Preseason Q&A with Shaheen Holloway 2022-23

Preseason Q&A with Shaheen Holloway 2022-23

By now everyone in New Jersey, and just about everyone in college basketball, knows Shaheen Holloway’s story by heart: how he came up through Seton Hall as a player and assistant coach, guided Saint Peter’s epic March Madness run to the Elite Eight, then returned home to take the reins at his alma mater.

What nobody knows is how his Pirates will look when they take the floor in a month for the season opener. With an entirely new coaching staff, five transfers and three freshmen, the Hall might be the biggest unknown in the Big East. Even Holloway is still figuring things out, on and off the court.

Here’s our preseason Q&A with him, conducted over two recent interviews.

Seton Hall basketball coach Shaheen Holloway watches a September workout

Q. Who has surprised you the most so far?

HAS. “(Freshman wing) Tae Davis. He’s way ahead of where I thought he would be at this point. Tae’s ceiling is unbelievably high. There’s been times when he’s been the best player in practice from an energy standpoint. He’s all over the court, grabbing offensive rebounds, playing multiple positions.”

Q. Who are the captains?

HAS. “That’s got to be earned. Nobody’s earned that yet. I have a couple of candidates, but I’m waiting for a couple of guys to take that step forward. I’m not giving that title away. You have to earn that title. If it comes down to it, we might not have a captain.”

“We’ve got a veteran team, and having a veteran team is good and bad. It’s good because they’re older guys, but that might mean you have to teach old guys new tricks and sometimes they struggle with learning new stuff.”

Q. Is (Saint Peter’s transfer) KC Ndefo helping you set the tone?

HAS. “He’s definitely helping from a standpoint of coaching and toughness. Him and (forward) Dr. Davis bring it every day. Him and Dre and (guard) Femi (Odukale) bring toughness. Guys feed off KC because they know he knows what I want.”

Seton Hall welcomes Shaheen Holloway as the new men's basketball head coach during a press conference at Seton Hall in South Orange on Thursday March 31, 2022. Coach Shaheen Holloway speaks.

Q. You set the bar high for your guards. How much are Kadary Richmond and the other guards playing to your standards?

HAS. “It’s a work in progress.”

Q. Much has been said in the past about Tyrese Samuel’s potential. How is he coming along?

HAS. “He’s worked hard. He’s such a nice person, a really nice young adult. I’ve got to get him to be a monster. Off the court, you can be nice. On the court, he’s too nice. He’s got a grown-man’s body; I want him to play with the intensity that I want on a consistent basis. I’ve seen flashes, but I want to see more.”

Q. What players are you bringing to Big East Media Day Oct. 18?

HAS. “Tyrese for sure – he’s been here for four years. I’m not sure who the other one will be yet.”

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