The Friars moved to 2-0 with a nice 81-49 win over Bryant University at The Dunk. Playing with 6 scholarship players and without a true point guard, PC’s offense was incredibly sharp and efficient in the 1st half. Although they got sloppy and struggled a little bit in the first part of the 2nd, the Friars were able to keep Bryant in check defensively for practically the whole game.
Why Providence Won: The Friars built a huge lead in the first half behind the fantastic play of Kadeem Batts. He scored in a variety of ways — back to the basket with jump hooks, foul line and longer jumpers, and fast break dunks (one which reminded me a lot of the Louisville dunk from last year). It was good to see Batts in his beat-the-chest mode that we saw in that Louisville performance last year, taking a leadership role that he promised Friartown during the offseason. After the first twenty minutes were over, Batts was actually outscoring Bryant 23-21. The Bulldogs made a slight run with a bunch of three balls that finally went in, but they were never able to recover from PC’s onslaught in the 1st. Kadeem did the initial damage, and a combination of Cotton and Henton delivered the knockout punch.
Why Bryant Lost: After watching the game, it became clear to me why the Bulldogs were ranked so low in both offensive and defensive efficiency. There really wasn’t much to their offense other than chucking up a three pointer every time down the court. Bryant finished 5-26 from behind the arc, with exactly half of their field goal attempts originating from there. Credit the Friars defense too.
Player(s) of the Game: I think Kadeem Batts and Bryce Cotton equally deserve this. Even though Batts was a little quiet in the 2nd, he completely dominated the first on the way to tying his career high with 27 points. Bryce Cotton had to be the point guard tonight, but it didn’t stop him from getting this first ever double double. Ice had 24 points and 11 rebounds to go along with 6 assists. He had the usual long range bombs, but also had several nice drives to the hoop while he was in charge at the point.
Dud of the Game: Alex Francis was probably Bryant’s best player while simultaneously being their worst. The Bryant Bulldogs everyone! He led the team in scoring, but only had 9 shot attempts. Like I mentioned in the preview post, Francis has a tendency to be turnover prone and he didn’t disappoint there. He had 7 of them against the Friars tonight.
LaDontae’s Turnover Inferno: Henton had a nice game shooting wise (7-12 overall, 2-4 from downtown), but was a little careless with the ball ending up with 6 turnovers.
Kofane’d: He only played 18 minutes due to some more foul trouble, but Bryce Kofane really made those minutes count on the defensive end. The stat line says 3 blocks, but I felt like there was more. One of them was so ridiculous it should have counted as two.
The Fire is Started: Josh Fortune hit his first career three pointer 13 minutes into the 2nd half of game number two. I think there will be many more.
White Lighting!: Ted Bancroft hit a three pointer in the last few minutes of the game and the crowd went wild. It was the first points he scored in two years, and the crowd at the Dunk chanted “TED!”
Tweet of the Game:
Controversy of the Game: The #pcbb Twittersphere was in a frenzy over some apparent comments by Vincent Council on one of his Instagram pictures. Twice he commented he was done for the year. I can’t imagine this is serious, as I’ve been told he does not have a tear in his hamstring. I do think he will be out for several weeks, but the whole year? I think that’s crazy. Before the game during warmups, Council was out there with crutches.
Kings of RI: PC has now won 7 games in a row against Rhode Island opponents. They will have two more chances at wins this year, as they play Brown and URI.