The Providence Friars finally got back on the court tonight in an exhibition vs the UConn Huskies at Mohegan Sun. The game, which was organized about a week ago, had all ticket proceeds go to the Red Cross for hurricane victims. For much of the contest the Friars were in control en route to a 90-76 victory. While I don’t want to put too much stock into an exhibition game I thought I’d share a few takeaways from the action.
- Cartwright Saving His Best for Last– While he didn’t log a ton of minutes I was really impressed from what I saw from Cartwright. The Big East’s Most Improved Player from a year ago has seemed to improve his finishing ability at the basket and his three point stroke this offseason. He also appears to have added muscle this offseason, which probably helps his finishing ability. Expect a big senior season from PC’s lead guard.
- Spurtability- Clark Kellog’s son Alex played at PC so I might as well use his catchphrase to describe the Friars offense. The team showed they can really score in bunches with two quick scoring runs. In the first half their lead shrunk to 5-points and then in a blink of an eye they went on a 8-0 run to push the lead back to 13. Then to start the second half the Friars rushed out to a 16-3 run which really allowed them to cruise the rest of the way. With the talent and depth of this season’s roster expect this to be a trend this season.
- MAL– Since Makai Ashton-Langford decommited from UConn and jumped on the Cooley train Friartown has been anxiously anticipating his debut. The highly touted freshman guard did some good things and some bad things. He was turnover prone in his first game but what’s undeniable is that he already posses the ability to attack the basket off the dribble. He was able to get to the basket with relative ease and showed flashes of being a playmaker by finishing at the rim or finding an open teammate. The turnovers is something I’d expect from a freshman point guard but it will be quite the luxury for Cooley to have another primary ball handler that can make plays behind Cartwright.
- Rebounding Concerns– Rebounding woes plagued the Friars last season and it cropped up this evening as well. In the first half the Friars actually out rebounded the Huskies 19-18 but the Huskies owned a 9-1 advantage on the offensive glass. Important to keep in mind the Friars were missing two of their best rebounders in Jalen Lindsey and Emmitt Holt but its something to monitor this season.
The Friars will be back in action on Saturday in an exhibition game against Carleton College at the Dunkin Donuts Center. The season officially will kick off two weeks from Friday against Houston Baptist at Alumni Hall, the wait is almost over Friar fans.