Game Preview – Providence vs. Northern Iowa

Daniel "The Warrior Friar" James —  November 26th, 2011 7:01 PM —  Comments
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After last night everyone probably had a stiff drink – I know I had one.

Warrior Friar's go-to cocktail - Whiskey with Whiskey.

Needless to say, it sucked. It sucked really bad. Vincent Council showed brilliance, but it was the equivalent of putting someone with a masters in philosophy  into a hippie drum circle – no one’s coming out a winner. Fortunately the season prevails and after each loss comes with a chance for redemption. Hit up the jump and see what I’m talkin’ about.

Even before this loss there were problems. We relied too much on the triple C threat to get the job done, and had gotten away without an inside presence from our bigs. Both of these aspects caused a near loss against Southern and a loss last night against Iowa State.

The bigs were, let’s face it, nonexistent in these first five games. We’ve relied solely on a defensive shutout along with offensive shooting sprees from Coleman, Cotton, Council, and in some aspects Henton. Dixon, Lee, Giplaye, and Kofane together shot one basket last night. One. Honestly I don’t have an issue with a lack of offensive shots – if we need you to go down and put up bangers that’s one thing but with scoring options on the floor at any given time it’s more about recovering rebounds and stopping drives. The big men so far haven’t stepped up. They play like, let’s face it, crying infants.


Daquan Brown and (hopefully) Rick Ledo can’t get here second semester fast enough. Brown, in particular, because maybe it will add some inside presence. Ledo to add some scoring threat, but we’ll talk more about that in the minute. For now, even if you throw in Batts, our front court is abysmal. We have no size, no strength, and we allow ourselves to get pushed around. Cooley can and will correct these things, but as of right now we’re dealing with guys who valued defensive pressure and rebounding like they value wampum. I expect, after last night’s loss and Cooley’s ‘I will do anything to win’ attitude, that this should be adjusted tonight.

As for our backcourt, what can really be said? I can’t say someone needs to step up when someone falls short because what did you call Council’s performance last night anything short of stepping up when Cotton couldn’t contribute? I think it’s less about someone taking charge and more about getting

He knows.

people’s heads in the game. When you can’t contribute by putting in points you need to find some other way to contribute. I can tell you right now that I know how to help fix the problem – assists. Why is Cotton playing 40 minutes and getting 4 assists? If you’re an offensive firepower and you’re shooting blanks it’s time to start dishing the ball and helping create an offensive flow. For Bryce Cotton this comes second nature – I’ve witnessed him create as well as he completes, and if he does that when it’s not falling we have a much better shot. The problem if everyone goes cold is that we’re not winning the game, but otherwise dish those assists. Bryce has the added problem of not being able to sneak up on anyone anymore, as people who watch film will see his range, ability, and habits and be able to play him accordingly. It’s a new problem Cotton and the coaching staff will have to adjust to but they will.

So what will happen tonight?

No rose colored glasses tonight boys – we win but it will be hard. It will be tough. I believe that we will win though, and you should too. This Friars coaching staff and team will not stand for a second loss, as they came to win. Expect that attitude to come out and have a much more adjusted gameplan to tonight’s game. Furthermore, expect the players to respond more to Cooley’s ways – after Southern he mentioned how they fell into old habits, but that he’d take the win. Well after last night’s old habits and a loss, nobody’s happy. How do you get happy? You win. Expect a win tonight, no matter if it’s by a basket or by 50. At the very least expect a change in performance .

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