Friar Basketball

Weekly Primer

Alyn Breed Twitter

The week ahead in Friartown…

1. Both of Providence’s commits in the class of 2020 will be in action this weekend in Springfield, MA. Jyare Davis and his Sanford School team are taking on Albany Academy at 9am on Saturday, Jan. 18. The Sanford/Albany matchup is part of the always loaded Hoophall Classic. Saturday’s action includes a who’s who of high school teams from across the country.

Albany Academy features 2020 UConn commit Andre Jackson, a 6’5 small forward who Dan Hurley targeted soon after taking over at Connecticut. Jackson was also being pursued heavily by Syracuse. He is ranked 52nd in the class of 2020 by ESPN.

Down the road, Adam Finkelstein and the New England Recruiting Report are hosting a prep spinoff of the Hoophall Classic called the Hoophall Prep Showcase. Saturday provides an appetizing matchup for Friar fans, as PC commit Alyn Breed and IMG Academy are taking on New Hampton Prep at 6:30pm. IMG also plays Hargrave Military Academy at 3pm on Friday.

Breed’s IMG club includes the sons of former NBA players Kenyon Martin and Darius Miles. Providence is also targeting Alex Karaban, a wing from the class of 2022, who is putting up huge numbers at New Hampton.

2. PC takes to the floor twice this week, hosting St. John’s on Wednesday night (1/15) in another late start (8:30pm). The Friars then head to Omaha to take on Creighton on Saturday afternoon (1/18).

St. John’s is off to a 1-3 start in league play, falling at home to Butler in their conference opener (60-58), then losing back-to-back road games at Xavier (75-67) and Georgetown (87-66), before returning home on Saturday and taking out DePaul. The Johnnies trailed by 23 points against Butler, took the lead in that one, but fell late. They beat Arizona in December and edged West Virginia prior to that win. LJ Figueroa and Mustapha Heron are talented veterans who lead St. John’s in scoring.

Creighton is off to a 13-4 start (2-2 in the Big East). Their wins include a 92-75 beatdown of Marquette in their Big East opener, and a convincing 77-65 victory at Xavier on Saturday. They would love to have their game against Villanova back. The Jays led by 14 points in that one before wilting in the second half. Creighton had been on a 15 game home winning streak prior to the Nova loss last week.

As is the case seemingly every year, Greg McDermott’s group is dangerous offensively. Massachusetts native Marcus Zegarowski is a sophomore who leads them in scoring (17.1 ppg) and assists (4.8). He and Ty-Shon Alexander could make a very legitimate claim as the best backcourt in the league. Mitch Ballock gives Creighton a third dangerous guard from beyond the arc. Ballock is shooting over 45% from deep this year. They will be traveling back from a mid-week trip to Georgetown prior to taking on Providence.

3. There are a few notable games on the Big East schedule this week, highlighted by #6 Butler hosting Seton Hall on Wednesday. The Pirates are 4-0 in Big East play, the Bulldogs 3-0. The Hall has been red hot since a 68-48 loss to Rutgers in December. They took out then-#7 Maryland without superstar Myles Powell — a victory that kicked off a six game winning streak that has included victories over DePaul and Xavier on the road, and convincing home wins over Georgetown and Marquette. The game with the Hoyas got testy.

Villanova hosts UConn on Saturday (noon tip), highlighting five Saturday contests.



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