Friar Basketball

Emmitt Holt Returns vs. Stonehill

Holt vs URI

Takeaways from Providence’s 87-68 win over Stonehill College in exhibition play on Saturday afternoon…

1. Fittingly, Halloween is around the corner, as Ed Cooley is leading a skeleton crew right now. Sitting this one out were two likely starters in point guard Luwane Pipkins (hamstring) and center Nate Watson (knee), while highly-regarded freshman Greg Gantt remains sidelined with an achilles injury.

The injuries to Pipkins and Gantt took some of the fun out of the exhibition schedule, as perhaps the best part of the preseason games is getting a first look at the newcomers. Pipkins and Gantt are the only two active additions to the roster (transfers Jared Bynum and Noah Horchler are sitting out this year, per NCAA rules). Cooley told the press last week that he wants to play faster, and the signing of the free wheeling Pipkins means that will very likely be the case. Just how much faster Providence plays remains to be seen.

The graduate transfer point guard can be an explosive scorer, and his absence took away some of the luster of Saturday afternoon.

Pipkins’ health will be a storyline, at least early, this season. He was selected to the Pan American team that Cooley coached this summer, but did not make the trip to Peru due to a knee injury. He is now nursing a sore hamstring. Providence will need the scoring boost he is sure to provide, plus with the 3-point line pushed back for the upcoming season, his range will be a factor. So many of his 3-point makes at UMass came from well beyond the arc.

2. The Friars lost senior guard Maliek White to a rolled ankle on Saturday, while sophomore AJ Reeves went down in a heap after a dunk midway through the second half. The Dunkin Donuts Center got eerily quiet with Reeves grabbing his leg in pain, but he later returned to the game, as it appeared as though he was suffering from a leg cramp.

Reeves finished 4-5 from inside the arc, but 1-7 from deep, while White looked solid in scoring six points in just nine minutes.

3. Talk about burying the lede. It should not have taken this long to get to the return of Emmitt Holt. After missing virtually all of the past two seasons following abdominal surgery, Holt made seven of eight shots and finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds in an encouraging return to the floor.

Holt’s return was the feel story of Saturday afternoon, but that storyline will soon transition from appreciation to necessity in the absence of Watson. Holt is the only big man on the roster likely to replicate Watson’s offensive production, and Watson looks as though he could miss a large portion of the first month of the season. Holt did work on the interior against the smaller Skyhawks, but also knocked down a corner 3-pointer on a pretty bounce pass from Reeves, and later a soft baseline jumper.

Perhaps most encouraging was Holt’s presence on the floor. Stonehill went on a 10-0 run early in the second half, and Holt pulled the group on the floor together and was very vocal.

4. Any production Holt provides from long range would be a benefit, as PC struggled to connect from deep yesterday. The Friars made just 5-23 (22%). The free throw shooting woes from last year also reappeared, as Providence went 14-24 at the stripe. Alpha Diallo shot 3-7 at the line on what was otherwise a strong afternoon.

Diallo could have scored at will in this one. He finished with 23 points, four assists, four boards, and made 9-12 from the field. He hit 2-4 from deep, and his two misses rimmed out. His outside shot looks better.

5. Perhaps the most noticeable difference of any returnee was the aggression of sophomore David Duke. Duke was in attack mode on Saturday, making 7-14 of his field goals and finishing with 16 points, seven rebounds, six assists, along with a block and a steal. With the lack of bodies, Cooley was forced to play Duke 35 minutes, and he impressed with his assertiveness.

6. The attendance was listed at 3,469.

7. It was a quiet afternoon for sophomores Kris Monroe and Jimmy Nichols. Monroe blocked a pair of shots and rebounded well in traffic in two particular instances (he finished with 4 boards), but if he is going to crack the rotation he has to start knocking down open jumpers. He missed all three of his shots from the field on Saturday.

Nichols had two blocks, two steals, two assists, and five rebounds in 20 minutes, but went 0-4 from the field.

8. Walk-on Andrew Fonts saw extended time and produced four points, three assists and two steals in 11 minutes. His reverse layup got a rise out of the crowd.

9. It was hard not to be impressed with Stonehill guard Brandon Twitty. The Massachusetts native caught fire in the second half and finished with 25 points before being pulled with just over two minutes remaining.

10. Providence heads to Indiana next week to play a scrimmage against the always tough Purdue Boilermakers. The lack of healthy bodies means this likely will not be as productive a trip as when it was originally planned, but any time you can work with/against a great coach like Matt Painter it is a bonus.

Twitter: Kevin_Farrahar


  1. Derec Lamendola

    October 21, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    Hi every one This Derec Lamendola

    And we are going to tlak about the
    Providence College Mens Bssketball
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  2. Rob

    October 23, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    it was great seeing Emmitt looking like the player he was 3 years ago for several reasons. Most importantly for him and his family to see him completely recovered from a horrific health issue. From a fans point of view it is great to have his experience,skill, and toughness back on the court. His return to the team is a difference maker for the Friars.

  3. Derec Lamendola

    October 23, 2019 at 2:31 pm

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