T.G.I.F: Thank God It’s Friartown 11.29.13

-Is there anything better than Thanksgiving leftovers?

-Yes, leftovers and a “Black Friday” Friar game. at The Dunk.

-With Kris Dunn on the shelf for the afternoon to rest his ailing shoulder, PC took care of business against Fairfield, riding 38 made free throws (on 45 attempts) to a nine point victory.

-So who are the Friars playing next?

-It was not pretty but 2-1 and a finals appearance in the Paradise Jam can be considered a success.

-The team lacked continuity in each game, and has yet to put forth a consistent effort, but they were able to win two of three anyway and that is the mark of a good team.

-Good to see Providence jump out to an early lead on Fairfield, bucking a recent trend of slow starts.

-Falling behind early on a consistent basis is an obvious concern and all the energy spent clawing back against Vanderbilt and LaSalle down in St. Thomas took their toll on the Friars in the final against Maryland, as the Terps came out of the gate swinging and looked like the faster, stronger team throughout despite Providence’s late attempt to make a game of it.

-This team is still searching for an identity as they integrate new talent into the rotation, deal with suspensions and adjust to the reality that Kris Dunn will be playing at less than 100 percent, and sometimes not at all, this season.

-A great place for a team to find itself is on the defensive end of the floor and the Friars have been more than solid there so far, holding opponents to 60.4 points per game on 40.6% shooting heading into today’s Fairfield contest.

-As for Fairfield, they did manage 68 points but only shot 39% overall and only hitting six threes out of 20 tries.

-Like the Friars, the Stags made their living at the line, going 21 of 24, which enabled them to hang around.

-While the Providence D has shown up on most nights, their offense has been inconsistent and has lacked flow.

-One notable offensive trend that has continued from last season is an inordinate number of missed shots from layup distance.

LaDontae Henton, who has been a force on both ends of the floor this year, notched his 1000th point on Friday.

Josh Fortune had a good shooting game against Fairfield (4-7 overall, 2-4 from three) and the Friars are going to need more consistent production out of him, especially as the Brandon Austin suspension approaches the one month mark and has no sign of ending.

-Also good that Bryce Cotton was able to find the mark from three-point land as he led a late charge against Maryland ,but you have to think not practicing in order to rest his surgically repaired knee could have a lasting impact on Cotton’s shooting touch.

-That said, Ice always finds a way (as he did on Friday by shrugging off a tough shooting day by going 18 of 19 from the line while dishing out seven assists and grabbing four boards) and, outside of health concerns, Bryce Cotton is the last guy you need to worry about Friartown.

-Similar thought on Dunn.  As noted, he will have to deal with pain and discomfort all season and it will likely contribute to some uneven performances, as evidenced by his 14 turnovers in four games, but Dunn will adjust and be a huge part of what the Friars accomplish this season.

-Getting back to Cotton, he has played so many minutes over the last three years it might be time to modify his nickname to ”ICE-40”.

-If Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock travel to St. Thomas and nobody sees them, does the tree make a sound?


-The Wildcats’ wealth of talent is well chronicled, but if you are looking for someone to really be concerned about, see Julius Randle.

-He’s big (6’9”, 250 pounds) and tremendously skilled for someone his size.

-Oh, and Randle has messed around and got double-doubles in all seven of Kentucky’s games this year.

-The new Sakonnet River bridge has a ten cent toll.

-Can we change the name to the Bill Raftery Bridge?

-Because we are getting hit with the old nickel-dimer.

-Congratulations to the Providence Cross Country team.  National Champs!

-And to the Men’s Soccer team for advancing a round in the NCAA tournament before bowing out.

-This space reserved for the #4 hockey Friars upcoming post season accomplishments.

-There’s something happening here.

-Speaking of rankings, a friend of mine recently told me about how a family member was cared for by the number three heart surgeon in the country.

-That’s awesome, and we are blessed to have brilliant doctors who do amazing things every day, but where can I find those doctor rankings?  Rivals? ESPN?

-Interesting article on old friend Kiwi Gardner who made the NBA D League’s Santa Cruz Warriors after participating in an open tryout.

-In the article, Kiwi said that Ed Cooley, upon gaining commitments from Kris Dunn and Ricky Ledo, called him between his freshman and sophomore years to say that there was no longer any room for him on the team.

-Whether the conversation happened that way or not, it’s ironic because with the lack of guard depth the Friars have endured over the last year plus, especially at the point, there would have been plenty of minutes available for Kiwi to earn.

-Point guards are like pitchers.  You can never have too many.

-Always liked boxing and would love to see a revitalization of a dying sport, but  Andy Enfield vs. Tim Floyd is not going to do it for me.

-Great upcoming week concludes at URI on Thursday.

-Time go make a leftover turkey, stuffing and cranberry sandwich.

Have a great weekend Friartown.  Be safe.

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