I Don’t know how else to describe this game. Who could blame you if you thought – “Hey, PC has this cupcake game before they play BC on Saturday…this Jackson State team is 1-8 and it should be a blowout where the Friars can work their kinks out”. Mmmm, cupcakes.
Sorry, no delicious cupcakes were delivered to the DUNK on Wednesday night.
The Providence Friars came off their 10 day exam break very, very slowly. Jackson State, who despite being 1-8, was picked to win their conference (SWAC), and had the preseason player of the SWAC (Grant Maxey). Well apparently, someone forgot to tell Jackson State that they had an ELEVEN day exam break, so they decided to never miss a fucking shot. Eight minutes into the game, Providence found themselves down 21-10.
Friars announcer Joe Hasset remarked at the time “The Friars are just not playing with intensity right now”.
As Homer Simpson would say “Urge to kill rising….”.
Fast forward another 8 minutes. Over this period, Providence goes on a nice 21-11 run themselves thanks to a made three pointer sighting (Curry) and some hey-we-are-Jackson-State-what-the-fuck-are-we-doing-shooting-90% shooting from Jackson State. With 4 minutes left, the Friars were only down 32-31.
Whew. “Urge to kill fading….fading…..fading”.
I’m not sure what happened over the next 4 minutes, because I think the Friars’ play caused me to black out. I have to assume that they were actually on the court, but I’m not so positive. Jackson State went on a 11-1 run and took a 43-32 lead into the half.
“Urge to kill fading….fading…RISING”.
According to Kevin McNamara in his Projo.com game writeup:
After a halftime “chat” that saw Davis’ ire rise to a level that the Friars’ players say they hadn’t seen from their first-year coach, PC regrouped.
Oh man, what wouldn’t I give to hear this “chat”. Anyway, the Friars came right out of the gate in the second half and quickly got back into the game, tying it up less than 5 minutes in. Midway through the half, the Friars had their own 7 point lead. From then on, it was all Providence.
Jeff Xavier slightly busted out of his funk and hit two threes in the half for 8 2nd half points. Hanke was a force down low and a sharpshooter at the foul line, getting 9 2nd half points (3-3 from the line). McDermott had his usual physical game getting a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. The real star of the half (and apparently Keno Davis’ target in his “chat”) was Weyinmi Efejuku. Wey had the anti-Jim Baron game, getting 16 of his 18 points in the 2nd. He repeatedly beat his man off the dribble and seemed almost unstoppable.
Will the Friars be able to put together a good all-around game for 40 minutes? According to Jeff Xavier, they have two games to find out.
“In the first half we came out sloppy. I don’t think we gave this team respect,” said PC’s Jeff Xavier, “but in the Big East that’s not going to work for us. We’re going to have to come out every single game with fire and energy. We can’t just bring it 20 minutes a game. We have to bring 40 minutes of effort night in and night out.”
Bring on BC.
LETS TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT ‘THE FOUR FACTORS’
When Jackson State was pulling ahead early on and not missing any shots against the listless Friar defense, free-throw shooting and offensive rebounding really kept Providence in the game (well, from not falling behind by 20+). Geoff McDermott kept his mojo going at the line, going 3-4 in the first half. Providence got to the line 19 times in the 2nd half (compared to Jackson State’s 12 attempts in the whole game) , thanks to aggressive driving to the hoop by Efejuku and great looks to the forwards down low.
It’s really interesting to see that Providence had such a higher eFG% for the game. It just shows how bad Jackson State was, and how good the Friars were in the second half.
Both teams had trouble turning over the ball in the first half. Sharaud Curry had 3 of the team’s 10 turnovers in the half as he kept getting double teamed way out at the point. In the second half, the Friars only committed 5 turnovers, versus Jackson State’s 8.
StatSheet needs to add little markers on the graph for times when my head explodes.
OTHER STAT NOTES
Providence Offensive Rating by Half:
1st Half – 94.96
2nd Half – 147.2
Jackson State Offensive Rating by Half:
1st Half – 119.78
2nd Half – 76.09
The Friars’ offensive rating of 147.2 in the second half fell just short of the team’s best rating for a half, which was 148.5 in the first half of the Brown victory.
Providence Effective FG % by Half:
1st Half – 44%
2nd Half – 66%
Jackson State Effective FG % by Half:
1st Half – 64%
2nd Half – 30%
The Friars’ 66% eFG% in the second half was just short of the team’s best % in a half for the season, which was 67% (also in the Brown game).
- Overall, the Friars continued to struggle from behind the arc (5-18, 27.8%), but they shot well in the 2nd half (3-7).
- Six Friars scored in double figures (Efejuku, Xavier, McDermott, Curry, Hanke, Kale)
- Jackson State made 20 FG’s in the first half…in their last game (which was against Kansas) they made 19 the whole game.
LET’S SERVE SOME PASTA
Let’s judge some performances by dishing out some pasta (from 1-4, 4 being awesome). My homage to the Star-Ledger.
Weyinmi Efejuku – Hey Keno, whatever you said to Wey at halftime…write that down!
Geoff McDermott – 3rd double-double of the season (13 points, 11 rebounds)…5 assists too…obligatory exclamation of FILLING UP THE STATSHEET!.
Darrion Griffin – Jackson State senior guard had 20 points, and was consistent both halves.
Grant Maxey – Preseason SWAC player of the year only had 4 points in the second half.
Jeff Xavier – Like most of the Friars, played much better in the 2nd half…still missing a lot of 3’s out there
Marshon Brooks – OMFG, only one bowl for Marshon! Hey, the way he’s been playing all year, he’s entitled to an off-night
BOX SCORES FOR THE STATS NERDS!
NEWS AROUND THE NET
Senior guard Weyinmi Efejuku scored a team-high 18 points and was one of six Friars, which scored in double figures Wednesday as the Providence College men’s basketball team (7-3) defeated Jackson State (1-9) by the score of 85-71 at the Dunkin Donuts Center.
Don’t look at the final score. This was a very, very tough night for the Providence Friars.
But after only a handful of trips up and down the Dunkin’ Donuts Center floor, Davis and his Friars were the ones doing the blushing. PC found itself in trouble –– big trouble –– yet still dug deep and pulled out an exciting 85-71 win.
No matter what coaches preach or do to avoid the dreaded exam-break letdown, they never quite know what they’ll see when the books are put away for another semester.
Talk about a tale of two halves.
Providence stamped an 85-71 victory over bottom-tier Jacksonville State Wednesday night, resuscitating itself after a nightmarish first half, outscoring the visitors 53-28 after intermission.
Darrion Griffin’s game high 20 points was not enough for the JSU Tigers to get past a solid Providence Friars team as the Tigers fell 85-71 in men’s basketball action Wednesday night at the Dunkin Donuts Center.
Asked what Davis said to the team at halftime, Xavier said, “I can’t say that on TV. I’ve never seen him talk like that, but it got us fired up.”
It is clear that they lack consistency. Maybe it’s because of the long break after the URI game, maybe not. Either way, this team has to step it up over the next few weeks and pad their schedule before the Big East comes knocking.
Special thanks to DCFriar and Forage for joining in the Live Blog!