SOUTH ORANGE – The most important piece to Seton Hall basketball’s success this season is having a serviceable center who can hold the fort.
Jaden Bediako looked the part on Saturday.
The 6-foot-10, 240-pound graduate transfer tallied 12 points and 10 rebounds in just 17 minutes as the Hall throttled FDU 85-55 before a rocking capacity crowd at Walsh Gym.
Bediako, who transferred in from Santa Clara, made 4-of-5 shots from the field, converted all four of his free-throw attempts and did a fine job defending mobile FDU forward Ansley Almonor, a rising star who finished with six points on just 2-of-13 shooting.
This marked his fifth career double-double and first as a Pirate.
“Just went out there with confidence, got them from the jump and it feels good,” Bediako said. “Great way to kick off this Seton Hall journey that I’m on right now.”
With four quality guards and not much else in the way of proven, Seton Hall (2-0) desperately needs Bediako to defend without fouling, protect the glass and finish around the rim. He checked all of those boxes Saturday.
“Jaden went to a good school and played for a great coach, Herb Sendek, tremendous coach, but East Coast basketball is different from West Coast basketball, so he’s getting used to that,” Holloway said, noting that Bediako is well-schooled in defending mobile bigs like Almonor because Santa Clara switches one through five on defense.
“I thought Jaden came out and set the tone early for us and did what he needed to do from a defensive and offensive standpoint,” Holloway said. “Now we just have to get him to keep getting confidence in himself.”
1. Up-tempo Pirates?
Unlike Saint Peter’s, which puts foes in the dentist’s chair for dragged-out possessions, FDU runs and presses. The Pirates seem much more comfortable playing at the Knights’ pace. Their transition defense was sharp, limiting FDU to just 17 fast-break points — only six in the decisive first half.
The Knights (2-1) came in averaging 100 points per game and had the tables turned by a team that one-upped their aggression. The 47-point first half marked Seton Hall’s most under Holloway, and 85 is the second-highest point total of the regime.
“We got rushed tonight in small segments and they buried us whenever it happened,” FDU coach Jack Castleberry said.
With a guard-driven team, it’s worth wondering if the Hall should look to push more going forward. Would that unlock more of freshman wing Isaiah Coleman’s potential and build him confidence? Of course, the flip side to that is lack of depth – how much can the Pirates floor the pedal when Holloway is playing his core four major minutes?
2. Lopsided rebounding
The Pirates possessed a serious advantage in size, bulk and length. That said, to go plus-33 on the glass, including a 19-7 edge in offensive boards, is about more than size. The 61-board tally is the program’s most in a game since 2001. Seton Hall boxed out, attacked the backboards hard and outhustled…
Read More: Jaden Bediako steps forward in romp of FDU 2023-11-12 03:33:45