Friar Basketball

Six Thoughts Following PC’s Loss to OSU


Six thoughts following Providence’s 72-67 road loss at Ohio State.

1. Many Providence fans were familiar with Ohio State guard JaQuan Lyle well before he took to the floor against the Friars on Thursday night. At one point Lyle was a Louisville commit and top 30 player nationally who re-opened his recruitment in February 2014. The first team to call Lyle when his recruitment started anew? Providence.

Lyle’s mother said at the time that he would visit PC, but he eventually committed to Oregon after prep stints at IMG Academy and as a teammate of PC junior Jalen Lindsey at Huntington Prep.

The sophomore offered a reminder of why Ed Cooley and former assistant Bob Simon were in such heavy pursuit on Thursday. Lyle overpowered PC’s guards on his way to a 21 point, eight rebound, seven assist explosion.

2. Early in the first half Big Ten Network commentator Seth Davis questioned if Rodney Bullock has the mental makeup to dominate games now that Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil have moved on. For the Friars to have early season success they’ll need Bullock to take over in critical moments, and he was more than ready Thursday night, scoring 27 points and grabbing eight boards in perhaps his best game in a Friar uniform.

As I wrote in the preseason, there aren’t many players in the Big East capable of grabbing 13-14 rebounds or knocking down five or six 3-pointers on any given night, and Bullock had it rolling from deep against the Buckeyes (5-9).

It wasn’t a flawless evening for Bullock, however. The junior struggled to finish at times on the interior and forced a few mid range shots, making just 3-11 from inside the arc, but Cooley and his staff can live with that as long as Bullock is aggressively seeking out his offense as a young core finds its footing.

3. PC’s coaching staffed valued Kyron Cartwright from the start of his career for his ability to take care of the ball. For all Dunn meant to the program, where Cartwright offers an upgrade is in the turnover department. Where Dunn could be both mesmerizing and turnover-prone, Cartwright is more of a steady hand.

Cartwright handled the ball for most of his 31 minutes and finished with eight assists and zero turnovers for a PC team that turned it over just three times. As a result, Ohio State didn’t get out in transition and didn’t score a point off of a turnover.

The Friars will win a lot of games if they aren’t turning the ball over and they’re making 10 3s, as they did on Thursday night.

4. Where Ohio State dominated was on the interior. Lyle broke down PC’s defense consistently and as a result OSU outscored PC 42-20 in the paint.

They also held a 43-33 rebound advantage.

The Friars scored just two fastbreak points and got only five points from its bench.

5. All the buzz after the season opener surrounded Emmitt Holt, who scored 22 points on 8-12 shooting in his Friar debut.

Holt, a one-time Big Ten big man at Indiana, returned to the Midwest on Thursday and had to wait longer than he’d hoped to get involved offensively.

Two early fouls sent Holt to the bench with nine minutes to play in the half (and zero points), as the Friars fell behind by 12.

PC went to Holt on the first three possessions of the second half with great effectiveness and got right back into the game.

The junior forward was aggressive, if not his typical efficient self in the second half. He scored all 11 of his points, and attempted eight second half free throws as PC surged back. He shot just 3-9 in the second half, including a missed dunk (that led to an OSU score the other way) as PC was building momentum early in the second half.

6. Cooley shortened his rotation in the second half. Freshmen Alpha Diallo, Kalif Young, and Maliek White combined to play one minute, while Cartwright, Lindsey, Holt and Bullock all played 19+.

The veteran group did not turn the ball over once in the second half and made 7-16 from deep.

Twitter: @Kevin_Farrahar


One Comment

  1. Tom McManimon

    November 18, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Even in the loss, this game will serve you well down the line. Keep your confidence up. Let’s go Friars!

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