Seton Hall never really had a true point guard last season, when injuries plagued the team and they stumbled to a 15-18 record, 3-15 in the Big East.
But now head coach Kevin Willard has a true point guard in Texas transfer Sterling Gibbs, and he did not disappoint in his season debut.
The 6-foot-2 former Seton Hall Prep standout went for 23 points, including 17 foul shots, as Seton Hall won its season-opener, a bizarre foul-plagued affair won by the Pirates, 83-72, over Niagara. There were 73 fouls called in the game.
“He did a good job, really came in and understood what was going on and took advantage of it,” Willard said, according to Jerry Carino of Gannett New Jersey. “It’s nice to have him on the floor.”
The younger brother of former Pitt guard Ashton Gibbs, Sterling sat out last season after transferring from Texas, where he averaged just 2.6 points in 7.5 minutes during the 2011-12 season. He used the year off to get stronger and learn his new teammates.
Despite being the team’s best floor general, Gibbs did not start as Willard went with Tom Maayan at the point to start the game.
“I went with the five guys that had the most experience (to start),” Willard said, according to Carino. “We got off to a really bad start in the exhibition game, and with those nerves, I wanted Jaren [Sina] and Sterling to feel their way into the game. They both did a really good job of collecting themselves and going out and playing very well.”
Sina, a freshman from Lake Hopatcong, N.J., who rooms with Gibbs, finished with nine points, four rebounds and two assists.
Expect both players to have bigger roles as the season evolves, especially Gibbs, who will eventually start.
Willard plans to redshirt freshman Rashed Anthony, he confirmed to SNY.tv.