1 minutes in 16 outings as a senior.  Sparingly used Eric Davis, Jamar Wise, Jerel Cokley and Kevin Greer have all either run out of eligibility or left the Pirates basketball program.

Who’s In: It is hoped in South Orange that Justin Cerasoli can step up and immediately become the starting point guard.  The highly touted Aurora, Illinois native may not be able to do that right away but should at least see significant playing time.  At 6-5, if he can develop as the point, he’ll have a major height advantage on most defenders.  With his height, Cerasoli can also play anywhere on the perimeter.  Shooting guard Brian Lang will add even more depth to the backcourt.  The Pirates wanted to get some more help in the frontcourt as well and they got their man in 6-10 power forward Marcus Cousin.  During his senior season of high school, Cousin wasn’t highly recruited until late in the game due to an ankle injury.  He could end up to be a great pickup for Louis Orr.

Who to Watch: Forward Kelly Whitney still has quite a bit of room to improve but his numbers are still pretty good.  As just a sophomore last year the 6-8, 240 pounder averaged 13.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks.  He plays well with his back to the basket and has plenty of strength and athleticism.  Whitney’s jumper is decent, but has room for improvement.  He could be a better rebounder on both ends of the floor, but still managed to lead the team in that category.  The Chicago product is an intimidating presence on the defensive end and should become even a better shot blocker as his career at Seton Hall progresses.

Projected Conference Rank: A tough conference, and the questions around the point guard with Andre Barrett leaving town, will drop the Pirates down a couple spots from last year.  If a point guard can step in and be half as productive as Barrett, then Seton Hall could be fighting to get back to the NCAA Tournament.  It is too much to ask that from a freshman though and an 8th finish with a trip to the NIT is more likely this year for the Pirates.

Projected Post-season Tournament: NIT

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Email Joel Welser: jwelser_chn@ameritech.net

Chat About CHN's Top #144 Ranking: http://pub14.ezboard.com/fcollegehoopsnetfrm8

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