Friar Basketball

Opportunity Awaits the Friars


If Wednesday night at the Dunkin Donuts Center is anything like the last two times Villanova came to town Friar fans are in for a treat.

The Wildcats (21-2, 8-2) are a true Final Four contender. Jay Wright’s bunch is as balanced as any team in the country, with six players averaging over nine points per game. Their guards will suffocate you for 40 minutes, then break your heart from beyond the arc, while JayVaughn Pinkston and the much-improved Daniel Ochefu are the most prolific 4-5 combo the Big East has to offer.

Two seasons ago Providence won a back and forth battle over Nova at the Dunk, 69-66, helped in large part by then-emerging freshman Kris Dunn who finished with 13 points and seven rebounds in 35 minutes.

That was a different time, however. How different? Sidiki Johnson played 19 minutes for Ed Cooley that night.

This will be a vastly different experience for Dunn. After missing last season’s double overtime loss to Villanova, Dunn returns to the rivalry as the Friars’ lead guard — and perhaps the best player in the Big East. Vincent Council manned the point guard duties the last time Dunn saw the Wildcats, and it will be on Dunn to handle waves of pressure from the Villanova guards on Wednesday night.

PC has been susceptible to opponents who pressure their backcourt (see: the final minutes at home versus Xavier, the closing minute against Miami, and the early moments of last week’s win over Georgetown) and Dunn has to play a clean game if Providence hopes to pull the upset.

Who could forget last season’s double overtime thriller at the Dunk last season? A desperate PC team fell late, despite big nights virtually across the board: 22/9/7 from Bryce Cotton, 21 and 11 out of Kadeem Batts, Tyler Harris delivering 15 points and 12 boards, and 16 points on 4-5 from 3-point range from Josh Fortune.

Looking back, it’s astounding that all of those numbers weren’t enough.

The only Friar regular to struggle was LaDontae Henton, who made just 1-7 from the field — a year after shooting 1-7 against Nova at the Dunk the season prior.

This edition of the Friars is unlikely to get the type of output across the board that they saw a season ago, so a better effort from Henton is a necessity.

Wednesday night at the Dunk is likely to be as electric as the building gets all season — last year’s regular season champions versus the reigning conference tournament champions — with an opportunity to show the nation that Cooley’s Friars are ready to compete with anyone as March draws closer.

Twitter: Kevin_Farrahar




  1. Derec Lamendola

    February 11, 2015 at 2:27 am

    LETS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LaDoante Henton Who’s PUMT PUMT PUMT PUMT PUMT PUMT PUMT PUMT PUMT Derec Lamemdola DiD PC Pleryas IS Alll DONE I DiD 8 9 Plays For Coach Coooley And Providence Colllege Mens Basket Ball Friars Going IN That Dance LET’S GOOOOOOOOOO GET GET GET GET Meeeeen I SMACKT TALK TO Kyle Somthing And Merzadce Austin IS PUMT PUMT Derec Lamendola PUMT PUMT Meet ME Thery All Team And MY Chllaeerds

  2. Kristen Lane Vietze

    February 11, 2015 at 2:32 am

    Please just win. No heart stoppers. Can’t take it 🙂

  3. Ann Iannotti

    February 11, 2015 at 2:55 am

    You guys can do it…play hard and win, win,win!

  4. Neil Primeau

    February 11, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Huge game for PC….fans need to be vocal and help the team. Current rpi is 20th. PC in 3rd place in conference. GO FRIARS

  5. Jack Durkan

    February 11, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Clamp down on the V offense. Stop the wildcats in their tracks. Cage them up and throw away the key…

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