Welcome to another Friarblog Pregame Buffet, a new feature I hope to make regular on this site. This buffet comes with all-you-can-eat videos, audio, images, lists, and everything else you need to have a good time.
Like most buffets this is short on words, but long on content. Read/listen/watch on to get everything you need to fill up on before the UConn game at the Dunk tonight at 7:00!
With West Virginia’s win over USF this afternoon, Connecticut finishes up as the No. 10 seed in the conference (even if Seton Hall were to lose to DePaul tonight, the Pirates hold the tie breaker by beating UConn). They will play Providence at 7PM on ESPNU, 7 days after the Friars came back to beat the Huskies at the Dunk.
Looks like PC will have another chance to end UConn’s NCAA Tourney hopes. This time, Jim Calhoun will be on the sidelines, and he will be angry.
UPDATE: I’m an idiot. Seton Hall lost to DePaul, now I have no idea what’s going on. If St. John’s win, PC gets Uconn. If Rutgers wins, we get Seton Hall. I think.
The Providence College men’s basketball team (15-15, 4-13 BIG EAST) defeated the Connecticut Huskies (17-12, 7-10 BIG EAST) by the score of 72-70, in its final home game of the season on Tuesday, February 28, at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Three Friars scored in double digits in the victory. Sophomore guard Bryce Cotton (Tucson, Ariz.) scored 22 points while freshman forward LaDontae Henton (Lansing, Mich.) registered 18 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Gerard Coleman (Boston, Mass.) added 13 points. Junior guard Vincent Council (Brooklyn, N.Y.) contributed nine points and 11 assists and sophomore forward Kadeem Batts (Powder Springs, Ga.) grabbed 13 rebounds.
Bryce Cotton (22 points) was let loose for a couple of three-point shots to pull the Friars (15-15, 4-13) within striking distance. Then came several terrible, rushed three-point attempts from the Huskies and a turnover, and the crowed became a major factor.
The message from the coach: “I told the team prior to our walkthrough that we’ve come a long way as a program. Against Assumption, we were immature. In our last game against DePaul, our execution, our precision down the stretch, paying attention to detail – it might not reflect in our record but I think our program grew from Assumption to DePaul.”
Freshman LaDontae Henton (18 points) delivered two of the game’s biggest shots, burying back-to-back three-pointers. His second one just beat the shot clock, handing PC a 69-61 lead with one minute left.
“I had my hand in his face and he knocked the shot down,” Drummond said. “That’s a big time shot right there.”
Let me just say this: If you have some money burning a hole in your wallet, invest in Providence season tickets now and avoid the inevitable bandwagon. The Friars are a comin’.
This much we know, however: UConn better milk all it can from the moment. You can make a decent case that after this season, Providence will make the NCAA tournament before UConn does. UConn fans will hate that. Sorry. But an energetic coach has his whole team back plus two of the best high school players in the country. UConn has a 70-year-old coach with a bad back, two players who might leave for the pros and the specter of NCAA ineligibility.
It was a season that looked as though it would close much in the same manner of many others in recent PC history, but with a buzzer-beating jumper by Henton on Saturday and a 26-5 blitz of a stunned Connecticut group, Providence has turned the tide in February – and they have a chance to close the season on a high note similar to the one Rutgers finished with at this time a year ago.
But in this unlikely scenario, with the game on the line and the outcome hanging in the balance, it was Providence making the plays in the final minutes that UConn is used to making. But in this game, the Huskies were the team left wondering what happened at the end. Behind an incredible 26-5 run during an eight minute stretch in the second half, PC came from behind to beat UConn 72-70 at the Dunkin Donuts Center Tuesday night.
I don’t care what Joey Brackets says. I don’t care what their RPI is, or whether they (somehow) still have the nation’s No. 1 strength of schedule. I don’t care if the ol’ “last 10 games” aren’t supposed to matter much, if at all.
They should matter. The Huskies have lost nine of their last 12 games. Their only three wins over the past 1 1/2 months came against a Herb Pope-less Seton Hall, last-place DePaul and 14th-place Villanova.
The Huskies lost by falling apart defensively in the second half just when it looked as if they were in control of the game. They blew a 14-point lead with under 13 minutes left. They lost once again by allowing far too many three-pointers, 10 this time. They lost with some rushed threes, like the one by Niels Giffey that turned into a Bryce Cotton three-pointer where the lead went from 11 to eight and so went a chunk of momentum. They lost late after Jeremy Lamb took a three-pointer of 30 feet that looked as if it would have needed radar guidance only for him to get the ball back, turn and chuck another three-point miss. He said he thought they were good looks and, hey, he’s The Shooter.
The Providence Friars beat the Connecticut Huskies 72-70, closing out their season at the Dunk with a great comeback win over their biggest rival. Winning games in late February? IS THIS REAL LIFE? Thank you, Ed Cooley.
Connecticut (17-12, 7-10 Big East) started the second half with an 11-1 run and eventually gained a 14-point lead.Cotton’s four 3-pointers led a Providence (15-15, 4-13) charge, giving the Friars a 63-55 advantage.The Huskies scored the next six points, but Friars freshman LaDontae Henton stopped their charge with two 3-pointers to create a 69-61 lead with 1 minute to go
Why the Friars Won: Despite getting repeatedly alley-ooped on by Andre Drummond in the first half and missing pretty much from everywhere, Providence kept it close on a late run over the last minute to take only a two point deficit into halftime. This was huge, because UConn came out swinging in the 2nd half to build that 14 point lead. In the 2nd half comeback, the Friars got hot shooting from Ice Cotton, the defense picked up some key steals, and the team showed toughness with great offensive rebounding. This was all done without the player having the best game (LaDontae Henton) out on the court, who had to sit big minutes with foul trouble. With the Huskies climbing back in the final few minutes, Buckets came off the bench and drilled two huge threes to give PC the cushion they would need.
"I can shoot a three like this, and it would go in. True story"
The Providence Friars did what they are so good at doing over the years, beating UConn! Here is the post game press conference following the game. Bryce Cotton, Vincent Council, and LaDontae Henton joined Coach Cooley to talk about the win on the last home game of the season.
Providence over Connecticut, Tuesday: Traditionally, the Huskies haven’t played well at Providence. And the pressure will be immense on UConn to win this game after failing to score on a final possession against Syracuse. Providence has the offense to score against Connecticut from the perimeter. Of course, the question will be whether UConn has the focus to lock in and defend the Friars in what is a must-win game. Can the Huskies lose this game, beat Pitt on Saturday and make a mini-run in the Big East tournament to still earn a bid? Yes. But falling to PC would zap them of any momentum, save a return to the bench by Jim Calhoun if his surgery goes well Monday.
Providence, just when I thought the season could not get any worse, you do something like this AND TOTALLY REDEEM YOURSELF!!
It’s a great day to be a Friar fan. What a phenomenal job by Keno Davis and his staff getting the team to come together after the South Florida debacle. The team played intense, inspired basketball in front of an EXCELLENT crowd at the DUNK. The excitement at the arena really came through on TV as I watched on SNY.
Read the full recap of Providence’s 81-66 upset win over #19 Connecticut last night after the jump!
The Friars completely dominated UConn on the offensive glass, doubling them up 24-12. Greedy Peterson (14 rebounds total, 6 offensive) and Bilal Dixon (12, 5) combined for as many total rebounds as the Huskies (24) and came one short offensively as well! Alex Oriakhi had a great 5 ORB, but no one else on the Huskies had more than 2. When your point guard Kemba Walker leads the team in total rebounds (8), you know you are in trouble. PC turned those boards into 21 second chance points.
Turnovers were plenty among both squads, but the Friars only ended up getting a 1 point lead from UConn’s 13 first half turnovers. Points off TOs was an even 15-15. It’s hard to imagine a team committing 19 overall turnovers when your PG Kemba Walker had ZERO, but UConn managed to pull it off. Vincent Council tied Jerome Dyson with a game high of 5 TO, but they all seemed to come towards the beginning of the game. VC took over the final 9 minutes, so all is forgiven.
It wasn’t the best shooting performance from the Friars — can you believe they didn’t hit a three (0-7) in the second half and still won by double digits? PC didn’t need to hit any long range shots, scoring 28 out of the 45 second half points in the paint. Out of those 28 points, I think about 14 came from rim-rocking dunks. Sure helps when you have a PG who can cut through defenses and make perfect setups!
Neither team did particularly well at getting to the foul line, and a big percentage of the Friars trips came when Connecticut kept fouling Sharaud Curry at the end of the game. He is not the one you want to send to the line, as he hit a perfect 10-10 from the stripe! That is why he is one of the top 10 foul shooters in the country.
OTHER STAT NOTES
This was UConn’s 2nd worst offensive efficiency rating of the season, behind their Duke loss (78.7).
Only St. John’s (79.7) and DePaul (84.9) had worse offensive ratings versus the Friars in BIG EAST play this year.
Providence has only won twice with a lower offensive rating, versus St. John’s (100) and Brown (104.5).
Let’s judge some performances by dishing out some pasta (from 1-4, 4 being awesome). My homage to the Star-Ledger.
Jamine Peterson – I counted at least 3 plays that could have made SportsCenter’s Top plays. The alley-oop towards the end of the game…did his knees almost hit the rim??? Yet another dominant double-double.
Vincent Council – You can’t say enough about this kid. Stuffed the living sh*t out of the stat sheet with 8 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, and continually beat his man off the dribble all night.
Bilal Dixon – 2nd double-double of the season, and first since his very first game as a Friar!
Sharaud Curry – Had an invisible first half, but scored 18 in the second on some nice shots and drives, plus a pristine 10-10 from the foul line.
Duke Mondy – THE DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUKE.
Kemba Walker – Had an amazing game with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, and zero turnovers. Maybe he should have taken all the offensive duties in the last part of the 2nd half.
Stanley Robinson – Had a good shooting night, but only 4 rebounds from the team’s best rebounder?
Jerome Dyson – Woeful shooting and turned over the ball 5 times.
The Providence College men’s basketball team (12-8, 4-4 BIG EAST) knocked off No. 19/19 Connecticut (13-7, 3-4 BIG EAST) by the score of 81-66 before a raucous crowd of 11,136 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Sophomore forward Jamine Peterson led the way with a game-high 23 points along with 14 rebounds.
Four nights after publicly calling out his team’s talent and effort, Davis basked in the glow of his team’s best performance of the season. His Providence Friars shook off a few body shots from the 19th- ranked Connecticut Huskies Wednesday night and ran away from their Big East rivals, 81-66, before 11,136 fans at The Dunk.
“In this league you can’t have memories about the last game,” said Council, who continually beat UConn defenders off the dribble and finished with 8 points and 8 assists. “We had to go 100 percent hard, every play, every practice.”
PC held off UConn runs midway through the first half and again near the 10 minute mark of the second and then pulled way late for the victory. Greedy Peterson was the best player on the floor with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Sharaud Curry added 18 points and Bilal Dixon added 11 points and 12 boards.
On a night with a lot of angles, Vincent Council was the story. Greedy Peterson’s 23 and 14 were featured in ESPN’s postgame highlights, Bilal Dixon fought his heart out against a bigger frontcourt (11 points, 12 rebounds), and the team responded to Keno Davis’ challenge, but long time followers of Providence basketball have waited far too long for Council to overlook the impact he had on this one.
Seriously, I don’t know what the bigger total was, insane Greedy alley-oops or Jerome Dyson points. Here’s the thing, Jerome. Next time, when you respond to the student section, make sure you can back it up. Honestly, you would’ve been much better off if you just ignored us. Also, where was this Stanley Robinson kid I keep hearing about? Did he play?
“We just took our foot off the gas. We thought that we had the game won already,’’ said UConn forward Gavin Edwards, who scored 17 points. “Everybody was just resting on their laurels from the Texas game, and as a result, nobody really came out to play, and we got beat.’’
In a span of a few days, UConn went from standing on top of Mount Everest to tumbling into an icy abyss.
It was an alarming free fall, to say the least.
The Huskies were at a loss to explain suffering their worst loss of the season Wednesday – 81-66 to Providence at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center – after playing their best game in upsetting then-No. 1 Texas last Saturday.
“I don’t know,” Dyson said when asked why he had such trouble. “I can’t say.”
It wasn’t coincidence that as Dyson cooled offensively, so did the Huskies. With Dyson involved, the Huskies opened a 10-point lead in the first 10 minutes of the game. With him uninvolved, the Huskies needed the next 30 minutes to score 44 points.
Defensively, that might have been the worst effort I’ve seen from a UConn defense in years. I lost count at the number of dunks and easy layups and un-blocked-out offensive rebounders. Packing five guys around the hoop and watching Providence make 20 3-pointers would’ve been a much less frustrating way to lose this.
How about this quote from PC coach Keno Davis: “We can beat anybody in the country. We have enough talent, but we have to play extremely hard.’’ I’m not sure I’m buying that proclamation, but it’s good to know Davis has that much confidence in his crew.
There was something missing here Wednesday night. The stomping on the floor. The spittle flying from the lips. The diatribes that seem like just one run-on sentence.
The No. 19 Connecticut Huskies missed Coach Jim Calhoun, being blown off the floor in the final nine minutes and falling, 81-66, to Providence. The Huskies, fresh off their victory over Texas, which was No. 1, looked as if they could have used a verbal beating all night.
With the Huskies leading by three past the midway point of the second half, Providence took control with a 14-0 run. Connecticut didn’t score for more than five minutes as the Friars deposited shot after shot.