by Ray Floriani
NEWARK, NJ – A few observations on the Friar’s 98-93 OT win last night at the ‘Rock’.
- Attacking the basket. Providence got into the three point game the first half. Actually both teams (PC 9-12 and Hall 6-12) shot the ball very well from beyond the arc. The second half Seton Hall defended the perimeter players better and PC coach Keno Davis made it a point to attack the basket. Davis was especially pleased with his club’s second half game plan execution. “A month or so ago if teams defended us outside better we still would have shot the three,” Davis said. “We would have moved back and still shot the three. Tonight we adjusted in the second half and went inside.”
- Jeremy Hazell. The Hall sharpshooter had a game high 30 points including 7 of 12 from three. Later in the first half PC led by 14.Midway in the second, the Friars had an eight point lead. Both times Hazell sparked a Pirate rally by burying a few treys. In overtime though, he was defended very well by the Friars. Hazell got a few looks but not uncontested in that extra session. To no surprise the Pirates look to Hazell as a primary option. But they have Paul Gause, Robert Mitchell and Eugene Harvey willing to take perimeter shots so you cannot spend all your defensive focus on one player. That gives Hazell more room to roam and get open.
- Attrition. Seton Hall does not have the bodies. As noted Davis made a concerted effort to attack the basket the second half. It worked as John Garcia, the Hall’s lone starting big man’ fouled out(as did Robert Mitchell and Paul Gause). PC shot 42 free throws to the Hall’s 22. At the half the Hall attempted 6 to PC’s 5 so it is quite evitable that the Friar change in offensive philosophy worked in wearing their hosts down and in getting to the line.
- Final note. Really impressed with the half court offensive sets Davis runs. His inbounds plays off time outs were excellent as well.
- Friars had five players in double figures led by Jeff Xavier’s 20 points.
Very high offensive numbers, largely due to the three point shooting of both teams.
Providence…60% (11/20 from 3)
Seton Hall….58% (13/27 from 3)