Seton Hall began the year No. 12 in the preseason AP poll, led by potential preseason player of the year Myles Powell. Now, the Pirates are unranked and have lost Powell at two different times this season to an ankle injury and a concussion.
That's no problem, according to the senior guard, who joined NCAA.com's Andy Katz on the Jan. 7 episode of the March Madness 365 podcast. Powell is confident the Pirates can end up on top of the Big East once everyone is healthy.
"The more and more we keep playing Seton Hall basketball, I feel like we'll keep finding ourselves on top," Powell said.
Powell's interview with Katz begins at about the 23:00 mark of the podcast. This edition of the pod also features an interview with FOX's Steve Lavin and Dayton forward Obi Toppin.
The Pirates are riding a five-game win streak with their last victory putting them tied atop the Big East with a 3-0 conference record. Seton Hall has beaten No. 12 Maryland, Prairie View A&M, DePaul, Georgetown and Xavier over this stretch with Powell only playing in two of those games.
After one of those wins, a 78-62 victory over the Hoyas, Powell made sure the game-leading scorer, Romaro Gill, got his moment in the spotlight as Powell brought Gill over with him for a post-game interview.
"I feel like we're showing everybody that the team that they thought was one of the best teams in the country, we feel like we're finally playing like one," Powell said of the Pirates in his interview with Katz.
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The Seton Hall star said although the Pirates are getting contributions from multiple guys and are on a five-game tear, they aren't 100 percent healthy yet. His first injury came against Stony Brook in the second game of the season. He didn't miss any games, scorching Michigan State a week later with 37 points.
Powell's second injury was more serious. He missed the second half of Seton Hall's game against Rutgers, was diagnosed with a concussion and missed the following two games. He returned in the Pirates' first Big East game of the season and dropped 27 points to lead Seton Hall past DePaul.
"It showed me a lot about this team. All week, me being the leader, I just gave these guys a friendly reminder that DePaul was the only team in the Big East to sweep us and beat us twice," Powell said. "We went out there, we played Seton hall basketball and we got the win."
6'11" forward Sandro Mamukelashvili had to leave an early-December game for the Pirates after fracturing his right wrist. Mamukelashvili was another weapon on the inside for the Pirates and will be out for at least another month. He was averaging 12.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game and was shooting 51% from the field.
Right now the Pirates are on the outside looking in of the AP top 25, 33 points behind No. 25 Colorado. Powell and company will probably crack the rankings if they can end the week 2-0. The Pirates already notched an impressive 83-71 win over Xavier on Wednesday but will need to prevail over a Markus Howard led Marquette squad to continue their win-streak.
Next week, on Jan. 15, Seton Hall heads to Indianapolis to take on No. 6 Butler in what could be the toughest and most important game of their regular season.