Friar Basketball

9 Things You Should Know about the 2012-13 Schedule


1. For Providence fans in the northeast, the away schedule could not have worked out any better.  The Friars play Boston College (12/22), Seton Hall (1/13), Villanova (2/3), Rutgers (2/23) and Connecticut (3/9) all on weekends, so there will be ample opportunity for PC supporters to make their presence felt in road arenas.  Each of these games falls on a Saturday, with the exception of the visits to Seton Hall and Villanova which are both Sunday games.  The Connecticut game is at Gampel Pavilion.

2. Happy New Year.  Providence kicks off the conference schedule with a trip to Louisville on January 2.  Rick Pitino’s Cardinals look like the most talented team in the Big East this season and have to be considered a legitimate national championship contender.

3. The Puerto Rico Tip-off will provide the Friars with a more difficult test than they’ve seen out of conference in recent seasons.  Massachusetts, fresh off of an NIT semifinal appearance, awaits in the opener, and if Providence were to win that game they would most likely face North Carolina State – many pundits pick to win the ACC this year (this writer questions whether they will have enough to overcome North Carolina).  The Wolfpack return a core headlined by star forward CJ Leslie and guard Lorenzo Brown, and they welcome a recruiting class featuring three McDonald’s All Americans in Tyler Lewis, Rodney Purvis (assuming he’s eligible), and Brewster Academy product TJ Warren.

4. For the first time in 40 years Providence will play at Brown.  Tickets won’t be easy to come by for this Friday nighter (December 28).

5. The exhibition schedule kicks off with a visit from Assumption at Alumni Hall.  Switching one of the exhibition games to Alumni was a terrific move by the athletic department.  It was there a year ago that Cooley kicked off his Providence tenure in a win over Assumption.

6. The Friars kick off the home portion of the Big East schedule with a winnable game against DePaul (January 5).  The Demons may not be the pushover they have been in recent seasons, however.  They return Cleveland Melvin, the former Notre Dame Prep product who should vie for first team all-conference honors in his junior season, as well as Brandon Young, a three year starter at guard.  This game is sandwiched between the trip to Louisville and a visit from Syracuse, making the DePaul game an important early win to grab.

7. A year ago, PC defeated South Carolina in the Big East/SEC Challenge.  This year they get Mississippi State at home on December 1.  The Bulldogs were a 21 win team in 2011-12 before falling to UMass in the NIT.  Gone is 6’11 star Arnett Moultrie who was taken in the first round of the NBA Draft.

8. As noted here previously, Providence will see Syracuse, Connecticut, DePaul and Seton Hall twice.  2013 will most likely be the last time Providence fans see Syracuse or Pittsburgh for the foreseeable future, as both are off to the ACC next summer.  Jim Boeheim said last winter that he doesn’t see the Orange continuing the play Providence going forward.

9. Disappointing to see URI on a Thursday night at the Dunk.  It will mark the second year in a row in which the in-state rivalry game is not played on a Saturday.


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