Friar Basketball

Holt, Cartwright and PC Start Strong


When Emmitt Holt committed to Providence last April he chose the Friars, in part, because he thought he could contribute immediately to a program in need of frontcourt help.

It certainly didn’t take long for Holt to make an impact. The 6’7 junior dominated Vermont in Providence’s surprisingly breezy 80-58 season-opening victory on Monday night, scoring 22 points on 8-12 shooting from the field and 5-6 at the free throw line.

Holt’s signing was critical last spring, as PC’s staff searched far and wide for a big they could plug into the lineup right away — and that was before Ben Bentil decided to leave after his sophomore year.

Holt’s maturity (this is his third year playing college basketball), length (6’7 with a 7’3 wingspan) and efficiency (65%+ shooting during both his freshman year at Indiana and last year with Indian Hills) was supposed to make him an ideal fit alongside Bentil, but instead he’s been thrust into a lead role and he looked more than comfortable on opening night.

Friar fans saw a little bit of everything from Holt in his debut — a tricky left handed finish, a 3-pointer, and a strong finish through contact on a fastbreak were among the highlights — but he wasn’t the lone bright spot.

Kyron Cartwright controlled the pace beautifully for Ed Cooley, dishing out a career high 12 assists (six in both the first and second halves) and turning the ball over just twice in 32 productive minutes. The California native narrowly missed a double double (nine points) and was one of five Friars to grab at least four rebounds.

Cooley didn’t hide his feelings about facing a Vermont team with NCAA aspirations in an opener that featured so many new faces in black and white. If his comments in the weeks leading up to this game were any indicator, the last thing Cooley expected was a 22 point victory.

But that’s just what he got on Monday night, thanks to a stingy defensive effort that held a sharp-shooting UVM team to just 5-20 from beyond the arc.

Providence was strong from beginning to end, leading for over 39 minutes.

Up and down the roster there were positive signs.

Ryan Fazekas (3-6), Rodney Bullock (3-5), and Jalen Lindsey (2-4) combined to knock down eight 3-pointers, freshman Kalif Young grabbed five rebounds and blocked a pair of shots in just 13 minutes off of the bench, and Cooley got quality minutes from freshmen Maliek White (19 minutes) and Alpha Diallo (six points in 11 minutes), while transfer Isaiah Jackson had six rebounds in 16 minutes.

PC shot 49.1% from the field, 39% from deep, and 85% at the free throw line.

Twitter: @Kevin_Farrahar



One Comment

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