After they each notched somewhat comfortable wins in the first round, Kansas meets Seton Hall, who finished 3rd in the Big East and currently sits 27th in KenPom. KenPom gives the Jayhawks a 64 percent chance, but that assumes they are playing on a neutral floor, whereas the Jayhawks will have at least a semi home court advantage both due to the crowd and the lack of travel.
Seton Hall has a couple impressive results this year, beating Texas Tech at a neutral site and winning at Louisville and Butler, but that’s really it in terms of pure wins. Still, they do some things that could cause Kansas some troubles (but do some things that the Jayhawks should love).
The Pirates play a pretty average pace, and take around 1/5 of their shot attempts in transition, which is just inside the top 200 nationally. Like most teams, they shoot better in transition (58.7 percent eFG) than in the halfcourt (51.3 percent eFG). They’re also pretty good at getting to the rim, which could be a problem for the Jayhawks. The good news, maybe the best news of this whole preview, is they take under a third of their shots from behind the arc. For a team that has had a ton of issues defending the three, that is a major positive.
Seton Hall gives just 28 percent of its minutes to its bench, putting them at least somewhat in the same area as the Jayhawks, and they run a lot of their offense through Angel Delgado, who takes about 23 percent of their shots when he’s on the floor.
Delgado has been a little inefficient from two this year, shooting just over 50 percent. The problem, from Seton Hall’s perspective, is almost 40 percent of his attempts come from the mid range (although it’s worth noting a lot of Udoka Azubuike’s running hooks get grouped as mid range shots, so the actual number for Delgado is probably much less). Although he’s shooting under 35 percent on those shots, he does have a comfortable looking stroke:
However, Delgado mostly likes to get the ball of the block and then back his way into position:
He doesn’t quite have the same touch around the rim as Penn’s AJ Brodeur, but he does have a lot more strength, so Kansas will likely need Udoka Azubuike to play at least 20 minutes, and will need a good game from Silvio De Sousa as well.
Elsewhere, Seton Hall has three players who have taken 100+ threes on the season. 6-2 guard Myles Powell is their best shooter, making 37.8 percent of his 238 attempts. I wouldn’t mind seeing Kansas have either Svi Mykhailiuk or Lagerald Vick faceguard him because even though Powell has deep range, he doesn’t get a lot of lift on his shot and doesn’t have the quickest release, so the length of Svi and/or Vick could really bother him:
Their second best 3-point shooter is 6-6 Desi Rodriguez, who is at 38 percent. Then there is 6-4 Khadeen Carrington, who is at 35 percent. If Kansas guards off the ball the way they did Thursday, he might get quite a few open looks, although it would behoove Kansas to run him off the line, as he’s just a 44 percent 2-point shooter.
The key to stopping the Pirates, though, is hit the defensive glass. About 16 percent of their makes on the season are putbacks, so Kansas can put a big dent in their offense if they can hold them down on the glass. The Pirates grabbed fewer than 36 percent of their misses in all 8 of their conference losses this season.
Seton Hall ranked 8th in the Big East, allowing 108.7 points per possession, and they were probably lucky to allow that few. The Pirates allow opponents to attempt right around 37 percent of their shots from three, but they shot just 34.8 percent in league play, and under 34 percent overall. Assuming the Jayhawks get those types of looks, they could have a productive day from deep.
The Pirates also rank 183rd nationally in allowing shots at the rim, and 160th in FG defense at the rim. All of that, plus a lack of ability to turn teams over, leads to some big scores allowed. The Pirates might be a little tough to deal with on the other end of the floor, but I don’t think the Jayhawks will have much trouble scoring.