Fuquan Edwin

Fuquan Edwin, Russ Smith

Assigned Reading: Sports Illustrated’s ‘The art of the steal’

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I really enjoyed “The art of the steal” by Sports Illustrated‘s Brian Hamilton on Thursday, which broke down many of the nation’s best at producing steals.

The piece takes an in-depth look into the thought process and methodology of players such as Jordan Adams at UCLA, Briante Weber at VCU, Fuquan Edwin at Seton Hall and Shannon Scott at Ohio State — to name a few of the players profiled — as they attempt to swipe the ball from an opposing player.

I particularly liked the Fuquan Edwin passages and the introduction of The Fu Effect, in which Seton Hall picks up their defensive energy, as a team, after Edwin makes a great defensive play, even though Fuquan needs to cut his fingernails.

The Fu Effect also may prompt medical assistance. Edwin notes that his fingernails tend to grow long, so when he swipes at the ball, he often leaves a mark for opponents or even teammates to remember him by. One Seton Hall player received a red slash on the face from one of Edwin’s forays. Edwin understands his teammates get frustrated, and he laughs about how they complain about him playing dirty. He believes he’s a Pirate in every sense, taking what’s yours and making it his in practice in order to ensure he can do so in a game. The best in the nation at boosting the ball are wired for it. They never emerge from stealth mode.

Players that play — and swipe — with long fingernails are the worst to deal with and knowing that information makes it easier to see why Edwin is one of the best in the Big East defending on the perimeter. Not only does Edwin have great hand-eye coordination, but his nails could potentially cut you open at any time. Nobody wants to deal with that.

And fingernails don’t just “tend to grow long”, Fuquan, they require cutting or biting. CBT is on to your Pirate tactics…

There are plenty of other great parts in this article about other players’ approach to the defensive end, and you can find the full Hamilton piece for Sports Illustrated here.

Seton Hall rolls past Lafayette, Gene Teague suffers scary injury to head

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The result of tonight’s game between Seton Hall and Lafayette was never in doubt. The Pirates got out to a 47-15 lead at halftime, and the only question was whether they would double up Lafayette’s score. They didn’t, but the final score was 90-58 — a true throttling from the opening tip to final buzzer.

The story of the game from quaint Walsh Gym — Seton Hall’s 2,600 on-campus arena — won’t be the game itself, but rather Gene Teague.

Teague was having himself a game (18 points and 11 rebounds) up until a scary injury left him on the ground motionless for about 15 minutes. Teague received a pass from Fuquan Edwin, and while he left his feet attempting to lay the ball home, he was undercut by Lafayette forward Dan Trist with 14:43 remaining in the second half.

It wasn’t a dirty or malicious play at all, just a very unfortunate one. Trist was lying on the ground after attempting to take a charge from Edwin, and Teague’s left leg collided with his shoulder, resulting in a nasty spill.

Teague was taken off on a stretcher with his forehead taped down so as to prevent any movements. With the game in hand, the only thing that mattered the rest of the night was Teague’s well-being. Fortunately, reports began to surface that it wasn’t an injury to Teague’s neck, but rather a head injury with a probable concussion.

Willard has since confirmed these reports:

Teague has been a monster for Seton Hall in the front-court this season. The transfer from Southern Illinois, who is now in his second year with Seton Hall, has recorded a double-double in six of his last seven games.

It remains to be seen how long Teague will be sidelined for, but this certainly is a big blow.

Seton Hall has already dealt with their fair share of injuries and issues this season. Sterling Gibbs returned tonight after suffering a knee injury against St. Peter’s that caused him to miss the following game against Eastern Washington. The Pirates have also coped with injuries to Patrik Auda and Edwin. Not to mention, Tom Maayan also had to leave the program to rejoin the Israeli army.

The Pirates didn’t figure to really factor into the Big East race this season, but with how well Teague had been playing, along with a tough back-court consisting of Gibbs and Edwin, Seton Hall would have posed a threat to teams.

Seton Hall now has to prepare for Big East play, which begins next Tuesday at Providence.

Seton Hall PG Sterling Gibbs to return against Lafayette

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Thirteen days ago when starting point guard Sterling Gibbs went down with a knee injury in Seton Hall’s overtime loss to Saint Peter’s, fans feared the worst. With Fuquan Edwin (ankle) and Patrik Auda (foot) already dealing with health issues, Kevin Willard’s team could ill afford another injury to one of the key members of the rotation.

But the program received “good” news, as it was ruled that Gibbs had suffered a hyperextended and bruised knee that was expected to keep him out one to two weeks. During the Big East coaches’ teleconference on Thursday morning Willard announced that his starting point guard will be able to play tonight when the Pirates host Lafayette. With Edwin and Auda having returned, Seton Hall will be close to complete against the Leopards. Forward Aaron Geramipoor remains out due to an ankle injury.

In 11 games the Texas transfer is averaging 16.1 points and 4.0 assists per game, leading the Pirates in both statistical categories. The loss of Gibbs became an even greater concern when Tom Maayan had to return to his native Israel to complete his three-year military requirement, which was another blow to Seton Hall’s perimeter depth.

Gibbs missed just one game, a 92-70 win over Eastern Washington, with starting guards Jaren Sina and Brian Oliver playing 35 and 34 minutes respectively. Those two combined to score 30 points, with Sina also dishing out eight assists without a single turnover.

Win over LIU Brooklyn comes at a cost for Seton Hall as Fuquan Edwin goes down

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Seton Hall established a season high for points in a game on Thursday night in their 92-81 win over LIU Brooklyn, with Brian Oliver knocking down eight three-pointers and scoring a game-high 26 points to lead the way offensively. In total four Pirates scored in double figures, but the win may have come at a cost as leading scorer Fuquan Edwin went down in the first half with a sprained right ankle.

Edwin will undergo an X-ray on Friday, and the results will determine just how long the senior from Paterson, N.J. will be out of the lineup. According to head coach Kevin Willard, Edwin could be out a couple weeks as a result of the injury.

“Your best player is hurt, it’s gut-check time,” Oliver said. “Our team responded well.”

Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said Edwin “is going to be out at least a week or two” pending X-ray results Friday. The versatile wing, who averages 15.3 points per game, sprained the same ankle last winter but managed to mostly play through it.

Losing your best player is a tough blow at any point in the season, and Seton Hall will need to make some adjustments in advance of their game against in-state rival Rutgers on Sunday night. A positive to take out of their win over LIU was the production Seton Hall received from Oliver and forward Brandon Mobley, who scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 33 minutes of action.

Regardless of what happens with Edwin, the Pirates need options other than he, point guard Sterling Gibbs and center Eugene Teague (17 points and 16 rebounds vs. LIU) to emerge if they’re to exceed the preseason expectations as they were picked to finish eighth in the Big East. Mobley and Oliver will need to produce consistently, and freshman guard Jaren Sina will need to do so as well.

Seton Hall is … actually not bad?

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From Nov. 20th thru Dec. 1st, I’ll be on the road, hitting 21 games in 11 days. To follow along and read my stories from the road, click here.

NEW YORK — Seton Hall’s basketball program is not exactly the powerhouse that it was during the P.J. Carlisiemo years. We laugh and we joke and we tweet out things like “Seton HaLOL”, and while it may be mean, the Pirates haven’t exactly done anything that would make those tweets seem inaccurate.

That’s what happens when you’ve made the tournament all of three times in the last 19 years.

You’d be forgiven if you couldn’t name a player on the Seton Hall roster. No one will make fun of you if you have already written off the Pirates in the new Big East. Hell, before today, I probably would have said the same thing.

But you know what? Seton Hall isn’t a bad basketball team, and I realize how silly that sounds right now considering that I’m saying this on the night that they beat ACC cellar-dweller Virginia Tech 68-67, one night after they blew a five-point lead in the last 36 seconds to Oklahoma and one week after they lost to Mercer in double-overtime.

I get that.

But I also get that this team is one epic collapse against Oklahoma and one double-overtime road loss to the Atlantic Sun favorite from sitting at 6-0 right now.

And I’ll also tell you this: Seton Hall looks better than you probably think they do. Kevin Willard actually has some talent on his roster, especially on his perimeter. FuQuan Edwin is a legitimate NBA prospect as one of the nation’s best defenders and a knock-down three point shooter. Sterling Gibbs has been one of the country’s biggest beneficiaries of the new foul rules. Tom Mayaan is a steady presence at the point, and Jaren Sina has the ability to come off the bench and score 13 points in a half, as he did on Saturday. Throw in Georgia Tech transfer Brian Oliver and senior center Gene Teague, and there is actually some reason to be optimistic in South Orange.

“We’re not dependent on one guard like we were last year,” Willard said. “It’s made these guys life easier. Eugene gets doubled every time and FuQuan gets every team’s best defender.”

The better news came after the game, when Willard told reporters that Patrick Auda’s latest exam revealed that the worst-case scenario — he bent the screw in his surgically-repaired foot — may be out of the question, which could mean he’ll be back in a month. That’s big.

Is it enough to turn the Pirates into a tournament team?

Well, probably not.

But if there is one thing we know about the Big East this season, it’s that we don’t know anything. I can make a valid argument that any of the league’s top seven teams can win the conference regular season title, especially now that Marquette and Georgetown looked closer to ordinary than they do elite. That also means that the Pirates won’t have many easy nights on their schedule.

My point, however, is that this season, Seton Hall won’t be one of those easy nights.

The Pirates are not going to be a pushover, and as depressing as it may be, that’s actually an improvement from recent years.

Mercer outlasts Seton Hall in double overtime, 77-74

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It took them two overtimes to get it, but the Mercer Bears picked up a win against a major conference opponents on Saturday afternoon.

Led by 24 points and five assists from Langston Hall, Mercer knocked off Seton Hall in double-overtime, 77-74. This came on the heels of a three-point loss Mercer suffered at Texas on the season’s opening night.

Hall took over the game down the stretch, as he scored 19 of his 24 points after the under-four timeout. He hit clutch free throw after clutch free throw, and was Mercer’s entire offense down the stretch.

The Bears have a bit of a chip on their shoulder this season. They won the Atlantic Sun last season. They’re the favorites to win the Atlantic Sun this season. But the only team you ever hear about from the conference is Florida-Gulf Coast. You don’t think these kids are motivated to make a name for themselves? The Bears still have trips to Oklahoma and Ole miss and will host Denver. They play FGCU on January 23rd and February 21st.

Seton Hall wasted a career-high 35-point performance from Fuquan Edwin, who just so happens to be one of the most wasted talents in the country.