Originally posted on College Chalktalk  |  Last updated 2/22/13
Credit: Seton Hall Athletics Communications NEWARK, NJ – Injuries are part of the game. Trite, but true. Coaches have to deal with them, make personnel and technical changes almost on the fly. In a conference unforgiving as the Big East, not being at full strength can have a significant impact. This a simple fact: once the ball is tossed up your competition is not going to feel sorry for you. The losses are piling up. now eight straightffor Seton Hall to be exact. The last victory, a late January decision over South Florida. Their Big East record stands at 2-10. Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard by admission is not totally frustrated. Despite putting an injury depleted squad on the floor, Willard still believes there is a certain way to play. Following Tuesday’s 67-46 loss to Marquette at the Prudential Center, Willard promised by next season “there will be some changes.” In what area? “We need toughness,” Willard said. ’We need the toughness to respond when someone is making a 25-1 run on you. We need guys to give us that type of toughness.” At halftime, Seton Hall was tied at 27 with the 19th ranked visitors. In those all important first four minutes after intermission, Marquette prematurely ended a few Hall possessions forcing a turnover. On their own end, the Golden Eagles found the outside range to lead 40-33 at the 16 minute mark. They never looked back. “Kevin Willard is a very good basketball coach,” praised Buzz Williams the Marquette mentor. “What Kevin has gone through with injuries, I don’t know of a coach who would be able to handle that situation.” Specifically, the Hall personnel pool is drained. No matter the defense or offense run, there is no way to fully compensate for these losses. Williams admitted as late as game day morning shoot around  he had no idea who would be starting for Seton Hall. It was almost a case of getting on the bench and waiting to see who was taking the floor in pre-game introductions. As it played out, Willard was decimated in this contest to the point of playing Haralds Karlis at power forward. “He (Karlis) did not do a bad job (2 points, 5 boards, 2 steals) but we have asked him to play the four against both Syracuse and Marquette.” A sophomore guard, at 6-5, it is safe to say Karlis was playing a bit out of position. Williams probably did not expect Brian Oliver to make an appearance. Still hobbled with an ankle injury, Oliver gave it a go but could only muster one steal in 16 minutes of action. Regardless, what Willard wants is effort. He does not want the Hall to get used to losing. Losses may come but the effort, the willingness to battle back in adversity is something he demands of his players. Post game Willard kept the Seton Hall locker room closed to the media. He admits being “99 and 9 tenths percent media cooperative,” which he is. In this case he felt his club would be better served not facing the media and saying something on an impulse they would later regret. The loss dropped Seton Hall under. 500. Record aside, Willard wants a few things to be accomplished in the stretch. “I want us to get back where we shared the ball,” he said. ‘At one point we led the conference in assists, now we have dropped considerably.” Another concern is the reduction of turnovers. Willard may not be a tempo free advocate but he does know turnovers mean wasted possessions, a drop in offensive efficiency and a situation giving you less of a chance to win the game. Naturally, the Seton Hall coach wants a team closing out the season with a little fight. Specifically, battling the aforementioned adversity. He did not make that point discussing the last few games on the schedule. There was no need to. The point was already well emphasized. * * * Related Posts:Seton Hall upends South Florida to snap losing streakSeton Hall continues fast start with win over St.…Hall of an effort comes up short against LouisvilleSeton Hall’s Teague makes presence known in debutEdwin continuing to step up his game for Pirates
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