During the first week of practice at Seton Hall last month,
Andre Barrett, a 5'8" freshman point guard, fired a pass toward
6'9" freshman Eddie Griffin, who had an open path to the basket.
When the ball sailed out-of-bounds Barrett chastised Griffin for
his lack of aggression, and Griffin returned fire in kind until
soon the two had to be separated by teammates. Later that night
Barrett and Griffin were laughing about the incident in their
dorm room, but their near fisticuffs still had teammates abuzz.
Explains Barrett, "I don't care who you are. When I step on the
court with you, it's my job to make you play harder."
Seton Hall has six freshmen and sophomores among its top nine
players, and the new blood is out for blood. By adding one of the
nation's top recruiting classes to the core that spurred the
Pirates to the Sweet 16 last spring, coach Tommy Amaker has
brought a swagger to the program not seen since P.J. Carlesimo
last prowled the sidelines, in 1993-94. The Pirates bring back
seven players who averaged at least 10 minutes per game, led by
junior guard Darius Lane, last year's leading scorer, and center
Samuel Dalembert, who was seventh in the nation in blocks despite
frequent foul trouble.
Griffin has more innate ability than anyone on this team.
Unfortunately he is also the only Pirate who lacks the requisite
hubris to dominate. "I don't think it's my place to demand the
ball," he says. "I don't want to step on anyone's toes."
Fortunately for Griffin he has a roommate with no such
compunction. With Barrett determined to get the most out of him,
there should be more shouting matches and more wins in the
COLOR PHOTO: DAMIAN STROHMEYER YOUTH IS SERVED Lane, a junior and the Hall's leading scorer, is one of the few veterans in the team's rotation.
POS. PLAYER HT. CL. KEY STAT
SF Eddie Griffin 6'9" Fr. 26.0 ppg*
PF [*]Greg Morton 6'7" So. 4.7 rpg
C [*]Samuel Dalembert 6'11" So. 3.6 bpg
SG [*]Darius Lane 6'4" Jr. 15.3 ppg
PG Ty Shine 6'0" Jr. 7.8 ppg
1999-2000 record: 22-10 Final rank (coaches' poll): unranked
[*]Returning starter *As a high school senior