Archives For Syracuse

It’s hard to talk about this game in a way. It has nothing to do with the fact the Friars lost 66-72, nor does it have much to do with how they lost. It’s hard to talk about because it truly does feel like the beginning of the end of an era. There won’t be a “next year when we play the Cuse…” because there’s no promise we’ll play them next year (or ever again outside of tournaments), and there isn’t going to be a “when they come to the Dunk during the Big East season…” because there won’t be a Big East season for Syracuse ever again. The avalanche the Pitt and Syracuse chancellors started in August 2011 is stampeding towards the end-of-the-season finish line at this point. Kind of sad if you think about it.

Year in and year out in the Big East, nobody could mach Coach Boehiem’s dress style. Are you taking notes Jay Wright?

But enough nostalgia, let’s talk basketball!

Continue Reading…

The Morning After: Syracuse Game Links

dave@friarblog —  January 5th, 2012 9:16 AM —  Comments

ESPN: Rapid Reaction: Syracuse 87, Providence 73

Composure: Syracuse went into a hostile environment in front of a packed Dunk and didn’t wince once. The Friar fans were hoping for a repeat of the last time a No. 1 team came to Providence, when Pittsburgh was taken down in 2009. There were a few fleeting moments in the first half, but the Orange never were in serious jeopardy of folding.

ESPN: Syracuse shows off its depth once more

“Their bench is ridiculous,” Providence coach Ed Cooley said after the Friars lost 87-73 to the top-ranked Orange in a game it led by five points seven minutes into the first half and was within two possessions in the second.
“They’ve got pros coming off the bench. They’ve got a great team. They’ve got starters off the bench, like [Dion] Waiters. He may be one of the best players in the country. They’ve got guys who didn’t play who would start for us. I like their team. I love them. I just don’t coach them.”

CBS Sports: Who could give Syracuse’s starting five a tough game? Its second five

Six of Boeheim’s players finished in double figures. Jardine had a double-double with 11 assists, Triche made four consecutive shots at one point to keep Providence at bay and Southerland had only five points, but knocked down a huge 3-pointer with eight minutes left that put Syracuse up by 12. Waiters came up with a couple of huge baskets down the stretch — including one with 4:20 remaining on a perfect pass from Jardine. Carter-Williams, a freshman, played exceptionally well in the first half — but didn’t even see the floor after the break.

“I’ve got to imagine it’s a tough job for Coach rotating guys in and out,” Joseph said. “He’s subbing like hockey, but he makes it work. I don’t think any of the guys are unhappy with their playing time. Everyone understands their role.”

Friar Basketball: Friars Fight, Fall Short Versus #1 Syracuse

Yes, Providence eventually fell by 14 to the top team in the country, but with every occasion in which it looked as though Syracuse would pull away, Providence showed the grit that their coach vowed to bring with him when he took the job.

Providence lost to a more talented and deeper Syracuse team on Wednesday night, but they were far from the emotionally fragile group they had been the past two seasons – not with the powerful Cooley willing his team and his crowd back into the game at times when both might have checked out in the past.

GoLocalProv: #1 Syracuse slides past Providence, 87-73

The Friars weren’t through just yet. With Syracuse holding a 12-point lead, PC narrowed the margin to seven with 9:22 to play, and had the chance to cut it to a five-point game before a couple of misses at the free throw line by Batts. Still, with SU up by 12 and 7:23 left, the Friars made yet another run to pull within 70-64 and 5:42 remaining, as LaDontae Henton (11 points, 13 rebounds), Cotton (13 points) and Gerard Coleman (17 points) all connected. Syracuse’s superior shooting night kept the Friars from pulling closer, with the Orange connecting on a phenomenal 73% from the floor in the half.

PC actually shot 50% from the floor themselves in the second half. But Syracuse was just that much better on this night.

Woonsocket Call: Cooley says thanks but no thanks to Boeheim’s praise

The Friars played at an especially deliberate pace, utilizing almost every second of the 35-second shot clock. Such strategy was by design with Cooley wanting Providence to show patience against Syracuse’s trademark zone while preventing the Orange’s fast break attack from kicking into gear.
Every time the Friars were left with 10 seconds remaining on the shot clock, assistant coach Bob Simon would bellow “10.” PC ended up shooting 49 percent for the game.
“You have to strategically know what you’re trying to do when game planning. I didn’t want to get into a track meet because we don’t have a lot of depth,” Cooley. “As long as there’s a half-a-second on the shot clock, you can still get a shot up. We’re not in a rush, especially when you’re playing against that level of talent.”

Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician: Syracuse 87 – Providence 73: Set Friars To The Rain

The Orange are now 16-0, which is the third-longest season-opening streak since James Arthur took over. The record, as you’re going to hear mentioned often, is 19-0 and last year the team made it to 18-0. An extremely ticked off Marquette Golden Eagles squad will be visiting the Dome this Saturday. We owe them a bit of payback as you might remember, so it should be an emotional one all-around. Syracuse Post-Standard basketball writer Mike Waters recaps the Orange’s 87-73 win Syracuse answers Providence’s every challenge, stays unbeaten with 87-73 win

Syracuse’s game against the Providence Friars on Wednesday took on the feel of a boxing match with the challenger delivering a solid punch only to have the champ counter.
Time and again, the upset-minded Friars would make a big play or hit a clutch shot only to watch No. 1 ranked Syracuse counter with a big shot of its own. Syracuse Basketball vs Providence Recap: The Sunny Side

The Providence Friars (and the officiating crew of Bob Donato, Ray Natili, Mike Roberts) gave Syracuse all they could handle in that 87-73 win by the Orange at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Wednesday night. Syracuse Basketball vs Providence Recap: The Dark Side

A rare complaint about the defense, but the zone just wasn’t as aggressive as we have seen it this year.
Part of that was due to Providence’s strategy, and Ed Cooley deserves some credit for that, but Syracuse fans have been spoiled by a defense that averages 11 steals a game. It is natural to think that is going to fade out a tad with stiffer competition on the way, but they are what they are at this point on defense and anything but a 100 MPH effort there leaves you scratching your head a bit.

The JuiceInstant Juice: Syracuse 87, Providence 73

ANALYSIS: Syracuse’s depth was on display tonight, especially at the center position. With Fab Melo and Rakeem Christmas in foul trouble the whole and Baye Keita sitting out with a hip injury, SU coach Jim Boeheim was forced to play CJ Fair at center during a stretch in the second half. While certainly not ideal, Fair held his own, even drawing a charge on one play. With its defense struggling, the Orange relied on its offense and it produced as Syracuse shot 60.4 percent from the field and 10-for-17 from 3-point land.

The Juice: Defense takes the night off while offense takes over

Providence executed a good game plan last night. They pushed the ball in transition when they had the opportunity but slowed it down in the halfcourt and methodically attacked the 2-3 zone. They attacked from the middle with many buckets starting from the free throw line. Kadeem Batts was particularly effective at that spot, knocking down a couple jumpers and driving to the bucket another time. Their guards would slash through the middle and either work their way in for a close range shot/layup or kick it out for a few good 3-point looks.

Friars Lose to No. 1 Syracuse 87-73

dave@friarblog —  January 5th, 2012 12:38 AM —  Comments

How’d you do that? Heck, I’m not even mad; that’s amazing.” – The Great Ron Bergundy

I think that line sums up Friartown’s feelings on tonight’s 87-73 loss to Syracuse.

The Providence Friars gave everything they had late on Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough to topple #1 ranked Syracuse at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. After a great first half in which PC played toe-to-toe with the Orange, the deep Syracuse squad made shot after shot in the 2nd half to keep the home team from a chance at a big upset.

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Why Syracuse Won: The Orange held a one point lead coming out of the half, but quickly made it double digits with tougher defense and getting many easy baskets down low. Providence would get a few mini-runs throughout the rest of the game, but those opening minutes really gave Syracuse the decent cushion that the Friars simply couldn’t get through. Anytime PC threatened to make it close, someone was always there to calmly hit a three to pour some cold water on the ‘ol run. Brandon Triche was the big problem (4-5 from downtown, all of them seemingly coming in a row), but overall Syracuse hit 10 of 17 shots from behind the arc.

Why Providence Lost: The Friars needed to play a perfect game offensively, and they did a great job early on attacking the zone (hey, Kadeem Batts is playing!). Gerard Coleman bounced back, and the team was even hitting foul shots. Hey, this may happen afterall! However, they couldn’t get the stops they needed at the right times to support the offense (sounds Kenoish, but it wasn’t lazy, uninspired defense, so it’s all good). It’s tough to do when the opponent ends up shooting 61.1% from the field and HITS EVERY THREE. Despite the crazy shooting numbers from Syracuse, it shows how the Friars offense stepped up and kept the game competitive at various points in the 2nd half.

Turning Point(s): Providence had numerous chances to cut the lead to a few possession game. LaDontae Henton hit a huge three with 9:37 left to cut the deficit to 7. After Dion Waiters missed a jumper on the other end of the floor, PC had a great chance after Henton worked his tail off grabbing Coleman’s missed shots. He couldn’t get the putback to fall, but was fouled hard in the process. The freshman however missed both foul shots, and Syracuse continued their offensive attack. Brandon Triche made a layup on the next possession, and James Southerland hit a three after Council got a charge called him. A hearty 7 point swing. PC wasn’t dead though, coming within only 6 points with less than 6 minutes to play after Bryce Cotton drilled a three, Vincent Council scored on a transition layup, and Gerard Coleman throwing down a dunk. Dion Waiters ruined all the fun with 5 of the next points, and LaDontae Henton missed an open three to keep the Friars within reach.

Fun Stat I: After the horrid game that Gerard Coleman had, it was great seeing him bounce back with a 7-7 performance at the line. He still made some ill-advised shot attempts, but he didn’t take any threes and finished well at the rim to end up with 17 points.

Fun Stat II: Ed Cooley only played 6 players. Bilal Dixon, Ron Giplaye, and Lee Goldsbrough did not enter the game.

Fun Stat III: Another day, another double-double for LaDontae Henton. 11 and 13 tonight. Please leave your hard hat at the scorers table when you exit the court.

Not Fun Stat I: Vincent Council had 6 turnovers, to bring his 3 game BIG EAST total to 19. PUKE.

Tweet of the Game:

whatever happened to check ya teeth? layup cost you ya life when News in the house…c’mon guys, get after it
Jan 05 via Twitter for AndroidFavoriteRetweetReply

Media Tweet of the Game:

Love watching Ed Cooley on sidelines. Guy has as much passion as any coach I’ve seen. Was almost at halfcourt trying to get his kids going.
Jan 05 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply


ESPN: Recap

ESPN: Rapid Reaction: Syracuse 87, Providence 73

Composure: Syracuse went into a hostile environment in front of a packed Dunk and didn’t wince once. The Friar fans were hoping for a repeat of the last time a No. 1 team came to Providence, when Pittsburgh was taken down in 2009. There were a few fleeting moments in the first half, but the Orange never were in serious jeopardy of folding. Recap

Ed Cooley spoke with the media along with Gerard Coleman following Providence’s 87-73 loss to No 1. ranked Syracuse.

Ed Cooley Post Game Press Conference after Syracuse Loss by Friarblog

Andy Katz Previews Syracuse / Providence

dave@friarblog —  January 1st, 2012 9:13 PM —  Comments

Andy Katz previewed the upcoming game against Syracuse in his Weekly Watch video.

“Could be a difficult game at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center because Providence certainly has the possibility of knocking off the Syracuse Orange if they shoot the basketball well. Vincent Council has to have a monster game”.

Oh, and Andy – Providence beat #1 Pittsburgh 3 years ago, not last year!

Conference Controversy – Big East in Flux

@FriarFrenzy —  September 17th, 2011 10:32 PM —  Comments

The landscape of college athletics is changing before our eyes. A ridiculous money grab is on in an era where insecurity runs high and enough is never enough. However, this is the reality and Providence College will certainly be impacted, so we cannot shy away from it.

By all accounts the latest has Syracuse and Pittsburgh foregoing their roots and identities, following in the footsteps of Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College and bolting to the Atlantic Coast Conference in pursuit of a Tobacco Road bounty.

Does not appear there is any turning back now but it is curious as to what Syracuse and Pittsburgh expect to get out of this. Realistically how much better off are Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College since joining the ACC in 2004 (Miami & VT) and 2005 (BC)? And one could have made a much better fit argument between Miami/Tech and the ACC (BC does not really fit with anyone right? Just ask them.) at the time than one can for Syracuse and Pittsburgh presently.

Just one guy’s opinion but Jim Boeheim and Jamie Dixon cannot be thrilled either.

So what happens now?  The answer is….who the heck knows!

Anxious times indeed, but odds are that PC basketball will continue to compete in a high profile league. There exist a couple of seemingly viable scenarios so let’s take a look.

Continue Reading…

Providence at Syracuse Live Blog

dave@friarblog —  December 28th, 2010 3:57 PM —  Comments

BIG EAST play is officially under way, and the Friars have a tough opener at the Dome tonight on ESPNU. Let’s kick it off with a live blog!

With a 99-85 loss to #4 Syracuse last night, the Providence Friars drop their 7th game in a row, and their 4th in a row to a team ranked in the TOP EIGHT.  It’s been a brutal stretch, with some brutal stretches of bad play leading to these losses.  This time, it was a poor 2nd half against Syracuse after quite the offensive performance in the first.  Even though PC lost and looked quite over matched in last 20 minutes, boy was that first half entertaining.  It was raining threes by EVERYONE (including BMac!), there were alleyoops from Curry to Greedy, and even RAY HALL was dropping some points.  Providence took a surprising 5 point lead (52-47) into the half.

What should the Friars have done?  They should have pulled a George Costanza and left on a high note!  Alright that’s it for me – Good night everybody!”

Bottom line: Syracuse is freakin’ good and have only lost TWO games all year — we will know more about the state of our program after the final three games (with two of then winnable IMO) and their performance in the BIG EAST Tournament.

(AP Photo/Stew Milne)

Liftoff after the jump!


More on the Four Factors

  • Both teams obviously put up great overall eFG% numbers (thanks to 14 Providence threes, and Andy Rautins), but when Syracuse tightened up their zone to start the 2nd half, the Friars looked like Boeheim invented a new defense at halftime.  Passing lazily around the perimeter and getting poor shots led to several turnovers, and more easy transition baskets by the Orange.
  • Syracuse really dominated on the offensive glass, leading to a big 21-10 advantage in 2nd chance points.  The Orange rebounded almost half of their own shots, with Rick Jackson (6) and Arinze Onuaku (5) combining for 11 of the 17 offensive rebounds.  It was not one of the Friars’ better nights rebounding, as nobody had more than 2.
  • Turnovers killed PC in the 2nd, as they coughed up the ball 10 times, leading to 18 Syracuse points.  Greedy Peterson had 4, Marshon Brooks 3, and three others had 2 (VC, Hall, Mondy).
  • Ah, back to the ways of not getting to the foul line.  I know its hard when you jack up 33 threes, but THREE Friars getting to the line again?


Possessions: 73

Efficiency Ratings

PC: 116.4

Syracuse: 135.6

  • Providence has only put up a higher offensive rating in 3 other BIG EAST games – USF (128), Rutgers (123.7), and Marquette (Home game, 123.4).  Rutgers was the only win.

Let’s judge some performances by dishing out some pasta (from 1-4, 4 being awesome). My homage to the Star-Ledger.


Rick Jackson – Congratulations Rick! You were the winner of the “Opposing Player Career High in Scoring” contest! Julian Vaughn of Georgetown will do the honors of presenting you with the coveted black and white winner’s jacket at a ceremony over the weekend.

Marshon Brooks – Like the rest of the team, had more success behind the arc in the first half, but also hit 7 of his 10 2-point shot to go along with 3 steals.  We need Marshon to keep stepping up.

Vincent Council – His numbers were around his season average, but you have to give him credit for playing like that with a bum hand.  He’s a gamer.

Brian McKenzie – Ah BMac, you make a few threes in the first half, and feel like you can just keep chucking them up in the 2nd.

Bilal Dixon – Just overmatched against Syracuse’s bigs

Brandon Triche – BIG EAST All-Rookie, but not ahead of our VC.

BOX SCORES FOR THE STATS NERDS! Boxscore Boxscore Gametracker

AROUND THE WEB Men’s Basketball Defeated By No. 4/4 Syracuse, 99-85

The Providence College men’s basketball team (12-15, 4-11 BIG EAST) was defeated by No. 4/4 Syracuse University (26-2, 13-2 BIG EAST) by a score of 99-85 on Saturday, Feb. 23 before a sell-out crowd of 12,410 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. After the Friars led by eight at 55-47, PC could not overcome the subsequent 26-2 run by Syracuse that helped the Orange claim the 99-85 victory. Jackson, Rautins Lead #4 Orange at Providence

With the win, the Orange clinched one of the top four seeds in the BIG EAST Championship, earning the double bye to the quarterfinals.

Junior Rick Jackson led SU with a career-high 28 points, while senior Andy Rautins also had 28 points, a season-best mark. Jackson was 13-of-17 from the floor and a perfect 2-for-2 from the charity stripe and added nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and a pair of blocked shots in his career effort. Orange crush PC’s upset hopes, 99-85

The Friars were raining in 3-pointers from every corner of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, lighting up the scoreboard for 52 first-half points. The sellout crowd (12,410) was rocking, while the seemingly thousands of fans of the No. 4 ranked Syracuse Orange watched in stunned disbelief.

Then the second half began. Looking like every bit the national championship contender, Syracuse wiped out a five-point halftime deficit and tore away from the Friars for a 99-85 win. The Orange ripped through PC’s defense for 61-percent shooting in the half and ended the game hurting the Friars both inside (56 points in the paint) and out (10 threes, eight by Andy Rautins).

Pawtucket Times: Syracuse Blows by Providence

The game was a familiar one for Providence and its fans. After staying close for a prolonged stretch, the Friars were virtually powerless to stop the Orange from imposing their will at the game’s most critical juncture. PC managed to score only eight points in the opening 10 minutes, though recovered enough to move within 11 points on a couple of occasions. Syracuse University basketball blasts Providence

On a night when Syracuse scored 99 points, the Orange won with defense. Nine minutes worth of defense. Syracuse big men dominate Providence on the inside

“They’re playing a match-up zone and they’re undersized,” senior center Arinze Onuaku said. “And they got young guys in there. So any time I caught the ball, I felt like I could score.” Rautins on a roll; SU guard is shooting 57 percent from 3 in SU’s last three games

An Andy Rautins miss from 3-point range is a recent rarity.

The Syracuse guard went 8 of 12 from outside the arc in the Orange men’s 99-85 win over Providence. He scored 28 points. In SU’s last three games, Rautins is shooting 16 of 28 from long distance.

The Axe Man: SU-Providence Recap

Syracuse opened the second half by extending the zone defense, and we are talking Gumby-like stretching here, and went on a 26-2 run to open the half and watch the Friars wilt under the defense that was taking a coffee break at the Dunkin Donuts Center in the first half.
Providence turned the ball over more in the first three minutes of the second half than they had the entire first half, decided defense was optional, and watched yet another Top 8 team steamroll them.

Daily Orange: Jackson’s career-high 28 points drive Orange offense in high-scoring win over Providence

Jackson battered Providence to the tune of 28 points on 13-of-17 shooting, including a team-high nine rebounds in Syracuse’s 99-85 win over the Friars Tuesday night. Jackson’s explosive performance was just the second time in his career he’s hit the 20-point plateau, previously having accomplished the feat against Florida on Dec. 10.

“They weren’t double-teaming or anything like that, I just got the ball and really just finished,” Jackson said. “I felt they just kept leaving me open in one-on-one opportunities and I had good position on a lot of the shots I took and it turned out good.” Rautins key to Syracuse’s success

Davis said Rautins is a game changer and someone who you can see has improved so much over his career. Rautins isn’t someone who improved his game in just two hours of practice a day, his coach said. Clearly, he has put in the extra work. But what is clear as well is that Rautins isn’t just a shooter, even though that was his staring role Tuesday night. Rautins was bringing up the ball on a number of occasions to jump start the offense. He dished out four assists, had just two turnovers and one steal in playing all 40 minutes.

Orange:44: Syracuse – Providence Postgame Reactions OR Puns & Alliterations

A little extension of the 2-3 zone, and a little more intensity, and we started to see the Syracuse team we had expected to see. They were running up and down the floor. They were grabbing rebounds (37, including 17 from the offensive glass). They were stealing the ball (12) and blocking shots (5). They were playing Syracuse Basketball

Boring-ass AP Writeup

What To / Where To: Game #15 vs. Syracuse

dave@friarblog —  February 23rd, 2010 7:53 PM

Fear not Friar fans, the end of the GAUNTLET is almost here!  Sure, we’ve gotten a big fat ZERO points along the way, and nothing but bruises all over our bodies, but hey it looks like we will make it out alive. That’s not enough though. To make it through the rest of this season in Friartown, we need to be like Jack Bauer. We need to persevere and not give up. What did Jack do this season when Renee (she’s always been hot, now she’s crazy chick hot) stabbed him in the abdomen accidentally after repeatedly stabbing a Russian mobster to death?  He didn’t pass out, fall to the ground in agony, or even “feel pain”.  He pulled that mother effer out of his gut, and made a back handed throw into the neck of a different Russian Mobster to save the day.

So let’s do this tonight Friars!  Let’s stab the Russian Mobster that is Syracuse Basketball and end this losing streak!

Now that’s a sexy GUANTLET!


Game Time: 7:00PM

Opponent: Syracuse Orange (25-2, 12-2)

Location: The DUNK

Spread: Syracuse -8.5

ESPN AccuScore Prediction: Syracuse 86, PC 74 (Cusewins in 80% of 10,000 sims)

CBS Prediction: Syracuse 87, PC 75

Pomeroy Prediction: Syracuse 84, PC 74 (80% confidence)


  • Vincent Council is still questionable to play tonight, and this is obviously a huge huge factor.  Even if he does get on the court, you would wonder how effective he will be with a very sore right hand.  Look for Sharaud Curry to play 40 minutes, and Johnnie Lacy to see more time than usual as well.
  • Bilal Dixon is also shaking off an injury to his ankle.  Remember, PC was able to stay in the game in the first half with great offensive rebounding when PC met Syracuse earlier in the month.  Dixon can obviously pull in his share of offensive boards, so the Friars need him at full strength.
  • Andy Rautins has been on fire lately, and we all know what big shooters can do against the defense.  Rautins missed the game last year which Providence won at the DUNK due to an injury.
  • Lots of Girls dressed like Lady Gaga

WHAT TO: READ Pregame Gamenotes [PDF]

The Friars return to action on Tuesday, February 23 versus No. 4/4 Syracuse at 7:00 p.m. in Providence. The Friars have posted a 10-42 mark all-time versus the Orange. The Friars are 6-20 at home, 3-18 on the road and 1-4 on neutral courts all-time against Syracuse. The two teams first met on December 29, 1969 with Syracuse earning a 94-83 win in Charlotte, N.C. Last season, the Friars defeated No. 15 Syracuse, 100-94, on January 28, 2009 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. In the first meeting between the two teams this season atthe Carrier Dome, Syracuse earned an 85-68 win over the Friars on February 2. Providence Awaits #4/4 Syracuse

Syracuse is 10-0 away from the Carrier Dome this season. The team is 7-0 in true road contests and 3-0 in neutral-site affairs. The last time the Orange did not lose a road game in the regular season was in 1917-18.

Projo: Under Davis, Friars are always very early to the gym

With time on their side, the Friars settle into their home arena early on game nights. Make that real early. In a new schedule this season, Davis brings his players together five hours before a game at The Dunk. During that time, they’ll study an opponent’s attack, eat a catered meal, receive treatment on injuries, catch a nap, talk on the phone and be free to shoot as many free throws as they’d like.

Projo: Capsule Preview: Syracuse at Providence

Syracuse is one of the country’s elite offensive teams. Orange leads the country in field-goal shooting (52%) and averages 80.6 points a game Orange Scouting Report: Syracuse at Providence

Andy Rautins wasn’t just hot, he was on fire at Georgetown. His five 3-pointers tied the most he’s made in Big East play this season. His 26 points were three shy of his career-high, which he set last season against Coppin State. He was 5-for-9 from 3-point range and also went 9-for-11 at the foul line.

CBS Preview

Two wins away from the program’s first perfect road record in 92 years, the fourth-ranked Orange visit Providence on Tuesday night with plenty of confidence after blowing out the Friars earlier this month.

The Sports Network: Orange and Friars hook up in Big East action

A 75-71 triumph at nationally-ranked Georgetown last Thursday, coupled with a Villanova loss on Sunday, moved the Orange into sole possession of first place in the Big East at 12-2. The victory over Georgetown not only improved Syracuse to 6-0 against ranked teams, but it also kept the team perfect in true road games at 7-0. The Orange are now a healthy 25-2 overall and will host Villanova on Saturday in a game that could ultimately determine the Big East champion.

Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician: Not You Again, Providence

If any fanbase can understand Providence’s frustrations in the midst of the six-game losing streak (and losers of eight of their last nine), it’s Syracuse.  Providence is just-about completeing a Big East gauntlet not seen since, well, Syracuse ran it last year.

Orange:44: Providence – Syracuse Preview

But make no mistake: this is a big game for Syracuse. Not in the sense that it’s necessary to secure a 1-seed in the NCAA Tourney or anything of significant importance, but more so to keep the high intensity going into that Nova game. Providence is a shell of its former self this year, somehow finding itself near the bottom of the Big East Conference, with lowly Rutgers and DePaul. Still, at 12-14 overall and 4-10 in the conference, the Friars can still steal games

The Daily Orange: 5 Keys: Syracuse/Providence

4. Get Wes back to 100 percent — Johnson vowed he’d be back to “Old Wes” by Tuesday. We saw glimpses in D.C., glimpses that he is losing the post-injury tentativeness that had been holding him back. While he has proven himself to be an effective shooter, SU truly needs Johnson to get to the rim with reckless abandon. If he’s healed, he’ll do just that against Providence.

CuseOrange: SU Faces Davis’ High-Flying Attack

SU’s loss to Providence last January remains as one of the most frustrating losses in Big East memory. The ‘Cuse hung  94 on the Friars that night at the Dunk and still lost, bringing back memories of high-scoring shortcomings to UMass and Rhode Island from 2007. 35 points from Jonny Flynn and 27 from Eric Devendorf, all for naught, thanks to double-figure scoring efforts from 7 Providence players.


The game will be carried on ESPNU

WHERE TO: FOLLOW Gametracker

As always, I’ll be on Twitter @friarblog with in-game updates.

The good news is we’ve already played Syracuse so we know what to expect. The bad news is we know what to expect.

Keno Davis via