…You know, I’m really starting to run out of ways to introduce these great wins. But hey, that’s a good problem to have; like not knowing what to spend all your extra money on, or what to do with all the booze people leave at your house after a party.
That’s not to take anything away from this win though. Like I wrote in the last recap this team has truly turned a leaf, and winning over a team like Notre Dame proves that Providence not only can win, but can and will win big (BAM! Ed Cooley reference!). But listen to me, let’s dive into it!
Move Over: Look, I know that PC hasn’t seen tremendous success over the past few years, and we’re finally starting to see that happen under Cooley (and thank CHRIST for that) but it’s hard to deny that there has been some special moments regardless. Marshon Brooks setting the scoring record with 52 points against Notre Dame back in 2011 was an amazing night, even if we did lose, and it was something memorable. Notre Dame must be a lucky charm for records, because Vincent Council has set another record.
With 671 total career assists to date, Vinny C has surpassed the legendary Ernie D’Gregorio’s school record of 662 career assists. And, what’s more, Council is now in striking distance of Syracuse’s Big East assists record of 426. Council has 242 and math dictates that only three more will be needed to break that record, which could be the next game against…oh yeah, the Orange! Just goes to show you there’s nowhere you can’t be you aren’t meant to be. Syracuse was a staple of the Big East becoming great, and now that those defectors are leaving for the ACC, and the Big East record held by one of their own is being surpassed by a player at the school that founded the Big East…man, there’s some poetic justice right there.
…Also, can we just mention that Council had 11 rebounds for this game, leading the team? Dafuq?
Take the Ball and Run: You know, at one point Notre Dame was in striking distance of PC. That was towards the end of the first half, with PC up 28-26. Friar fans probably know the feeling in their stomach of “oh no, here it comes…” and, let’s be honest, the five previous Big East wins this season doesn’t erase an integrated reaction at this point. It’s natural to feel anxious – the game had been close and PC was trying to hold onto a lead it had built throughout that half.
I mean, seriously. What happened? The Friars RAN away with the game. The Irish were confused as hell at how the Friars seemed to run away, and like a deer in headlights didn’t know what to do.
It’s hard for me to recap exactly what happened because, honestly, it blew by me just as bad as it blew by the Irish. Even in watching the replay it was like the Irish morphed into a middle school CYO team and the Friars well…the Friars were the Friars. That’s the best part about this; this is becoming the norm, not the exception. The Friars were the Friars. No more, no less. That was enough to win and win Big (Cooley reference!).
Battle-Batts: Kadeem Batts is named to the Big East Honor Roll this week, after being the Big East Player of the Week last week. Mike Brey was talking about Kadeem Batts looking like a pro. Kadeem Batts lead the way with 20 points against Notre Dame, and has scored 20 or more in the last three games (all wins). Kadeem Batts. Kadeem. Batts.
At this point I don’t really know what else to say about the Battman. I feel like I’m continually repeating how impressed I am with him, but at the same time he continues to give me new reasons to be impressed. It’s like I have to not be impressed with him anymore because he’s improving noticeably from game to game.
And now, for a feature on Friarblog we haven’t had in some time…
Yes, it’s true. After the Friars beat Notre Dame there spurred some talk – first just small chatter amongst fans mind you, but that grew and expanded. The Friars, now 6-7 in the Big East, and 14-11 overall. With 5 games left the Friars have:
- @ Syracuse
- @ Rutgers
- vs. St. Johns
- vs. Seton Hall
- @ UConn
In order to post a .500 record, the Friars need to only win one more game to lock in at 15-15, assuming they only win one more. But they could win many more. I’m not here to make projections on what I think they’ll do for these last five games, but 4-1 is not out of the realm of possibility by any means.
Now, in terms of post season the Friars are in talks to getting a pretty good seed in the NIT. Statsheet is projecting the Friars at a 3 seed (which, if I understand the NIT like I think I do, means the Friars will have a homecourt advantage for the first few rounds). Now, the NIT is a way the Friars can get more experience for a team that’s returning almost every player, as well as learn to handle postseason experience. Plus, while it’s not the NCAA, it’s nice that Vincent Council would finally get to see a postseason game other than the Big East Tournament.
Jay Bilas’ intern also has us listed in his top 68 at number 62. And a quote:
The Friars have players who can score, but they just don’t score efficiently. Providence does not shoot high percentages from anywhere, but does an admirable job of getting to the offensive glass and getting to the free throw line. Providence does not rebound at both ends, but Bryce Cotton has proved to be a big-time scorer who can take over a game. Providence lost nine of 11 games through January, but has since won four in a row, including wins over Villanova, Cincinnati and Notre Dame.
So stupid factual errors aside, it is pretty flattering to see that publicity. Kevin McNamara wrote an article that makes a case for the Friars and isn’t written with the word “but” in every sentence. Bilas should be taking notes!
With an RPI of 83 the Friars are well outside of the NCAA discussions. Beating Syracuse or Connecticut on the road would significantly help that number and is probably a necessity to even continue this discussion. The Friars are 2-6 versus Top 50 RPI teams and 4-7 against Top 100 teams. Those numbers need to increase improve.
As for the NIT, the Friars are already in a solid position. If they can get to 18 or more wins, they’ll be under heavy consideration.
Bam! Numbers! Information! STATEMENTS!
All things aside, NCAA or NIT, the Friars are doing two impressive things. They’re winning in February without having to make it look lucky, and they’re making noise on a national level. This helps build program buzz and, come selection time for tournaments, can only work in our advantage. I for one would be thrilled with the NIT, and probably lose my mind if we made the NCAA’s, but knowing that we’ve come this far gives me a solid reassurance for the coming seasons.
We got one last dance with the Orangemen on Wednesday, let’s help our NCAA tournament cases!