Friar Basketball

The Most Disturbing Trend

For the third time this season Providence has given up 50 points in the paint.  The 64 against Boston College was ridiculous, the 50 in the George Washington game concerning, but 50 against Yale?  Expect this site to continue to beat the “we need a shot blocker drum” until Providence lands themselves a legit one.  50 points in the paint before the Big East season even starts is troubling.

James Still has his share of supporters in Friartown, with some comparing him to Marcus Douthit, but by December of his freshman year Douthit had already won the Big East Rookie of the Week (I’m starting to sound like a much bigger Marcus fan than I really was).  This isn’t to say that Still won’t turn out to be a serviceable player at the end of the day, but this team has no interior defensive presence this year and with two guards and Ron Giplaye, who is more likely to muscle than swat, PC could be looking at back to back seasons in which they don’t have a center to protect the paint.

I’m thrilled to have Gerard Coleman and Joe Young coming and love the offensive potential of them joining Council, Marshon Brooks, and Greedy Peterson, but the reason why this won’t be a potential tournament team is an inability to take away easy looks at the basket.  Experience will help the present crop, but unless Still or Batts make the jump or they bring in a springy big man prior to next season this will be a team that entertains offensively, but frustrates defensively.


Yale Notes:

  • With a buck thirty left in the first half and PC trailing by 4 “Should I Stay or Should I Go” blasted from the Dunk’s speakers. Don’t give the Dunk crowd any ideas.
  • How ugly was the first half?  With Ray Hall suiting up for the first time all season a guy in front of me yelled over to the next section “they should bring in Ray Hall.  The crowd will go nuts and it will light a fire under them.”  I shrugged and for a moment thought, “the last 30 seconds of the half couldn’t kill us.  It might kill poor Ray, but we need a spark.”  Ah, the thought pattern when Yale is running you.
  • Watching lifeless games you start to look for that one kid who determines “enough is enough” and plays hard even though his teammates aren’t.  Back in 2003 Rob Sanders was benched for Timmy’s infamous ‘poor practice habits’ reasoning (apparently, Maris Laksas was a workout warrior) and when he was inserted into a blowout he really got after it in the final four minutes.   I spent this game hoping someone would have a Rob Sanders “this is pathetic, I’m going to play really hard to show the coach that at least someone has a pulse” moment.  While not as blatant, Vincent Council brought back some of those memories.  The kid has grit and we’ll see more of it once he asserts himself more.
  • Is Greedy going to get away with those double pump layups when the Big East schedule starts?  URI stuffed those a few times.
  • Once in a while Brian McKenzie gets the ball 28 feet from the basket and figures “what the hell?  I hit this in practice once” leading to a long rebound and break every time.
  • The ‘bench Curry’ crowd is going to be rumbling louder after tonight.