"Leadership boils down to two words.... Follow Hazell." —Jeremy Hazell
Without Jeremy Hazell, the Seton Hall Pirates would be an average team, incapable of competing with the powers of Big East basketball.
Not only does the 6'5" athletic shooting guard lead the Pirates in scoring, but he also motivates them with his desire to win.
Hazell, a native of Harlem, fits perfectly into Bobby Gonzalez's uptempo, high-pressure style. He is indefatigable—Seton Hall's depth is the reason he averages only 31 minutes per game—and thrives on fast breaks.
A scorer, Hazell can put points on the board in any imaginable manner. He can swish a 30-footer—ask Bob Huggins, who saw the Pirate hit two of those deep bombs on Saturday—or use his quickness to beat a defender off the dribble.
He's strong, and can finish in any amount of traffic. Whether he acrobatically hangs in the air or tosses a shot over his head, he almost always gets fouled and/or hits the shot.
On a team that boasts depth, Hazell is averaging 21.9 points per game. His 41 points against West Virginia this past Saturday set a career high, and the junior has scored at least 20 points in seven of Seton Hall's 11 games.
Hazell's one offensive weakness is his shot selection. Sometimes he gets carried away, as he did on Saturday, and launches an unreasonable number of shots from long range. He was 4-of-19 from deep on Saturday and 1-of-11 from behind the arc in a six-point loss to Temple.
Defensively, Hazell is as good as any Pirate in Gonzalez's full-court pressure. He can play suffocating defense and is averaging two steals per game.
Hazell is garnering more and more respect around the Big East; coaches named him to the conference's Third Team after last season and placed him on the Second Team this October.
While the Pirates have many weapons, Hazell is their leader. If they follow him, they should be dancing come March.
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