The Providence College Friars are back in action Tuesday night and will try to get their first road win of the season, as they square off with DePaul in Rosemont, IL. Typically a trip to DePaul is exactly what a team looking for their first road win would want however that may not be the case come Tuesday. The main reason being the injury to Kyron Cartwright’s knee, which limited him to only 12 minutes of action on Saturday. Coach Cooley said over the weekend that there was a 50/50 chance that Cartwright would suit up tomorrow. On top of all that there are rumblings on the Twittersphere that Jalen Lindsey could be questionable as well with a thumb injury. If those two were both held out of the lineup tomorrow it could be catastrophic for the Friars’ chances of leaving the Allstate Arena with a W, especially considering depth issues at the guard position.
My Keys to the Game
- Who’s Running the Point?– If Kyron Cartwright can’t go tomorrow it will be interesting to see what Coach Cooley does with the point guard position. He couldn’t possibly give backup Freshman point guard Maliek White the Bryce Cotton treatment and play him the entire game will he? This is where the Drew Edwards injury really hurts because he actually has ball handling experience. If Cartwright is out and Edwards doesn’t play it should be a clear indicator that Cooley will look to redshirt him this season.
- Feed the Post– I had said that Bullock and Holt had to answer the call last game and while Bullock’s shooting funk continued, Emmitt Holt was a monster. I questioned whether he could play with some of the big boys in the Big East and he sure proved me wrong. He had his way offensively in the paint vs Justin Patton despite giving up several inches against the Creighton big man. DePaul doesn’t have a ton of size upfront led by Tre’Darius McCallum, who only stands at 6-7. Look for Cooley to make a point to feed Bullock and Holt down low as he’s done so against other teams with a small frontcourt.
- Contain Eli Cain– Billy Garrett Jr has been a stalwart in the backcourt for the Blue Demons for the previous three seasons and while he still remains, its the play of two-guard Eli Cain that has starred for DePaul. The sophomore guard is a dynamic offensive player who can score in a multitude of ways. He’s a very capable three point shot maker and he takes a bunch of them too (5.3 attempts per game). He also has the size and slashing ability to finish at the rim or get to the line. He leads the Blue Demons in scoring at 17.4 points per contest. Typically I’d expect Lindsey to be hounding Cain all evening but if he can’t go expect this thing to be a team effort.
This one has the feeling of one of those games thats going to be painful to watch for Friar fans. One of those games where injuries and poor play lead to Cooley playing a walk-on significant minutes (Insert Tom Planek). If I were a gambling man, which in fact I am, I would say Lindsey plays through the thumb injury but Cooley decides to rest Cartwright until next Saturday. Having said that it will be tough for the Friars run their typical offense without Cartwright. I feel the Friars will still be able to defend against DePaul’s offense, who’ve only scored 62 ppg during their current 5 game skid. Although this game may feel like pulling teeth for Friar fans, I still see the Friars pulling this one out.
Friars 67 DePaul 64 in OT