Marshon Brooks missed the West Virginia game with a sprained ankle, which caused coach Keno Davis to lengthen his rotation. However, no one player benefited much from that, as the Alex Kellogg-Chris Baudinet-Connor Heine trio got nine minutes between them.
Rutgers is struggling, but they have a good scoring guard in Mike Rosario and the Friars have had problems this season stopping opponents’ scoring threat. The Scarlet Knights have had problems scoring points this season, but if Rosario gets hot and puts up big numbers Providence could face a lot of pressure against a team with nothing to lose.
That leaves the Friars at 6-5 in the Big East, right in the middle of the pack. In a couple of weeks, it’ll face another difficult stretch, with road games against Louisville and Villanova and home meetings with Notre Dame and Pitt among the Friars’ final five games.
In the middle is this week’s two-game set with games at South Florida and at home against Rutgers. Both are must-win games to set the team up in position to make a run at the NCAAs in Keno Davis’ first season at the helm.
But there is no margin for error even against two of the traditional cellar-dwellers. South Florida handed Marquette its first loss of the conference season on Feb. 6, and the Bulls are playing the best they ever have in their brief Big East history. Rutgers has dangerous scorers, particularly Mike Rosario, and the Providence defense hasn’t been very good at keeping opposing scorers from having big games against them in recent week