Two days later than planned, Seton Hall will make its season debut on Friday, and it’s anybody’s guess what to expect.
After a two-week COVID-19 pause due to positive tests within the Pirates’ program, the Hall will have had just three practices to prepare for a season-opening showdown at Louisville in the ACC program’s multi-team event. It’s uncertain who will start and who will be available. Expect a lot of mixing and matching from coach Kevin Willard.
This much is known: It will be a major test for a program that had plenty of question marks even without the layoff. There is a completely new backcourt after Myles Powell and Quincy McKnight graduated, and there is a new starting center now that Romaro Gill is gone.
A lot is expected of Harvard grad transfer Bryce Aiken, who only had a handful of practices after missing a good portion of the preseason due to a knee injury. Takal Molson, a sit-out transfer from Canisius, will have a big role, too, after only being able to practice a year ago.
Sandro Mamukelashvili, an All-Big East preseason first-team selection, is being asked to be one of the Pirates’ new go-to guys, along with senior Myles Cale and junior Jared Rhoden. The roster is talented, yet somewhat unproven. On-the-fly adjustments will need to be made, especially without any scrimmages or exhibition games to work out the kinks.
Starting with a trip to Louisville is a tall task. Doing so coming off a two-week pause with only a few practices to get ready likely will make it even tougher.