NEWARK, N.J. -- Seton Hall's chances of making the NCAA Tournament are, simply put, plummeting.
The Pirates didn't even look NIT-worthy for much of Tuesday night, getting hammered at home by Georgetown, 86-67. It's their third loss in a row, and sixth in their past eight games.
What's more, Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard did not make any players available to the media after the game, an indication of turmoil in the locker room as well.
When asked if his team has chemistry issues, Willard said, "I’m not going to talk about that. I’ll talk about the game. I’m not going to talk about chemistry issues."
As for the game, Seton Hall trailed 27-7 less than 10 minutes in, committing turnover after turnover at the start. They actually cut the deficit to five by halftime, 43-38, and tied it up at 44 early in the second half. But then Georgetown took control again with a 17-4 run, and Seton Hall had no counterpunch this time.
"I was really pleased with the fact that we came back and showed good effort to get back in the game," Willard said. "It’s just, again, we let a couple turnovers, little things morph into a big problem. We didn’t get back two times, gave up easy buckets -- it’s really deflating us when we give up easy baskets."
Pirates freshman Angel Delgado posted yet another double-double, with 12 points and 15 rebounds. Leading scorer Sterling Gibbs hit his average, with 17 points. But the rest of the team was rather disappointing. Preseason Big East Rookie of the Year Isaiah Whitehead, in his fourth game since returning from a foot injury, scored just nine points and committed six turnovers.
The best freshman on the Prudential Center floor was Georgetown forward Isaac Copeland, who had a career-high 20 points and eight rebounds. Junior guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivers scored a game-high 23.
Willard believes effort wasn't the problem.
"I think I have a group of guys who are all trying to do really good things and try to make plays," Willard said. "They’re trying -- it’s just they’re getting a little dejected right now. They’re really for the first time having struggles and going through it, and they’re not reacting the right way yet, and that’s something that unfortunately that they’ve got to learn. When things don’t go your way, you can’t let things get out of hand."
Thing do appear to be getting out of hand, though. Following Saturday's home loss to Marquette, senior forward Brandon Mobley made some very troubling comments.
"There's no will. Nobody cares about winning, sadly," Mobley said, among other things, according to the New York Post.
Now the Pirates aren't being allowed to speak at all.
Seton Hall has fallen to 15-9 overall and 5-7 in the Big East. And the next three games are on the road -- facing two of the top three teams in the conference in Providence and No. 6 Villanova, followed by a game versus local rival St. John's.
But Willard hasn't lost faith in his squad.
"I have great confidence in these guys," Willard said. "I know it sounds crazy right now, but I think this team is capable of good things."