What To / Where To: BIG EAST Game #4 vs. Rutgers

dave@friarblog —  January 9th, 2010 2:43 PM
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My triumphant return to the DUNK!  I have not been there since December ‘06, when I saw the Friars pummel URI.  I’m heading to Providence for the weekend in a bit with the wife, and will be catching the game tonight.

Section 207, row M.  Stop by and say hello!

WHAT TO: KNOW

Game Time: 8PM

Opponent: Rutgers Scarlet Knights (9-5, 0-2)

Location: The DUNK

Spread: Providence -9.5

ESPN AccuScore Prediction: Providence 80, Rutgers 62 (PC wins 92% in 10,000 sims)

CBS Prediction: Providence 82, Rutgers 74

Pomeroy Prediction: Providence 83, Rutgers 72 (85% confidence)

WHAT TO: LOOK FOR

  • Rutgers does not have the greatest offense (98.6 adjusted offensive efficiency, ranked 201st in the country), but sophomore Mike Rosario will take a majority of the shots and is capable of putting up big numbers – he is 39th in the country with a 32.9% shot percentage ( FGA / MIN% * Team FGA). In last year’s game, Rosario had a bum ankle and was largely ineffective when the Friars handled Rutgers.  If he has an off night or the Friars can find a way to shut him down defensively, PC should be in control.
  • Judging by the numbers, it seems one of the biggest strengths (if there are any) for the Scarlet Knights is their defense.  Although they have an average 98.5 adjusted defensive rating (ranked #140), RU has some really good numbers in limiting opponents’ shooting percentages — they rank #20 in opponents’ effective field goal %, and are particularly stingy in letting up three pointers (28.9%, ranked #25).  RU also ranks #5 in block percentage, thanks to 7 footer Hamady Ndiaye getting 5 a game.  That being said, I will be sound as a pound if I don’t see Sharaud Curry trying to drive the lane and force up layups.  Remember what Thabeet did to him last year?
  • The Scarlet Knights have had trouble limiting opponents on the offensive glass, even with Echenique playing in half the games.  Even Vermont, a team the Friars absolutely manhandled, was able to put up a 42% offensive rebounding percentage on them.  This should be a good game for PC to get their rebounding game back on track after the poor showing in the 2nd half against Pitino’s Cards.  Keno and the coaching staff obviously stressed this part of the game in practices after Wednesday’s loss.  If the players didn’t show they could rebound in practice, they knew playing time could be at stake against Rutgers. Look for every single Providence Friar to fight after every ball after every single missed shot.  If not, I’d be extremely worried.
  • Expect St. John’s like ball control from RU.  In three games.  In three games (WVU, Vermont, NJIT) the team had 20+ turnovers, and in 5 games they coughed it up on at least 25% of their possessions. Overall, they have a poor 221.% TO% (ranked #236).  Let’s see another stealfest!

Please ref, can I have a BIG EAST win?

WHAT TO: READ

StatSheet.com Pregame

Friars.com Gamenotes [PDF]

The Friars will return to action on Saturday, January 9 when the team hosts Rutgers.  The Friars have posted a 12-7 mark all-time versus the Scarlet Knights.  The Friars are 7-2 at home, 4-5 on the road and 1-0 on
neutral courts all-time against Rutgers.  The two teams first met on February 3, 1996 with the Friars earning a 79-68 win at Providence.  The Friars have won the last six contests and eight of the last 10 games between the two teams, including two wins last season – a 78-68 win at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on February 14 and a 73-66 victory on March 1 at the RAC.

ScarletKnights.com: Rutgers in Rhode Island for Saturday Evening Contest at Providence

Rutgers (9-5, 0-2) will look to snap a three game skid and earn its first BIG EAST Conference victory of the season when it travels to Rhode Island to meet Providence (9-6, 1-2) in an 8:00 p.m. tip-off Saturday evening (Jan. 9) at the 12,993-seat Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Both teams are coming off losses to league foes this past Wednesday night, with the Scarlet Knights dropping an 82-56 decision at No. 8-ranked West Virginia and the Friars suffering a 92-70 home defeat to Louisville.

Projo.com: Friars’ coach says lineup changes could be coming

“For us to not come up with better rebounding is a mystery to me. That can’t happen again,” Davis said after the game. “We’ll try to correct the problem, and that might be different personnel. Other players have to look and say, ‘This is my opportunity. All I have to do is get into practice and rebound and I’ll get my opportunity.’ Some of the guys who’ve been getting that opportunity, their minutes will be cut down if they don’t start to rebound.”

Projo.com: Capsule Preview: Rutgers at PC

Rutgers took a big hit when sophomore big man Greg Echenique was injured in the seventh game of the season. He is lost for the season…Best wins have come over Drexel, UMass and Princeton…As his team’s only proven big scorer, Rosario will see heavy defense the rest of the season. He’s reached double figures in all but one game

State of Friars Basketball: Providence Prepares for Rutgers at the Dunk!

The Friars have struggled recently, but their past successes against the Rutgers’ Scarlet Knights should prove to be the difference on Saturday night.  Providence has the ability to play with the swagger necessarily to play tough with the big boys, they just need to be able to leave that effort on the court more often.  Rutgers is not a very good team, but they do have the ability to beat the Friars if PC continues to play the way they have been recently

PFB: Pregame: Providence College vs. Rutgers University

Providence needs to come out ready to play against Rutgers.  That means no 14-0 Rutger runs to open the game.  Hopefully PC can get into their up-tempo style with pressure in the full court and transition driven offense.  The shots, as always, need to fall, but good shot selection will help with that.  We are big on the extra pass, so there is no change in that going into this game.  The Friars need to limit their turnovers, and get back to hitting the glass.  The Louisville rebounding margin was ugly to say the least.  It shouldn’t be as much of an issue this game, but anything near a repeat performance just can’t happen.  Rosario will score his points, but limit him and the Friars should be able to get the win here… at least we hope… please don’t let us lose to Rutgers!!!

Asbury Park Press: Opponents key on Rutgers’ Rosario

Heading into tonight’s contest at Providence — which shut Rosario down twice last season — Scarlet Knights coach Fred Hill has a suggestion for his go-to guy.”Mike’s going to be able to get us points. How efficiently he does it is the key,” Hill said. “We’ve got to get him to the free-throw line more. We’ve got to get him to do what we call “straight lines to the basket” — when you force the defense to foul you as opposed to trying to avoid contact or slide through.”

Protect R Turf: Rutgers Looks to End Three Game Losing Streak at Providence

Rutgers will need Mike Rosario to find his shooting touch.  Rosario has struggled in recent games going 8-33 from the floor in losses to Cincinatti and West Virginia.  Rosario has been seeing double and triple coverages, and has been forcing shots that he does not need to take.  Rosario can look to forward Johnathon Mitchell who broke out against West Viriginia leading the Knights in scoring with 17 for the game.

WHAT TO: WATCH

Inside profile on Rutgers Basketball player Jonathan Mitchell who recently transferred from the University of Florida.

WHERE TO: WATCH

From ScarletKnights.com

The game will be televised live locally on SNY and via the web at www.ESPN360.com and www.SNY.tv. The game will likely be joined in progress on SNY after Jets Post Game Live playoff coverage. The contest will be available live from its onset via www.ESPN360.com and SNY.tv. Don Orsillo will serve as play-by-play announcer, Ron Perry will provide the commentary and Shawna Hassett will serve as courtside reporter. The game will air on SNY in its entirety later that evening at 11:00 p.m. immediately following SportsNite.

WHERE TO: FOLLOW

Friars.com Gametracker

As always, I’ll be on Twitter @friarblog.

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