OK, So That 2nd Half Sucked

dave@friarblog —  January 7th, 2010 3:30 PM
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Interestingly enough, the Friars lost by more than they did against Notre Dame, but somehow I feel less like pouring my scalding morning Dunkin’ Donuts coffee all over my face.  While the 2nd half of last night’s 92-70 loss to Louisville was pretty gruesome and tough to swallow, I think we can take some positives out of the game.

  • Marshon Brooks having a great offensive performance for the first time in a while.  He hit some nice threes, even as he got fouled on one (he couldn’t connect on the FT for the 4-point play)
  • Vincent Council didn’t have great shooting numbers, but he continues to impress the crap out of me with his driving and passing skills.  His teammates seem to lose some assists for him, but hopefully they will start expecting the impossible passes!  Also, how bout his redonkulous layup to finally put the Friars on the board 4 minutes into the game?
  • Three BIG EAST games, three very solid performances from Bilal Dixon. I’m very excited to see what he’s going to do over the next 3+ years.

However, there were obviously some glaring weaknesses, some which we could expect

  • Once Samardo Samuels started to get his inside game going, it was all downhill for the Friars.  Won’t be the last time we see that in the BIG EAST.
  • Greedy was shut down for most of the game – Those crazy layups he would make against the Vermont’s and Yale’s were stuffed back in his face.  He also came up short in the rebounding department, as Louisville’s ridiculous 58.6% offensive rebounding percentage was the worst the Friars have let up all year.
  • Letting many wide open threes once again.
  • Foul shooting was pretty bad for our big men.

The team just needs to be more consistent – we saw what they could do in the first half.  We can build on this!

Other interesting nuggest

  • Tim Higgins is still a giant db.
  • Edgar Sosa’s dunk at the end was pretty unnecessary. Is it me or has he been on the team for 10 years now?  Also, according to ESPN his favorite TV show is “John and Kate Plus 8”.  So he’s got that going for him.
  • Also towards the end of the game it appeared Slick Rick got in a mini screaming match with some of the fans.  I saw this little comment on Facebook – “Rick pitino turned around and yelled “shut the f*ck up”at my group. We weren’t sayin sh*t! I was like WTF”.  My guess is that someone was saying something, but you stay classy Ricky.

I watched the game at a bar, so I didn’t get much sound.  From tweets from people at the game it appeared the DUNK got pretty loud during their first half comeback.  WBRU News said otherwise:

I had been looking forward to seeing a hungry PC faithful come out to the conference home opener and will their team to a victory over a Louisville team that was only marginally favored in the game and former Friar coach Rick Pitino. But I forgot it’s still winter break for the student body, resulting in a depleted student section, no band, and an overall disappointing crowd filled with old people.

Ouch.  Guess they don’t want old people watching their news channel or whatever.

FOUR FACTORS

AROUND THE NET

Friars.com: Men’s Basketball Upended By Louisville, 92-70

The Providence College men’s basketball team (9-6, 1-2 BIG EAST) was defeated by the University of Louisville (11-4, 2-0 BIG EAST) by a score of 92-70 on Wednesday, Jan. 6 in the Friars’ BIG EAST home opener at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The Cardinals used a 14-0 first-half surge and a 22-5 second-half run to put the game out of reach for PC. Junior guard/forward Marshon Brooks (Stone Mountain, Ga.) led the Friars with 21 points while freshman forward/center Bilal Dixon (Jersey City, N.J.) added 12 points and four rebounds.

Projo: Friars come undone, tumble to Louisville, 92-70

Then, stunningly, the bottom fell out of the upset bid. Louisville took advantage of a call in its favor on an apparent shot-clock violation and then stunned the Friars during a 3-point flurry that broke open a one-point game, then cruised to a 92-70 victory. The Cards (11-4, 2-0 Big East) wiped out a five-point halftime deficit and outscored the Friars, 55-28, in the second half.

The Sun Chronicle: Cardinal sin

Try as they might, the Providence College Friars have yet to acquire the skills defensively and on the backboard, rebounding, to compete with the best teams in the Big East Conference.

The Friars surrendered 55 second-half points to Louisville, allowing the Cardinals to shoot 61 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes in taking home a 92-70 verdict.

WBRU: PC returns to Earth, falls to Louisville, 92-70

Coach Keno continuously referenced the youth of the team after the game, perhaps as a insight into why the team continued to fall deeper and deeper into the hole it had dug for itself in the second half. After such a strong first half, the team got sloppy with shooting, passing, free throws (3-8 in the second half), defending the inside, and just about everything else one can do to stay in a basketball game with an elite team. The players seemed to get increasingly frustrated until they saw a 5 point halftime lead become a 22 point deficit. There was a lack of veteran leadership or even a bench player who could get the team moving in the right direction again.

State of Friars Basketball: Friars Flop After Missed Call, Cardinals Win in Rout

Also, you cannot win when two of your best players (Curry and Peterson) combine to go only 5-15 from the floor and only 1-5 from three. They are supposed to be your best players for a reason. The fact that game after game Rodell Davis is screaming at Greedy Peterson about his poor game management and shot selection means that the coaching in practice has not been effective, as this is the third straight game Greedy has been cursed out on the bench.

Truth About PC Basketball: Louisville Live Blog

Random ESPNU announcer talks about the great tradition of coaches at PC: “Joe Mullaney, Dave Gavitt, Tim Welsh…” Alright, let’s not get carried away.

Truth About PC Basketball: Louisville Quick Notes

Tim Higgins was also flirting with the Pitino and the Louisville bench all night. They were constantly chit chatting all night, and rushing to get Higgins water during timeouts. Pretty sure he might be blackmailing Pitino too. Or at the very least, they had (and/or are still having) sex in bathrooms. Hey can’t blame Rick, at least with Higgins you don’t have to worry about paying 3,000 dollars to get rid of any unneccessary surprises.

Courier Journal: Louisville basketball starts hot, ends hotter in 92-70 rout of Providence

“We came in at halftime, and all the guys were getting on me to post up,” said Samuels, who finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. “They told me if I posted up they would get me the ball. That’s all they had to say.”

Card Game: Louisville Confident In Dissecting Providence

With a few minutes to think about it at the half, Rick Pitino’s team methodically dissected a Providence team that is going to surprise a few Big East teams. When the three-point shots are going in, Louisville will be more than competitive.

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