The Providence Friars improved to 4-0 for the first time since the 1994-95 by defeating Prairie View A&M on Saturday night at THE DUNK. While it might be rather ho-hum for a team to do what it is supposed to and beat the lesser competition at home, there are some very good things to take away here. Sure, it’s easy to point to lower point totals allowed, but those numbers can be deceiving based on how fast a game is played. Here is a look at the points per possession allowed as compared to last season over the first four games.
* Bryant: .72
* Bucknell: 1.02
* Mercer: 1.04
* Alabama: 1.17
* Dartmouth: .68
* Yale: .80
* Morgan State: .72
* Prairie View A&M: .90
The signs of defensive problems were there last year to start the season even though the team won (expect for Bama), so it’s great to see improvement. The key so far? No opponent has been able to get more than 40% FG% on 2-point shots.
(Photo courtesy of Aslom10 via Twitter)
Let’s hit up the usual after the jump.
LETS TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT ‘THE FOUR FACTORS
- The Friars put up good shooting numbers despite another poor performance from behind the arc. They made up for it by converting on 23-41 (56%) in 2-point shots. On the flip side, this was the 3rd time PC was able to hold their opponent to under 40% eFG%. That matches the total of times the team accomplished that feat last season. Something to keep in mind – 2 of those 3 times came during Providence’s first six games against much weaker competition (Bryant and Vermont).
- Offensive rebounding was a potential area to exploit when looking at what Prairie View did in their first four games, and the Friars didn’t disappoint. PC rebounded almost half of their own misses, and generated 18 second chance points. Marshon Brooks and Kadeem Batts lead the way with four each, and Bilal Dixon grabbed 3 as well.
- Whenever Keno Davis preached his defensive philosophies, it usually centered around pressing and creating turnovers. Even though the Friars put up good numbers defensively again, they did it without the help of many turnovers — Prairie View A&M turned it over on less than 10% of their possessions. After a game with 9 steals and 11 blocks against Morgan State, the Friars were able to get their defense with good ‘ol fashion missed shots. They still need to keep an eye out on turnovers themselves, as the three double-double guys (Brooks, Dixon, and Council) combined for 10 of Providence’s 14 total miscues.
- PC did an excellent job at getting to the line, and converted at a very good 74% clip. Five Friars had at least 3 freebie attempts. Despite jacking up 38 total shots in the first half, Prairie View A&M only got to the line TWICE in the first 20 minutes. Only three Panthers found themselves at the line taking foul shots, and guard Trant Simpson had 6 of the team’s 11 total in the game.
OTHER STAT NOTES
* 1st Half: 120.2
* 2nd Half: 110.4
Prairie View A&M: 89.9
* 1st Half: 66.7
* 2nd Half: 107.3
- The second half is a little worrisome defensively for the Friars from a numbers standpoint, looking like last year’s team that continually gave up more than a point per possession. However, Providence built up such a comfortable lead early in the 2nd half that I think things got a little too lax. Not something you like to see, but I am comfortable giving them a pass considering the defensive effort as a whole.
- Marshon Brooks was very efficient in taking a high number of his team’s shots (34.4% shot percentage) and possessions (27.1%). His 117 efficiency rating was still a notch below his great 124 rating thanks to that 2nd half outburst against Morgan State.
- Bilal Dixon and Vincent Council the two other Friars with highest possessions used given the amount of time seen on the court, but Council’s 10 assists gave him a much higher 134 offensive rating than Dixon’s 93.8.
Let’s judge some performances by dishing out some pasta (from 1-4, 4 being awesome). My homage to the Star-Ledger.
Marshon Brooks – Points are nice as always, 3rd game in a row with 10+ rebounds.
Bilal Dixon – 3rd double-double this year (missed getting one in all four by ONE rebound against Yale). 4-4 at the line is the cherry on top of that double-double sundae.
Vincent Council – Oh, you think I dribble around too much do you? Well how about I drop 10 dimes? Kthnxbai.
Gerard Colman – Not getting many offensive opportunities yet, but making the most out of the ones he gets.
Cortney Bell – Not bad overall with 8 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal.
Trant Simpson – 1-7 behind the arc
BOX SCORES FOR THE STATS NERDS!
AROUND THE INTERWEBS
Friars.com: Men’s Basketball Downs Prairie View A&M 78-62
Three Friars recorded double-doubles as the Providence College men’s basketball team (4-0) posted a 78-62 win over Prairie View A&M (1-4) on Saturday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. The game was a second round match up in the Cancun Challenge. The Friars improve to 4-0 and are off to their best start since 1994-95.
“Four and zero. That was the goal,” said Bilal Dixon, who ruled the lane with 14 points and 14 rebounds. “We’re playing ‘D’, the intensity is high, the confidence is high. That gives us a better chance to go to Cancun and take it.”
Asked what the difference is between this year and last when PC allowed Big East foes to string up 85 points a game on 50 percent shooting, Dixon quickly answered “the attitude is different. Everybody wants to get stops. That’s the goal. Last year is done but we still look back at that and know we had that (bad) feeling. We don’t want that feeling any more.”
It’s the first time since the 1994-95season that Providence has started the season at (4-0). But don’t be fooled by the numbers. The Friars have yet to play a significant opponent having also defeated Dartmouth, Yale and Morgan State. However, in their defense, all that they can do is take care of business against the teams on their schedule and that is what they are doing at the moment.
ESPN: Boring-ass AP Article
Providence dominated down low, scoring 44 points in the paint compared to the Panthers’ 22. The Friars also outrebounded Prairie View A&M 53-31.
THOUGHTS ELSEWHERE AROUND TWITTER
@bryncvp Good win by the boys tonight…first 4-0 start since 1994-1995 season. Time for a few hours sleep then hopping a plane to Mexico. Go Friars!