He’s been waiting for this moment since he was a freshman when Seton Hall had his dance finished by Wofford in the first round since COVID robbed Myles Powell’s team of big things since the 2021 team landed outside and watched all the madness
Now he’s the senior star (15.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg.) with the pink shoes and big eyes visualizing a sweet prize.
“I see we’re on a deep run,” Jared Rhoden told the Post. “I think we’ve already had the lowest of our lowest. I think we will surprise a lot of people.”
Selection Sunday handed the Hall (21-10) the No. 8 seed in the South Region against No. 9 TCU (20-12) on Friday in San Diego.
“I just think the chemistry and the bond, it’s like nothing I’ve had on a team in quite a while,” Rhoden said, “and I think that goes a long way, and I think that carries over to that.” , how we play and how we feed each other.”
Kevin Willard is an elite trainer. His only NCAA tournament win came in 2018 as a No. 8 against NC State. And this was arguably his best coaching job given the offensive adjustments necessitated by the absence of point guard Bryce Aiken (concussion).
“Coach Willard is not someone who comes in and gets too high or too low,” Rhoden said. “You know what you can get out of him. I think he’s very quick on his feet. He knows how to change plans. He knows how to be versatile and use his mind to change game plans. … He’s just amazing. I think he is doing a great job of guiding us and teaching us as well.”
Rhoden played 16 minutes in his only NCAA tournament appearance at Jacksonville’s Veterans Memorial Arena, scoring nine points and catching five rebounds.
“I just remember how nervous I was to be honest,” he said. “As a kid who grew up with the games for so long and wanted to be a part of them, I had this experience to finally get out there and play. … My parents took the plane downstairs and watched me play. It was just an incredible feeling to be part of this atmosphere and this experience.”
The NCAA jitters didn’t last long.
“I think that was kind of my breakout moment, where I felt like I could potentially really keep playing and making a difference at the next level,” Rhoden said. “It was like a dream come true for me just to be able to have an impactful game in the tournament.”
Rhoden recalls the frustration of missing March Madness’ sophomore year due to COVID.
“Personally, I knew we had a chance to go on a deep, deep, deep run and had the potential to win a national championship,” he said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, like having something taken away that is beyond your control. … It kind of hurt me.”
Sandro Mamukelashvili 2020-21 team lost five of their last six games to finish 14-13. “It kind of hurt,” Rhoden said.
A caption under one of Rhoden’s Instagram photos reads, “ME VERSUS ME.”
“Your struggles are within you,” Rhoden said. “I often have the feeling that people try to compare themselves to outside influences or people from the outside. But I think the most important thing is your inner struggle in your head. I feel like if you control that, you can achieve anything.”
Betting on March Madness 2022?
A basketball journey that began in earnest with the Long Island Lightning picked up steam when he transferred from Baldwin (LI) High School to Our Savior Lutheran High School in the Bronx.
“It was really tough for me because when I was a 16-year-old kid, leaving my family at home where I was comfortable, the transition from living in the suburbs to playing basketball in the city was kind of a culture shock for me growing up,” he said Rhodes. “And I think it made me who I am now and it made me a man.”
It’s easy to cheer for the kid in the pink shoes.
“It started out as a superstition for me where I played well in one of the games,” Rhoden said, “but then I just fell in love with it. I walked around and just overheard these little kids talking to me about how much they loved it. I got messages from people asking me where the shoes came from and how much they loved them. For me it just sort of became part of my image and look.”
Jared Rhoden has an NBA dream and will discuss his options with his family and coaches after the season ends.
“I can try to sell you my skills and all that other stuff,” Rhoden said, “but I feel like a great locker room guy. Someone you can trust. I will never outwork. And I feel like I can fit into any system.”
In the meantime, he has this message for Seton Hall fans: “Just stay with us. A lot is coming. We have big surprises for you in the future.”
Go west, young men.
MEET THE PIRATES
Location: South Orange, New Jersey
Enrollment: 6,068 students (total 10,000)
coaching: Kevin Willard (Season 12)
Last NCAA appearance: 2019
NCAA Tournament History: 13 appearances, 16-13
How they got here: A terrific start, nine wins in ten games early in the season including wins over Texas, Michigan and Rutgers, and a furious finish. Seton Hall finished the regular season with five straight wins and eight wins in 10 games to finish sixth in the Big East and redeem his ticket. A season win by Big East Tournament finalist Creighton and a home win over Connecticut punctuated the Pirates’ resume.
G Kadary Richmond (9.0 ppg, 4.1 apg, 3.6 rpg)
G Myles Cale (9.8ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.5spg)
F Jared Rhoden (15.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.2 spg)
F Tray Jackson (7.0ppg, 3.5rpg, 0.4apg)
C Ike Obiagu (2.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.3bpg)
G Jamir Harris (7.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.9 apg)
F Alexis Yetna (8.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 0.8 apg)
F Tyrese Samuel (7.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.5 spg)
players to watch
Jared Rhoden may be Seton Hall’s best player, but Kadary Richmond is his most important player, the only healthy point guard in the roster. The 6-foot-6 Brooklyn native is suffering from a sprained right thumb, which is one of the reasons the quarterfinal loss at the Big East tournament could help the Pirates in the long run.
5.5 – Blocked shots per game, 12th most in the country
12 — wins by seven points or less
5 – NCAA tournament berths for Seton Hall under Willard
10.4 – Seton Hall’s assists per game, which ranks 334th nationally
https://nypost.com/2022/03/13/march-madness-2022-seton-hall-rhoden-have-waited-for-this-chance/ Seton Hall, Rhoden have been waiting for this chance