Friar Basketball

18 Notes on 18 Conference Games

cooley-lindsey-and-bullock

Providence announced the Big East portion of its schedule on Tuesday.

The Friars open conference play with a pair of road games at St. John’s (12/28) and Creighton (12/31), before taking on Marquette on Jan. 3 at the Dunkin Donuts Center.

Here are 18 notes on the 18 conference games:

  1. 12/28 at St. John’s: There’s not much love lost here. Ed Cooley and Chris Mullin had words after St. John’s defeated Providence at the Dunk last January (not the cordial kind). This was a game the Friars believed they let slip away, and they returned the favor in the regular season finale by bullying the Johnnies in the paint at MSG. Unfortunately, PC won’t have the same opportunity this year, as they’ll be playing on St. John’s campus.
  2. 12/31 at Creighton: The sneaky subplot to this one? One-time Friar recruit Kaleb Joseph will suit up for Creighton after sitting out last year following his transfer from Syracuse. Providence was one of Joseph’s final three schools before he committed to Syracuse, and one source insisted that Joseph had interest in transferring to Providence, but the feeling wasn’t mutual. Hard feelings will be the theme of late December.
  3. 1/3 vs. Marquette: Wojo’s club has to feel like they owe PC one. Providence took a 79-78 heart-stopper in Milwaukee last year (the Friars’ first ever win at Marquette), then PC rallied back from down double digits in late February to win another thriller at home. The Dunk was electric on that Saturday afternoon. Best crowd of the year.
  4. 1/6 vs. Xavier: Over the summer I watched every Big East game a second time (cut me some slack, I was editing videos), and there was non-stop talking taking place when Xavier visited PC last year. More than any other game. Chris Mack’s club is fresh off of an Elite Eight appearance and figures to contend for a Big East title.
  5. 1/12 at DePaul: Chicago was the site of Providence’s low point last year. The Friars let a double digit lead slip away in the final three minutes with sloppy ball handling, falling at DePaul for the second consecutive season. Think they’ll hear about that at all heading into this one?
  6. 1/15 vs. Butler: Providence has had their way at home against Butler the past two seasons. Their Feb. 11 win against the 22nd ranked Bulldogs kicked off a six game winning streak to close the regular season. A year prior, Butler was ranked 18th in the country, but came up short at the Dunk.
  7. 1/20 vs. Creighton: A year ago, Kyron Cartwright was hobbled and we missed out on an “any gear you can go, I can go faster” point guard matchup between Cartwright and Mo Watson.
  8. 1/23 at Villanova: A benchmark game for the Friars… and the beginning of a brutal three game stretch.
  9. 1/31 at Seton Hall: The Pirates aren’t to be overlooked. They are a veteran club with perhaps the best rebounder in the country in Angel Delgado anchoring the paint. These two teams played to a virtual standstill last season, both winning on its home court in the closing minute. Ed Cooley should have more depth in the frontcourt this season, with the development of sophomore Kalif Young and the additions of freshmen Nate Watson and Dajour Dickens. They’ll be tested by Delgado.
  10. 2/3 at Marquette: The end of a grinding road trip. The Friars were unbelievably hot from deep in the first half in Milwaukee last year, and Cartwright scored 18 second half points to lead PC to a victory. It takes a lot to take down Marquette on its home floor.
  11. 2/6 vs. Georgetown: Patrick Ewing returns to Providence as head coach of the Hoyas. Providence dominated Georgetown under JTIII.
  12. 2/10 vs. DePaul: PC has a chance to build momentum with Georgetown and DePaul — the two teams most likely to be picked 9th and 10th in the league — coming in mid-February.
  13. 2/14 vs. Villanova: The Dunk was electric last season when PC battled Villanova before faltering in the final minute. This was the night that freshman Alpha Diallo grew up, as he took it at All American Josh Hart on more than one occasion. Diallo was assertive (18 points, 8 free throw attempts).
  14. 2/17 at Butler: Butler took it to Providence on its home floor last season, after PC defeated them in Indy three straight times from 2014-16. In 2016, the Bulldogs were ranked 9th nationally, but PC rallied in the second half for one of their signature wins of the season. Rodney Bullock had six 3-pointers in that game.
  15. 2/21 vs. Seton Hall: After losing a heart-breaker at DePaul, the Friars picked themselves up and knocked off Seton Hall behind a late three point play by Cartwright. Things began to turn on that Saturday afternoon in January.
  16. 2/24 at Georgetown: Providence steamrolled Georgetown in DC last year, with Cartwright coming up a rebound shy of a triple double.
  17. 2/28 at Xavier: The hope for both programs is that this game will be about seeding… and it could be a big one late in the season.
  18. 3/3 vs. St. John’s: Senior Night for a veteran Providence team should make it an emotional farewell to the core of this team.

Twitter: @Kevin_Farrahar

Email: kevin.farrahar@friarbasketball.com

See the full schedule here.

2 Comments

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