So, first we had the “Xavier brother calling a timeout” game against Marquette, then we had the “Greedy Peterson has dangerous elbows” game against Marquette, and now we have “oh shit oh shit oh shit there’s a bat in the building” game against Marquette. Wanna take a guess what all references will be related to in today’s recap?
Well, I can’t top this, so let’s get this party started after the jump.
Bat on Boards: Marquette is, put simply, a team built on a backcourt. They play a three guard lineup and have relied on those guards in the past to be successful. And hey, they’ve gone to the Sweet 16 for two years in a row now, so who’s to say it doesn’t work? In years past Providence fans have actually argued that this model would be better suited for the Friars due to our lack of true big men. But we have those big men so that model isn’t needed anymore, and besides one of the problems of having more backcourt-focused styles of play is you can tend to be outrebounded.
…At least, that’s the perception. Turns out that’s not always true. Hell, look at the box score and see how the Friars got absolutely murdered on the boards. It’s crazy, right?
At the half the Friars were outrebounded 23 to 14. By the end of the game the Golden Eagles had grabbed 35 boards to Providence’s 27. Here’s the breakdown for Providence big men:
- Kadeem Batts: 3 rebounds
- LaDontae Henton: 5 rebounds
- Sidiki Johnson: 6 rebounds
- Lee Goldsbrough: 0 rebounds
Not great, right? Not great at all. But, by comparison, the Marquette big men didn’t do that much better. Actually, it wasn’t even the big men that made the rebounding impact for Marquette, but the backcourt.Trent Lockett has as many rebounds (6) as Sidiki Johnson. Vander Blue and Junior Cadougan both outrebounded or came even with Kadeem Batts. Look, there are a lot of reasons why a game is lost, but being killed on the boards by a team that doesn’t play to size is a good way to start.
Paint Party: Of course, the knee jerk reaction is to say “well Marquette must’ve shot a lot of long range shots because their backcourt got so many rebounds” and that might be part of it, but consider this too: Providence was outscored by Marquette in the paint 44-24. That’s right. 44. Marquette dropped 44 in the paint against Providence.
Not. Very. Good.
Offensively we actually have some very talented frontcourt players. Kadeem Batts has come along way, Sidiki Johnson is growing, and LaDontae Henton has the talent needed to succeed (where it is now is another story). However, defensively we have a long road ahead of us with our current frontcourt players. We’re just too slow on the switches, too lazy in the post, and too ineffective to make a difference. This Marquette team is different than in years past, their frontcourt is much more talented and is deserving of the recognition it gets, but that’s not an excuse. We’ve played frontcourt-focused teams much better than this and, quite frankly, it’s inexcusable at this point because the Friars can do better than this.
Bryce Cotton goes…Cold? Cold? Hot? What do you say when Ice isn’t shooting great? Yes, he finished with a team high of 19, but it took him forever to get in the game and he only had seven points at the half. He didn’t even attempt to shoot the ball until almost halfway through the first half. When your team is limited offensively, but you have the leading Big East scorer on your roster, you tend to want him to shoot.
Not to say Cotton didn’t do what he was supposed to do. He did help get the team within striking distance in the second half, but unfortunately the rest of the team couldn’t capitalize. Bryce, overall, shot 5-9, which isn’t bad, but why’d he take so few shots? I guess you could argue that the defense just had answers for him, but I don’t buy that because Cotton has been better at getting contested shots off and breaking through the defense.
This game, in recap, is feeling more and more unexplainable, and I can’t justify a lot of these things because, frankly, it doesn’t feel like it’s our team I’m focusing on. Marquette is a phenomenal team and I’m extremely happy they’re going to be in the new conference with us because they give such a great identity to the conference, but I can’t be sold on the idea that it was simply Marquette completely destroying the Friar identity out there.
Player of the Game: It was the bat. He was awesome. Oh, and Ted Bancroft. He really does deserve it. He’s playing more minutes than some of our scholarship players, playing tougher than some of them, and being more effective than some of them. He deserves a scholarship in my opinion. I, for one, am extremely happy for him and am glad to have him in a Friar uniform.
Asshole of the Game: Technically not in the game, but whoever was doing the radio commentary on ESPN Marquette radio (or whatever it was called) should be suspended. Going back to Ted Bancroft being harder at one point Ted took a charge towards the end of the first that allowed Providence to get the ball back. What’s this asshole (wish I got his name) have to say? “You know why Ted Bancroft got that charge? Cause he’s white.” And then, after a pause, “I can say that because I’m white.” Not cool dude, not cool.