Exactly one year ago today, the Friars pulled out a close 76-72 victory in Boston against the Northeastern Huskies. Man alive, if only that outcome could have been switched with the debacle from Keno Davis’ coaching debut two seasons ago when Northeastern came to the DUNK. I still believe that losing that opening game kept the Friars from the NCAA Tournament that year (stats and facts be damned!), so that picture of the lame dog jumping in the air with his paws out to the right still haunts my dreams.
Much like the Friars, the Huskies are a very young team in the rebuilding process. Even though they no longer have star Matt Janning (and four other seniors), they are still capable of good defense and excellent all-around play by senior leader and Colonial Athletic Association Pre-season All-First Teamer Chaisson Allen. It should be a fun match-up at the point guard position between Allen and Vincent Council.
WHAT TO: KNOW
Game Time: 7:00PM EST
Opponent: Northeastern (2-2)
Location: The DUNK
ESPN Accuscore: PC 69.7, NU 60.3 (PC wins in 77.2% in 10,000 simulations)
CBS Daily Scores Projection: PC 78, NU 77
Ken Pomeroy Projection: PC 74, Northeastern 63 (PC wins with 86% confidence)
WHAT TO: LOOK FOR
- Battle of Paces: Northeastern has played to a slow pace through it’s first four games (63.6 adjusted tempo, ranked #330), so it could to be a battle of running to the end of the shot clock versus Providence trying to press and force steals as always. The Huskies are slightly better than average at taking care of the ball (19.6% TO%), so PC is going to have to focus on their half court defense to limit good scoring chances.
- Perimeter Huskies: Dating back to last season, a big problem for the Friars on defense has always been allowing layups and high percentage close range shots. The cure for that ailment is a Northeastern team who has been absolutely horrendous on two-point shots this season (37.6%, ranked #329 in the nation). The team actually has shot better from behind the arc so far in 4 games (40.5%, ranked #31), so Providence will have to instead make sure Huskies Chaisson Allen (9-22 from 3FG, 40.9%) and Joel Smith (10-25, 40%) don’t get too many open looks.
- Friar front court, can anybody step up offensively?: Siena was able to dominate the Huskies by a) getting fast break points off of many missed threes and b) getting the ball down low to big man Ryan Rossiter (28 points). Providence hasn’t gotten double digit points from any of their big men since Bilal Dixon dropped 14 against Prairie View A&M.
- Bloc(k) Party: The Friars have been putting up some impressive block numbers as of late (Bilal Dixon gets 2.5 a game, and Ron Giplaye gets 1.3 despite playing about 45 seconds a game), and that trend can continue against Northeastern. Their offense gets blocked on a ridiculous 13.4% of their possessions, which is ranked #314 in the nation.
- Marshon for 1K?: Marshon Brooks is 31 points away from 1,000 career points. His career high in a game is 30 (as a sophomore against Sacred Heart). Hmmmm.
WHAT TO: READ
Friars.com: Gamenotes [PDF]
NortheasternenterstheDunkin’DonutsCenter2-2onthe season.Theyopenedwithback-to-backwinsoverBostonUniversityandSouthern Illinois, before falling to Siena and Utah State in their most recent games. Senior guard Chaisson Allen has led Northeastern in scoring in three of the contests and is averaging 17.0 points per game on the season.
Projo.com: Capsule preview: Northeastern at Providence
The Blue Devils come to town fresh off a 54-50 overtime win over Monmouth in the Northeast Conference opener for both teams. Other wins have come over Hartford, Army and Maryland-Baltimore County…Only loss came at Penn State by a 77-61 score
The Huskies will be looking to rebound from back-to-back losses with a trip to Rhode Island to take on Providence. Northeastern and Providence are meeting for the third season in a row and the 13th time overall. Northeastern came away with a 70-66 win on its last trip to Providence on Nov. 15, 2008, before the Friars captured a 76-72 win last season in Boston.
You wouldn’t blame star point guard Chase Allen if he felt a little that way. Allen enters his senior season missing five seniors who weren’t just Bill Coen’s core players; they were the faces of the program.
Let’s put it into numbers: Allen averaged 13.6 points last season. The other seven returning players combined to average 10.7 points. The only person on the Huskies roster with as much experience is team manager Matt Holt.
WHAT TO: WATCH
2010 CAA Basketball Media Day Live – Northeastern’s Bill Coen
Northeastern Huskies defeat Southern Illinois University in an exciting game that went to overtime. Played on ESPN as part of 24 hour Hoops Marathon
Highlights from ESPN of Northeastern’s game against Siena in Albany, NY
WHERE TO: FOLLOW
Twitter.com: I’ll be live tweeting the game @friarblog
WHERE TO: LISTEN
Since it’s the audio only, the game will be available on the iPhone App