The Providence Friars defeated Dartmouth 87-52 in the season opener on Saturday night.
Why Providence Won: Dartmouth simply had an awful offense. In the first half, the Big Green scored slightly more than a half a point per possession. Yeah, usually teams get at least one full point, or maybe .9. Even though they bumped up their offensive rating to a still terrible 81.5 in the second half, they still had a miserable 28% eFG rating for the game. Just downright awful. No matter who was on the court for the Friars, they still found a way to put up points (despite turning the ball over 20 times). Providence had a scorching 72% eFG% in the first half when their best players saw the most time. Even though they shot well behind the arc, the Friars also got it done down low, scoring 44 of their 87 total points in the paint.
Turning Point: The Jump Ball. After a missed three pointer by Dartmouth to kick off the game, followed by turnovers by each team, Vincent Council scored on a fast break layup. It was all pretty downhill for Dartmouth after that. The Friars took an early 13-3 lead (with 7 quick points from freshman Gerard Coleman) and didn’t look back.
Player of the Game: When there is a massive blowout, and walk-ons are entering the game with 7+ minutes left, it’s tough to say that there was a player of the game. However, I am going to give it to Vincent Council, who in the first half had 15 of his 18 points (including a buzzer beater right before the half ended). Council was no match for Dartmouth’s defense, as he was able to penetrate as well as hit 2 of 3 from downtown. Close 2nd for freshman Bryce Cotton – 15 points, 3 assists, 3 steals, hit all four foul shots. Friars announcer Joe Hasset couldn’t say enough about him after the game, saying “He is officially my favorite freshman”.
Goat of the Game: David Rufful had almost 8 PPG last season. Tonight he was 0-8 from the field, including 2 missed threes. At least he hit two foul shots.
Stat of the Game: Bilal Dixon had a quietly monster defensive game, with 11 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Stat of the Game II: Six Friars (Coleman, Kadeem Batts, Bryce Cotton, Ron Giplaye, Dre Evans, Lee Goldsbrough) scored their first career points tonight.
Roster Note: Brice Kofane was in street clothes tonight, but not for redshirt reasons. He has a hamstring injury according to John Rooke in the pregame show. Everyone else pretty much made an appearance tonight, leaving Kofane as the only remaining question as to who might redshirt.