Friar Basketball

Remembering Kris Dunn’s Barclays Breakout

Dunn Podcast

When it comes to Providence and the Barclays Center, I’ll always think of it as the beginning of Kris Dunn’s star turn.

Dunn was in his third season at Providence, but missed virtually all of the year prior after undergoing shoulder surgery, while his freshman season didn’t start until December as he returned from his first shoulder surgery that summer.

We saw glimpses of what Dunn could become in those abbreviated first two years, but on that December night in Brooklyn — Providence’s 13th game of the year — we saw Dunn’s full arsenal on display in a nationally televised game against Miami.

He never looked back.

It’s easy to forget now, but Dunn was not seen as a sure thing by any stretch after two injury plagued seasons — nor were the Friars. Providence was coming off of a surprise Big East Championship run, but graduated Bryce Cotton and Kadeem Batts. PC started hot in the fall of 2014, winning its first six games, including victories on consecutive days against Florida State (80-54) and Notre Dame (75-74) in the second week of the season.

Dunn was very good against the Seminoles (15 points, 9 assists), while his quiet day versus the Irish (6/5/4) was overshadowed by a 38 point explosion from LaDontae Henton.

Providence faltered as the calendar turned to December. Dunn sprained his ankle prior to a trip to Lexington. The Friars were held to just 38 points by a Kentucky team so talented that Devin Booker, Tyler Ullis, and Trey Lyes came off of the bench. The Wildcats were led in scoring that day by pretty talented forward named Karl Anthony-Towns.

Losses at Boston College and at home to Brown followed, and things looked bleak for the suddenly 6-3 Friars.

What’s when Dunn started to turn it on. He had 22 points and nine assists in a 68-60 win over URI, and he followed that up with 16 points, 11 assists, five rebounds, and five steals in a blowout of UMass.

Then came Miami.

This was a Hurricanes team that went on the road and demolished #4 Duke at Cameron Indoor a few weeks later.

They had no answers for Dunn in Brooklyn, however. Dunn’s stat line was beyond solid: 15 points, 13 assists, and 6-8 shooting from the field. Beyond the numbers, Dunn dominated this game on both sides of the floor — tossing 50 foot passes and aggressively jumping passing lanes, bullying smaller guards inside, and spinning around bigger ones for scores in traffic.

Henton scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half, freshman Ben Bentil flashed his 3-point range, Carson Desrosiers defended the paint, and Tyler Harris slashed to the rim as PC ran past Miami, 76-62.

The win improved PC’s record to 10-3 and closed out the non-conference portion of the schedule. Dunn built on that momentum and averaged a ridiculous 17 points, 7.7 assists, and 5.9 rebounds, and 2.8 steals per game in conference play.

It felt like that night in Brooklyn catapulted Dunn’s career.



  1. rayi

    December 18, 2019 at 1:15 am

    Players that could shoot!!!

  2. rayi

    December 18, 2019 at 2:29 am

    This is unbelievable that they shoot so bad. Tremendous offensive rebounding but then miss again and Diallo foul shooting is hard to believe. Would have thought with all the hype about duke and reeves this team would be very good.

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