Next meeting: The Pirates and Huskies will meet in Connecticut this season. Seton Hall hasn't defeated UConn since Jan. 5, 1994, losing the past 26 meetings. Last season, UConn beat Seton Hall 91-24 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., holding the Pirates to just 12 points in each half.
Last season" It was another terrible season for the Pirates (9-21, 1-15 Big East). They lost 17 of their last 18, their only victory after Dec. 21 coming Jan. 30 at Villanova, a 53-49 win.The scored more than 50 points just twice in their final 11 games and averaged only 51.2 points for the season. Seton Hall had only two players average double-figures (Ebonie Williams led with 13.0) and the team shot just 33.7 from the field and 28.1 on three-pointer.
Who's coming, who's going: The most significant changes are at the top. Former Olympic coach Anne Donovan takes over the program while leading scorer Ebonie Williams (13.0) has left it before her senior season.
Donovan, a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, has won a WNBA championship (Seattle) and Olympic goal medal (2008 in Beijing) as a coach. She is coach of the WNBA's New York Liberty, but will resign that position after the season to take over the Pirates program.
She replaces Phyllis Mangina, who had been the Seton Hall coach since 1985, the same year Geno Auriemma became UConn's coach.
Since Donovan was busy with the Liberty this summer, she quickly named Jenny Palmateer as an assistant and David Kim as director of basketball operations to join retained assistant Ty Grace, a University of New Haven graduate. Then Donovan sent them out to try and rebuild a roster that will be without Willliams and Nicole Emery (9.5).
Palmateer, a native of South Amboy, N.J., spent 10 years on the North Carolina State coaching staff after enjoying a four-year playing career under coach Kay Yow. Her primary roles included recruiting, scouting and the development of perimeter players.
She also served as the teams' academic liaison responsible for helping to monitor the players' academic progress.
Kim comes to Seton Hall from Fordham, where he was also director of basketball operations under coach Cathy Andruzzi
The most promising new player may be incoming junior college transfer Tarjay Ashmeade, a key contributor as the Jamaica senior national women's basketball team took home the silver medal at the 2010 Centrobasket Championship.
Ashmeade, a 6-foot-3 center, turned in her best performance in a semifinal win over Trinidad & Tobago, totaling 12 points and six rebounds in 35 minutes. Earlier against Mexico, she had four points, seven rebounds and one block, and she posted five points, nine rebounds and a block in a win against the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Freshman guard Ka-Deidre Simmons, 5-8, also holds promise.
Another thing that will be different is the Pirates are not scheduled to play any game at the Prudential Center this season. They played UConn and St. Peter's there last year.