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Article:Live from the Rock

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Last night I was able to get a press pass for the Seton Hall versus DePaul men’s basketball game at the new Prudential Center aka the Rock in Newark NJ. While Newark is not the nicest area and I wouldn’t advise walking around aimlessly at night, the area surrounding the arena seemed very safe and it’s actually not a bad area with the NJ Performing Arts Center right next door (essentially). It was a bit of a run around to get the credential but when I finally got to the place to get my credential they were very friendly and helpful.

Now I could give a recap of the game, but being that it was Seton Hall versus Depaul I don’t think to many people are particularly interested (even if the game did end up being exciting coming down to the wire.) Instead I will focus on the atmosphere of the game and the arena. I got into my courtside seat about a half hour before the game. To my left underneath the basket was the student section and the Seton Hall band, always a great part of college basketball and Seton Halls band didn’t disappoint. In all honesty though, I could have used a little more cowbell.

The crowd was a little late getting into their seats and initially I assumed they just didn’t come as this isn’t exactly the biggest of rivalry games. However it seemed they were just a little late getting into their seats, which is understandable given the amount of things to do in the arena. There’s a bar, a “Belvidere” lounge overlooking the court, games, balloon making and face painting. I was very impressed by the amount they had going on for the kids. I was also impressed by the overall arena. It’s structurally impressive on the outside, but inside the amount of screens and quality of the video scoreboards and screens were top notch. The place basically puts the Izod center to shame.

Before the game Seton Hall was lead out by the cheerleaders and the Pirate. The cheerleaders while not the worst I’ve seen made me long for the Pac-10. The Pirate while agile was not quite the best costume I’ve seen. The game started and it was clear neither team was quite ready for the big time. Coach Bobby Gonzalez is a very energetic coach and coaches his team well, but they’ve got some work to do before they’re going to challenge the upper half of the Big East. I think Gonzalez was a good hire out of Manhattan and with some of the young talent they have like 6-11 freshman Mike Davis they could make some noise next year.

It’s overall a great place to go and I definitely suggest checking out the Prudential Center for either a Seton Hall game or a hockey game. I’m going to be back there in a couple weeks for Seton Hall versus Syracuse a sold out game and it should be a lot of fun even if I think Syracuse is going to destroy the Pirates (which despite living in the same town as Seton Hall I’m ok with since I grew up a Syracuse fan.)

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