Seton Hall looks to put its worst game of the season behind it when Columbia pays a visit Thursday and could receive a boost with 6-8 junior forward Ismael Sanogo returning to the lineup. The Pirates committed a season-high 23 turnovers against five assists, shot 38 percent from the field including 2-for-17 from 3-point range and recorded a season low for points in a 66-52 loss to Stanford in the AdvoCare Invitational on Sunday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Sanogo, a 6-8 junior forward, is expected back after missing two games with a shoulder injury and must resume providing a strong presence in the paint to help slow down Lions 6-10 senior forward Luke Petrasek (17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds). Seton Hall junior guard Khadeem Carrington is second among Big East players in scoring at 21.7 points per game, but coach Kevin Willard needs more. "Obviously Khadeen scored the ball well,'' Willard told reporters Sunday. "But I’ve got to get with him over the next week or so. He’s getting in the lane; he’s got to know who’s on the floor with him and he’s got to find guys. He’s scoring the ball great, but he’s so much more of a player than that.” Columbia, which won the 2016 CollegeInsider.com Tournament, alternated wins and losses this season after falling to Hofstra 88-86 on Tuesday when Petrasek recorded a career-high 27 points while shooting 11-for-16 from the field (3-for-3 from 3-point range).
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ABOUT COLUMBIA (3-3): Junior guard Nate Hickman raised his team-high average to 19 points after scoring 21 versus Hofstra and shoots 50.7 percent from the field, including 14-for-30 from beyond the arc. Petrasek also leads the team in rebounding (7.8 per game) with sophomore forward Lukas Meisner (6.2 rebounds) the only other Lion averaging more than 3.3 rebounds. Freshman guard Mike Smith (9.8 points) recorded 18 assists in the last four games, raising his club-best average to 3.3.
ABOUT SETON HALL (4-2): Angel Delgado, a 6-10 junior forward, is the only Big East player averaging a double-double (11.8 points, 10.2 rebounds) because he is the only one in the conference grabbing 10 or more boards per game. Desi Rodriguez, a 6-6 junior forward, is also strong at both ends of the floor (14.7 points, 7.8 rebounds) while freshman guard Myles Powell (13.2 points) is the only other Pirate averaging double-figure points. Carrington produces 2.3 assists per game -- the second-highest average on the team to senior guard Madison Jones' 3.8.
1. Seton Hall owns a plus-5.2 rebounding differential while Columbia is minus-2.1.
2. The Pirates are last among Big East teams at 11.7 assists per game.
3. The Lions, who were picked to finish fifth in the Ivy League preseason poll, haven't won an Ivy title since 1968.
PREDICTION: Seton Hall 80, Columbia 72