Coming off the first loss in eight seasons versus the rival URI Rams the Friars (6-2) return to the Dunkin Donuts Center to take on in-state Brown University. The Bears (4-4) are coming off back-to-back loses at URI and most recently dropping a home contest to Central Connecticut. Brown is led in scoring by sophomore guard Brandon Anderson (19.6 ppg) and in rebounding by junior forward Travis Fuller (6.1 rpg). Lets get to the keys to the game.
Crier’s Keys to the Game
Take Care of the Basketball
After Saturday’s debacle in Kingston I’m sure Ed Cooley stressed that the team starts taking better care of the basketball. The Friars committed 21 turnovers in the game including an astonishing 14 turnovers in the first half alone. URI’s defense does deserve some credit but I cant remember a game under coach Cooley where the Friars were so careless with the basketball. Brown probably wont be able to hurt you as much as URI can off transition but I guarantee the Friars put an emphasis on taking care of the basketball.
Make Free Throws
The free throw line was definitely a concern going into the season based on some of the exhibition games they played but on the regular season the Friars were shooting a modest 70% from the line on the year, then Saturday happened. The Friars shot an atrocious 10-21 from the line and for those counting at home that equates to 47.6%. The Friars also missed the front end of a couple of 1-and-1s and just left way too many points off the board. I don’t think this is an excellent free throw shooting team but they have plenty of capable players. I’m sure Friars worked on free throw shooting in practice and should see an improved percentage tonight.
Keep Brandon Anderson Off the Charity Stripe
Brandon Anderson scores 19.6 points per contest for Brown but if you look at his shooting percentages you’d question how he scores so much. Anderson is shooting only 39.1% from the floor including 27.5% from 3. Its not like he’s a shy shooter either taking 11.5 shots per game. Where Brandon Anderson’s bread is buttered is at the free throw line. He takes a remarkable 10.5 free throws per game and makes them at an 88% clip. The Friars want to make sure they do a good job guarding Anderson off the dribble and have the bigs waiting at the rim to deny him. If Brown wants a chance to win Anderson is going to have to get to the line frequently so the Friars will want to limit this.
If you noticed the majority of my keys to the game focus on what the Friars can do better as a team as opposed to what they need to do to stop Brown. This game really isn’t about Brown, its about the Friars playing better as a team. Coming off Saturday’s ugly performance and the fact the Friars played Rider and Belmont close I expect the squad to be motivated coming into this game. I expect the Friars to take better care of the basketball and to make their free throws because you cant get much worse in that area than the other night. I’m sure Kyron Cartwright was disappointed with his performance in his last game vs URI and I expect him to be aggressive from the tip tonight. The Friars should be able to overwhelm Brown with their length, forcing turnovers and scoring in transition. The Crier sees a blow out at the Dunkin Donuts Center tonight.
Friars 86 Brown 61