Friar Basketball

AJ Reeves’ Record-Setting Debut

AJ Reeves Siena USA Today USA Today

“He won’t be scared.”

That’s what stuck with me most from a conversation with Tom Nelson last winter. Nelson was AJ Reeves’ coach for four years at Brimmer and May, and spent countless hours prepping Reeves for what we saw on Tuesday night.

After Reeves missed the first shot attempt of his college career he caught absolute fire, making his next 10 attempts from the field, including seven straight from beyond the 3-point line.

Reeves finished with 29 points on 10-13 shooting from the field and 7-9 from deep in Providence’s 77-67 season opening win over Siena on Tuesday night.

His 29 points were more than any Friar freshman has ever scored in his debut, smashing the prior record of 17. Reeves nearly eclipsed that mark 13 minutes into the game (he had 16 points in the opening 13 minutes).

He became the first Friar to knock down seven 3-pointers in a game since Bryce Cotton made 7-14 in a 33 point effort at Boston College.

“I didn’t expect AJ to do what he did, but man, that was something to watch. I was a fan for about two minutes,” Ed Cooley said following the win.

“I couldn’t imagine it going this well,” Reeves said of his big night. “I thought I was going to get a couple of points and just do my job, but when it went through the first time I was just like ‘I’m going to shoot it again and again.”

Providence needed all of those shots to hold off a Siena bunch that just wouldn’t go away. They made 12 3-pointers of their own and pulled to within seven late before Alpha Diallo grabbed an offensive rebound and scored while being fouled to all but seal it late.

Cooley called Diallo’s offensive rebound the play of the game. In a sign of just how explosive Reeves was from deep, Diallo’s 16 point, 11 rebound, five assist night went overshadowed.

But this is what Providence will need from Diallo as their newcomers adjust to college basketball. He balanced looking for his own shot (6-11 from the field, and an encouraging 3-5 from 3) with making plays for his teammates. His five assists matched his career high (which he reached once — in last season’s loss to Minnesota).

Diallo, Reeves, and senior Isaiah Jackson combined to shoot 10-12 from 3-point range in the first half. On a team with question marks about its outside shooting entering the season, that was another encouraging sign.

Jackson (16 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds) and Nate Watson were particularly effective in the opening half. Jackson knocked down three 3-pointers to provide separation late in the first half, while Watson made all five of his shots from the field in a 10 point opening stanza. PC shot over 60% from both the field and beyond the 3-point arc in the first half.

Reeves was the story of the night, however. There’s no telling how a freshman will look when the lights turn on, but Reeves shined in his first game in black and white.

And he certainly wasn’t scared.

Twitter: @Kevin_Farrahar



  1. Derec Lamendola

    November 7, 2018 at 3:04 pm


  2. Pingback: Friar Starting Five: Wednesday Edition - Friar Basketball

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