According to Ken Pomeroy’s site, tonight’s game against South Florida at home will be the Friars only win the rest of the season. These things obviously change as the season goes on (the projections had us also beating Seton Hall before our loss to Marquette and their win against Louisville). If you ask me, projections and these so called “statistics” are all a bunch of witchcraft.
Anyways, with a big rivalry game against UCONN looming on Wednesday, and a general GAUNTLET of tough games against good teams on the horizon, something might come to mind when thinking about this winnable home game tonight:
Sorry Admiral, I think the Friars will come to play tonight. Keno Davis has had almost a full week to kick their butts after the Marquette debacle. The team should be focused on tonight’s game, and know that they are not really good enough to be looking ahead in the schedule and overlook lesser teams. Every BIG EAST game is tough, and hey, even DePaul can find a way to win once in a while.
WHAT TO: KNOW
Game Time: 8PM
Opponent: University of South Florida (11-7, 1-5)
Location: The DUNK
Spread: Providence -6.0
ESPN AccuScore Prediction: PC 75, USF 68 (PC wins 73% of 10,000 simulations)
Pomeroy Prediction: PC 78, USF 75 (62% confidence)
WHAT TO: LOOK FOR
- Without Augustus Gilchrist in the lineup (out with an ankle injury suffered in December), South Florida is pretty limited on the offensive end. Dominique Jones is their go-to guy, averaging a team leading 19.6 points per game. With a limited bench Jones is always on the court, playing 88.2% of the team’s minutes (41st in the nation). The only other offensive threat is 6-11 junior Jarrid Famous, who is the only other active player above 10 points per game (and also above an 100 offensive rating). With both Jones and Famous on the court (Famous is also out there a ton, 76.9 minute %), they take about half of the team’s shots. Providence should know what’s coming, the question is if they can find a way to stop both of them.
- Don’t expect a repeat of Darius-Johnson-F$%#-Odom – DePaul has a 304th ranked 3-point percentage of 29.8%. Well, statistically speaking it is not likely to repeat, but that could change if there are wide open guys on the perimeter all game. However, this may be a good thing given everyone’s shooting percentage outside of Jones.
- South Florida is going to try slow down the blistering pace the Friars like to play, as they come into the game with an adjusted tempo of 66.3 (#251 in the nation) — almost 10 possessions less Providence’s #6 ranked 75.0! USF has only played three games above 70 possessions, and they were all wins against not so great teams — Davidson: 70, Central Florida: 71, and Rutgers EIGHTY. To be fair the game against Rutgers was last week, and the players apparently have all quit on the season (*cough* Mike Rosario *cough*).
- Watch those fouls Bilal. South Florida has a very good free throw rate on the season (they are the anti-Friars with a 38th ranked 44.2% FT rate). Although Gilchrist has the team’s highest FT rate in only 8 games played, Famous, Jones, and guard Chris Howard have also had no trouble getting to the line
WHAT TO: READ
The Friars return to action for their first game in six days when the squad hosts the University of South Florida on Saturday, January 23 at 8:00 p.m. It will be homecoming for all Friar alums. PC has posted a 5-1 record all-time versus USF, including a 4-0 record since the Bulls joined the BIG EAST in 2005-06. PC is 3-0 all-time at home versus USF, 2-1 on the road and 0-0 at neutral sites. In the only meeting between the two teams last season, the Friars defeated the Bulls, 77-62, on February 10, 2009 in Tampa, Fla. USF’s only win over the Friars was a 68-64 victory on November 26, 2002 in Tampa, Fla.
Projo.com: Friars should focus on task at hand
The Bulls (11-7, 1-5) are off to yet another slow Big East start. In their previous four seasons, the Bulls have never won more than four games. Only two (2-32 all-time road mark) of their 12 conference wins have come on the road.
But this South Florida team is the best the school has ever offered the Big East. For one, it may have the best scoring guard in the conference in junior Dominique Jones.
Projo.com: Capsule Preview: USF at Providence
The Bulls come to town looking to grab a badly needed road win. Coming off a 78-70 loss at Cincinnati. Have also lost at Louisville and Syracuse in conference play
Defensively it is no secret that Jones has to be limited. He will score his points, but we just can’t let him go off on us. We are thinking the zone may help limit his penetration and inside finishes. But he can beat you from the outside as well, so we need to check him at all times, and force low percentage shots from him. We also need to hit the glass. There are a number of players on this USF team who will hit the boards. There is nobody averaging 10 rebounds a game but there are a few around seven. We need to put a body on the green shirts.
ABC Action News: Providence vs. South Florida Game Preview
USF was unable to cool Cincinnati down on Wednesday, as the Bearcats shot an efficient 55.6 percent from the floor on their way to a 78-70 decision. The Bulls made just 43.5 percent of their attempts from the field and a dismal 3- of-18 from long distance. Dominique Jones continued his run with 21 points and six boards, while Chris Howard notched a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards. That now makes it five games in row in which Jones has scored 20 or more points and he continue to pace USF in scoring (19.6 ppg) as well as assists (4.1 apg) for the season
WHAT TO: WATCH
Syracuse v South Florida Highlights
The last 6 minutes, presented with stoppages cut out, of the January 5th game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the South Florida Bulls
Highlights from Louisville vs. South Florida on December 30, 2009.
WHERE TO: WATCH
The game will be on ESPNU if you have it. My guess is that you don’t because I always have to go out to watch it.
WHERE TO: FOLLOW
I’ll be in the Dirty Jersey all weekend, and unfortunately without any access to ESPNU. I’ll try to follow along on my phone if I can get away with it. Hit me up on @friarblog