It’s PC-URI Tiiiiiiiiiiiime. Cabs are here! Buses are here! (well, not for URI students). The annual battle for Rhode Island supremacy is upon us, and it should be a good one in front of a packed and rowdy (for once!) Dunkin’ Donuts Center. It’s a big game for the Friars for the sake of the rivalry of course, but also because the Rams will be the best team the Friars have faced so far — URI is the first opponent this year within the Top 100 (#88 to be exact) in Ken Pomeroy rankings. However, we all know it never matters which team happens to be better in a given year when they hit the court.
Can the Friars go 8-1 and keep gaining confidence? Can the Rams withstand PC’s 2nd half charge that is starting to look more like a rule rather than an exception? Will Paulie D be at the game? Will URI fans embarrass themselves again by storming the court if they win? So many questions. Let’s get to it.
NOTE: If you can’t make it to the game this afternoon, there is a BEVY of watching, listening, and following options listed further down. There really is no excuse to not enjoy the game!
WHAT TO: KNOW
Game Time: 4:00PM EST
Opponent: Rhode Island (5-2)
Location: The DUNK
Spread: Providence -4
ESPN Accuscore: PC 78.5, URI 72.3 (PC wins in 65.5% in 10,000 simulations)
Ken Pomeroy Projection: PC 81, URI 76 (PC wins with 70% confidence)
Hit up the rest of the preview after the jump!
WHAT TO: LOOK FOR
- Marshon Brooks versus Delroy James: The battle will be on for the title of best player on the court. Just take a look at their comparison chart on StatSheet
- An end to hot Friars outside shooting?: Thanks to Duke Mondy and Marshon Brooks, the Friars have put up improved numbers in outside shooting after an extremely cold start. The Rams will make them work for those treys, as they have held opponents to the 3rd lowest 3FG% on defense with 23.8%.
- Offensive glass: The Rams have had some trouble keeping their opponent from getting offensive rebounds. In their two losses (I get Pitt, but the UIC Flames? Really??), they allowed them to grab over 40% of their own misses. Their 36.6% offensive rebounding percentage is ranked 275th in the nation. Bilal Dixon and Marshon Brooks need to have another big day on the boards if the Friars are going to have success.
- URI Shooting: Rhode Island has great shooting numbers so far (in both 3 point and 2 point shots). Four players with significant playing time have an effective field goal percentage over 50% (Brooks is the only PC player who plays over half the game and has 55% eFG%). Nikola Malesevic only plays a little less than 20 minutes a game, but he’s a ridiculous 13-20 (65%) from downtown, and has an eFG% of 75%..
WHAT TO: VOTE ON
Marshon Brooks is 4 points away from 1,000 for his Providence career.
WHAT TO: READ
Friars.com: Gamenotes [PDF]
Rhode Island enters Saturday’s game with a 5-2 record, having scored wins over Davidson, Brown, the College of Charleston, Toledo and Drexel, while falling to Pittsburgh and Illinois-Chicago. Senior forward Delroy James, a second team All-Atlantic-10 preseason pick, has led the Rams in scoring, with 20.4 points per game. He has added 6.6 rebounds per game, good for second on the team.
GoRhody.com: SWISS BEATS: Old Rivalry to feature New Players
“It is probably the biggest game of the year for the two schools, other than conference play,” senior Marquis Jones said. “You do not really understand the tension and the rivalry between the two schools until you play for one of the schools. You learn quick.”
Projo.com: Capsule preview: URI vs. PC
After playing seven games in the last 22 days of November, Rams begin a December that will see them play only six games all month. … Rams scored 51 second-half points to come from 14 down and beat the Friars last season
Through his nine years at Rhody, Baron’s teams have certainly treated the PC game like a big one. He owns a 5-4 record against the Friars with one of the losses coming in overtime and the other by just one Geoff McDermott free throw two seasons ago. The Rams are 4-0 vs. PC at the Ryan Center. A common refrain over Baron’s tenure is his teams always seem to play harder than the Friars in the rivalry game, a claim that, if true, is a testament to the coach’s motivation skills.
“I told him I wouldn’t play him near as many minutes as he wanted if he didn’t rebound,” said Davis. “I told him I can’t do that if he’s getting three, four rebounds. He’s got to be upwards of seven or eight rebounds and he’s been in that margin more times than not.”
Providence will be favored tomorrow but will be depending on a lot of younger players like Vincent Council to lead the way. Marshon Brooks is scoring the ball well but it’s been against weaker competition.
In many ways, the senior year of Marshon Brooks is a chance at redemption. It’s a chance to prove that he is capable of being a consistent offensive force, no matter the competition. It’s also a chance to help revive the reputation of Providence College basketball after a difficult 2009-10 season.His first big opportunity comes Saturday against Rhode Island. It’s a chance at redeeming himself after a subpar performance in this rivalry game a season ago, an opportunity to prove that he can be the best player on the floor when the competition, and the stakes, are the highest.
The Good 5c Cigar: Rams set to face in-state rival Providence College Friars
URI will also look to newcomer sophomore guard Daniel West to provide the team with the emotional spark. In his first year of Atlantic 10 competition, West has averaged 5.7 points per game and is currently the team leader in assists (4.9) and steals (1.9) per game.
WHAT TO: WATCH
Delroy James, Ben Eaves and Akeem Richmond join GoRhody.com to recap Rhody’s 71-58 win over Davidson on Nov. 27, 2010.
Cox Sports annual Rhode Island Hoop Preview show. In this segment, Vin Parise talks with coaches from the Atlantic 10 conference, on how opponents view the URI Rams and Coach Jim Baron.
WHERE TO: FOLLOW
Twitter.com: I’ll be live tweeting the game @friarblog (for the first half at least)
WHERE TO: WATCH
Lots of TV options for this one!
- If you have Cox, the game will be available, and in HD!
Cox Sports announced today that the December 4 Providence College vs. University of Rhode Island men’s basketball game will air live in high definition. Cox Advanced TV customers can watch the game in HD on channel 784 at 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 4.
- Those in the NY area, the game will be on SNY
- ESPN Full Court also picked it up, as well as online at ESPN3.com (subject to blackout, but probably for the NY people)
WHERE TO: LISTEN
Since it’s the audio only, the game will be available on the iPhone App
FREE AUDIO: Yahoo!
You’ll have to deal with the Rhody broadcasters. I’ve had to resort to them several years back during a PC-URI game. It’s not pretty.