The Seton Hall Pirates were picked to finish seventh in the Big East for the 2022-2023 season in the conference preseason poll released during Big East Media Day on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.
The Pirates come into the season fresh off another NCAA Tournament appearance but without head coach Kevin Willard who took the same position at the University of Maryland. Former Seton Hall star Shaheen Holloway came home to take the head coaching job after leading Saint Peter's to the Elite Eight in last year's NCAA Tournament. While the Peacocks' magical run was historic, Holloway is just looking ahead to leading the Pirates.
"When you get the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament and make the run like we made to the Elite Eight, for me, I'm hungry now. Now I want the Final Four, I want the National Championship. That's the goal, to continue to keep building. I'm in the best conference with the best coaches in the country so I have to step my game up."
As Holloway starts the season, he comes with an experienced player in KC Ndefo. The three-time MAAC Defensive Player of the Year transferred from Saint Peter's to join his former coach in South Orange. His addition is a blessing for Holloway, as Ndefo's experience playing under the fiery coach will help his new teammates learn what is expected on the floor.
"KC is older, more mature. He isn't a vocal leader. He's more of a lead-by-example leader. He's been talking to these guys about what to expect with me. That's been big for us and big for them. KC do what KC do. He does a lot of stuff that does not show up on the stat sheet and that's the type of stuff I'm looking for him to bring to Seton Hall."
In addition to Ndefo, the Pirates have an emerging star in junior guard Kadary Richmond, who was named to the Preseason All-Big East Second Team. Richmond will be leaned on this season with a roster of five transfers and three freshmen, but Holloway believes that Richmond's game can get better after he averaged nine points and four assists last season.
"The key to unlocking Kadary is him. He's got to understand that him being in college for three years, there's certain expectations. He wants to be at the next level, you have to prepare to be at the next level. I think he's starting understand that now. We got a bunch of guys at practice that play at a high level every single day that push and I think that's going to help him."
Heading into his first season at the helm, Holloway will be looking to establish his brand of basketball at Prudential Center and gave a preview of what Pirate fans can expect when Seton Hall takes the floor every game.
"They are going to see a group of guys that just play hard. Scrapin', clawin', playing a brand of basketball that I think the fans are going to love. When you think about Seton Hall, I think Seton Hall is blue-collar. That's what our guys are going to represent. We ain't out there to be pretty. We out there to get the job done by any means necessary.
Seton Hall opens the season against Monmouth on Nov. 9th at Prudential Center.
2022-23 Big East Preseason Coaches' Poll
- Creighton (8) 98
- Xavier (2) 86
- Villanova (1) 85
- Connecticut 77
- Providence 62
- St. John's 52
- Seton Hall 44
- Butler 36
- Marquette 32
- Georgetown 21
- DePaul 12
First-place votes in parentheses.