Last night’s win over URI was a great microcosm of the progress this Friar program has made under Ed Cooley. Undermanned and clearly bothered by URI’s defensive pressure, Providence nursed a one point lead at halftime but rather than just hoping to hang in there and play the game down to the last five minutes or, worse yet, getting run out of the gym in the second half, the Friars held firm on defense and figured out how to get their best healthy players, Kadeem Batts and LaDontae Henton, in position to score. They brought the energy, built a lead and closed the game out.
45 points scored in the second half. Another sign of the effort and discipline displayed by this group.
The Friars needed big games from Batts and Henton last night, and they got them.
Buckets had a career high 17 rebounds and there were few, if any, gimmes among them.
Batts predictably received a ton of attention from the Rams, drawing double and triple teams any time he touched the ball down low. He struggled against it early, but was still able to tally ten first half points due to his ability to knock down shots from the perimeter. Perhaps more impressive though were Batts’ second half adjustments. He seemed to feel where the pressure was coming from and flashed an assortment of post moves and shots to score and draw fouls inside against it.
24 of 26 from the free throw line as a team did not hurt either.
After a hectic start to the season the calendar is now Friar-friendly with 12 days off to rest and heal.
And look forward to some early Christmas presents perhaps?
Which makes December 18th the most anticipated game against Colgate ever.
Dunn? All signs pointing to yes.
Well, assistant coach Brian Blaney, playing his best Secret Santa, dropped a little stocking stuffer during his post-game radio interview with John Rooke and Joe Hassett.
Preface this by saying that Blaney could easily just have misspoken so let’s keep it in perspective, but it was a curious comment and one John Rooke also picked up on because he made reference to it after the interview.
OK, so here goes….After commenting specifically on Sidiki Johnson and Kris Dunn, Blaney said, and I paraphrase, he was hoping to get more guys out of suits due to getting healthy….or being cleared by the NCAA.
Now I don’t want to Ledo you down the wrong path or start rumors here but who in the name of Ricardo Montalban could he have been talking about?
Speaking of the radio broadcast, it is always great to hear one of the assistant coaches provide insight but what happened to the post game player interviews after wins?
It was freezing inside The Dunk last night. So cold that I kept thinking Ed Cooley was going to do a Lambeau Leap every time the Friars made a big play.
PC 72, URI 57
The Friars are undefeated in the continental United States.
That said, they have yet to play a true road game here in the upper 48.
The Pope is on Twitter.
Hey, nobody left the Big East this week!
Rutgers, however, is suing the Big East over some exit fee nonsense.
Wake me up when all the lawyers have been paid and Rutgers’ wire has cleared.
RIP Rick Majerus.
The “Football Life” documentaries on NFL Network are well done.
On the heels of their win over #1 ranked MIT last Thursday, Bob Walsh’s Rhode Island College Anchormen scored a #14 ranking this week.
RIC however suffered their first defeat of the season as they were beaten yesterday 79-68 by WPI who is 9-0. RIC is 7-1.
After spending most of last year on Syracuse’s bench waiting his turn, former St. Andrew’s star Michael Carter-Williams is showing why he was a McDonald’s All-American.
It is going to be something to see Carter-Williams and Kris Dunn go head-to-head, even if it only figures to happen twice.
PC 72, URI 57
Have a great weekend Friartown. Be safe.