In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Shaheen Holloway and Donald Copeland spent time playing in the backcourt for Seton Hall.
On Sunday afternoon, they will oppose each other as coaches for the first time as Holloway's Pirates host Copeland and the Seahawks in Newark, N.J.
Holloway played at Seton Hall from 1996 to 2000 and helped the Pirates reach the Sweet 16 as a senior. Two years later. Copeland began a solid career at the school that ended in 2006 with him receiving second-team All-Big East recognition.
Both coaches are in their first seasons at their respective schools, though Holloway's move from Saint Peter's correlated with Wagner hiring Copeland.
Copeland spent last year as an assistant at Seton Hall under Kevin Willard. When Willard took over at Maryland, Holloway was hired at Seton Hall and Copeland was tapped to coach Wagner after previous coach Bashir Mason took Holloway's old job.
"It's just in our blood," Copeland told the Asbury Park Press about the Seton Hall connection. "The work ethic that goes into being in this position, it comes from a place."
The former Pirates guards have their teams off to decent starts, although Seton Hall is seeking a much better showing than Wednesday's 83-67 loss to visiting Iowa. Dre Davis led the Pirates with 12 points, but Seton Hall shot 35.8 percent and committed 16 turnovers.
Seton Hall (2-1) took an early eight-point lead, but Tyrese Samuel picked up two quick fouls and the Pirates spent the rest of the game trying to rally as their defense struggled.
"We're still a new team, still learning (from) each other, still trying to find everyone's niche," Samuel said. "This is a lesson at the end of the day."
Wagner (3-1) began by rallying for a three-point overtime win over Temple and has won two straight, including its 68-52 home victory over Fairfield on Friday. DeLonnie Hunt, who scored 19 points against Temple, finished with 17 as the Seahawks shot 51.1 percent and allowed just 30.6 percent shooting from the field.
The Pirates have won all six meetings, including an 85-63 final last Dec. 1 when they led by two at halftime before outscoring the Seahawks 50-30 in the second half.
--Field Level Media