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Saint Peter’s top questions after the March Madness run

The magical ride came to a sudden and disappointing end in Philadelphia on Sunday. After a rousing run into the Elite Eight, Saint Peter’s was sent home by North Carolina and finished the longest run in March with a 15th seed in NCAA tournament history. The Peacocks now face many unanswered questions. The Post’s Zach Braziller provides some answers:

Q: Will St. Peter have a new manager next year?

A: Pretty sure. Shaheen Holloway, who became a huge star during this run for his inspirational messages at press conferences and astute in-game coaching, is expected to take over at Seton Hall, where he was a star player and assistant coach under former manager Kevin Willard. The Big East School hasn’t spoken to another candidate since Willard’s departure for Maryland a week ago and can offer Holloway a mammoth raise. It’s a matter of when, not if.

Q: Who will replace Holloway?

A: The smart move would be to promote top assistant Ryan Whalen, who has been with Holloway since he took office in 2018 and helped him build this team. Rutgers assistant Brandin Knight and Seton Hall assistant Grant Billmeier are also said to be candidates.

Q: Can the new coach hold this core together?

A: In times of the transfer portal, when players don’t have to sit out the first time they change schools and manipulation has become routine, it won’t be easy. Whalen would have the best chance of keeping this team intact. He recruited many of the players and is a respected figure, sources said. Guards Matthew Lee, Doug Edert, and Daryl Banks III are nearby. If one goes, the others could follow. The star, KC Ndefo, entered the portal last year and eventually returned. After seeing how well he had done this March, many of the larger schools that had passed him on — including some local ones — had to kick themselves.

Doug Edert (left) and Isiah Dasher (right).
Doug Edert (left) and Isiah Dasher (right).
Getty Images

Q: How does this run affect the program as a whole?

A: No question it helps. It put Saint Peter on the map. Whenever a low seed causes a big upset, the Peacocks’ run is recited. Whoever the coach is can use the March run as a recruitment pitch. Even before this team won the MAAC tournament and upset Kentucky, it was headed in the right direction. It had won three consecutive seasons for the first time since 2004-06 and was playing at the renovated Run Baby Run Arena. The last two weeks just added to that.

Q: What can we expect from Saint Peter next season?

A: There are many question marks over who will be hired to replace Holloway, which player will return. But Sankt Peter can be very good on paper. All 10 contributors are still eligible to play, and 6-foot-10 forward Jerry Ngopot could help after sitting out the season as a redshirt. If the Peacocks return much of the roster, they could return to the tournament next year. They would at least be the MAAC favorite going into the season.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/28/saint-peters-top-questions-after-march-madness-run/ Saint Peter’s top questions after the March Madness run

JOE HERNANDEZ

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