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Syracuse vs. Seton Hall: Rick Jackson Goes For Elite Status

The Orange will end their week-long sabbatical this Saturday when they travel to the Prudential Center in Newark to take on the Seton Hall Pirates.

Unfortunately for SU, the game won't count since it's being played within the state of New Jersey, but it's a good chance for the team to build on it's momentum.

One team not building any kind of momentum is Seton Hall. The Pirates got crushed last night in the YUM! by Louisville, 73-54. The score was not truly indicative of the game, which the Cardinals led at one point 24-2.

For the 7-8 Pirates, life without star shooter Jeremy Hazell has been rough. Hazell was involved in a terrible shooting a few weeks back, on top of the fact that he broke his wrist, and he won't be back anytime soon.

They'll be without him when the No. 5 Orange come to town and that spells doom for a team hoping to wear down SU with three-pointers.

Seton Hall’s matchup with Syracuse looks like a bad one on paper, considering that without Hazell, the Pirates don’t have a 3-point shooter who can make Syracuse come out of its trademark 2-3 zone. And the Orange figure to dominate Seton Hall on the backboards. The Pirates were outrebounded 46-35 by a Louisville team without injured Rakeem Buckles, its top rebounder.

Expect this one to be a field day for Rick Jackson. Rick is on the verge of joining some very elusive company in Syracuse history and he's going to make big strides toward clinching it in this one:

Jackson is on the verge of joining [John] Wallace in one of the most exclusive clubs in the 110-year history of Syracuse basketball.

Wallace is one of just five players to finish their careers with at least 1,000 points, 800 rebounds and 200 blocks. The other four are Roosevelt Bouie, Rony Seikaly, Derrick Coleman and Etan Thomas.

If you want to thank anyone for giving Rick the motivation to become a better all-around player, look no further than Derrick Coleman:

"I told him over the summer, you’ve got to show the (NBA) scouts that you can do more than score in the low post. You’ve got to rebound,’’ Coleman said. "That’s something I always tell him. Rebounding is all heart and desire. I text him that all the time. You know you’re going to catch an elbow and get hit in the nose or the mouth.’’

"But if you can rebound the ball, you can control the game.’’

Tip-off is set for Noon EST on Saturday.