Friar Basketball

The Season: 2017-18 Friars Start 5-1

Alpha Diallo BC Getty Images

Taking a look back at the noteworthy games of the 2017-18 season…

Providence welcomed Boston College to the Dunkin Donuts Center in late November having won three straight after falling to what looked like a surefire NCAA tournament team in Minnesota 12 days prior.

Looks can often be deceiving in the season’s first month. That talented Minnesota team fell apart, while the Eagles eventually surprised in 2017-18.

When it came to Providence fans, respect was at an all-time low for the Eagles (at least for their on-court product). BC hadn’t had a winning season in ACC play since 2010-11, and their record in-conference the previous two years was an ignominious 2-34.

Those who were paying attention knew the backcourt of Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman was dangerous, however. Robinson was fresh off of a sophomore season in which he averaged over 18 points per game, while Bowman had a tremendous freshman season in 2016-17 (14.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists per game). The addition of transfer big man Deontae Hawkins gave BC an interior presence it longed lacked.

By March 2018, Robinson played himself into the NBA Lottery, while Bowman became one of the best guards in the country. They would knock off #1 Duke three weeks after their tilt with PC, fell by a point at eventual one seed Virginia, and finished the season with a surprising 19 wins. This is likely a 20 win club if Hawkins had not gone down for the season in early December. He had been averaging over 12 points and nine rebounds per game.

But in November, Providence had their way with their long-time rival.

Robinson was held without a field goal in the first half, and PC got whatever they wanted on the offensive end. Jalen Lindsey made all four of his 3-point attempts, Kyron Cartwright had 14 points, nine assists and four rebounds in just 28 minutes, while Rodney Bullock (20 points) and Alpha Diallo (15) rounded out four double figure scorers.

Diallo, in particular, had his way. The sophomore made 7-9 from the field, with BC continuously flying at his ball fakes as he made his way to the rim for easy baskets. That was the theme of the night for Boston College. Their defense was non-existent from start to finish.

We also saw continued promise from freshman Nate Watson, who had scored 12 points in his Dunk debut in the loss to Minnesota. Watson scored on consecutive possessions posting up in the second half, and then swooped down the lane for a put-back dunk as the Providence was able to rest its starters in an 86-66 victory.

Twitter: @Kevin_Farrahar

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