In the second and final installment of the Friars Season Preview we will take a look at the marquee matchups that you should mark on your calendar for the upcoming season. Ed Cooley once again has put together a schedule where the Friars will have created a nice resume for themselves come Selection Sunday. So let’s get right to it- here are the must see games for the upcoming season.
Veterans Classic- Providence vs. Wichita St 11/9 6pm CBSSN
The Friars will go on the road for the first time of the season when they face off against the Shockers. The game will be at a neutral site and played at Alumni Hall on the campus of Navy in Annapolis. This game appears to be scheduled one year too late for the Friars because the Shockers seem to be headed for a down season. Senior big man Markis McDuffie is really the Shockers only returning player of relevance. This could be one of those wins that sound good for the Friars but ultimately won’t carry that much value, but hey they’re playing for the troops.
Hall of Fame Tip Off Tournament- 11/17-11/18 Mohegan Sun Arena
Providence will spend a weekend on the reservation as they participate in this year’s Hall of Fame Tip Off Tournament. The first game will be played on Saturday and has the Friars squaring off against University of South Carolina Gamecocks at 2:30, streaming on ESPN3. Another team that is not expected to be very good, but their fans get to wear shirts that say “GO COCKS” and totally get away with it, so they’ve got that going for them. The Gamecocks are led by senior big man Chris Silva, so right off the bat here the Bully Bros will get a test from opposing bigs. The real prize though is the chance to face last year’s National Runner Up in the Michigan Wolverines, who should have no problems with George Washington. The championship game will be played at 1:30 on Sunday and will air on ESPN. The Wolverines, who are ranked 19th in the nation going into the year, are led by talented guards Charles Matthews and Jordan Poole and will be stiff test for the Friars. Charles Matthews as you may remember is a transfer from Kentucky and you all know Jordan Poole for ripping the hearts out of the Houston Cougars and Rob Gray’s little brother.
While you’ll be able to catch these games on ESPN and ESPN3, it’s a tournament thats much better to go to in person. I know from experience dude, if you know what I mean. I went with a bunch of Friars buddies four years ago when PC was in it and it was a fucking blast. You get to gamble your face off and watch the Friars live in action- whats better than that? The Crier intends on going again this year and already is looking forward to getting to the reservation Saturday, posting up at the Broken Arrow, indulge in a handful of $2 beers and then seeing his Friars kick the shit out of the Gamecocks. The best part is that you get to wake up and do it all again the next day! Just remember friends… when playing roulette you better put your chips on Friar Black.
Providence Friars vs. URI Rams 12/1 5pm FS1
I was hesitant to put the Battle of Rhode Island on here because of the blood bath that it’s going to be. Gone is Danny Hurley and probably the Rams’ relevancy. The Rams do have some talent, sure, they return Jeff Dowtin, Fatts Russel and Cyril Langevine and add top 100 freshman Jermaine Harris, but they’ll be no match for the Friars. Oh you got a top 100 freshman, Rhody? That’s cute, but the Friars got 2 top 50s bud. New head coach David Cox has done a nice job so far keeping the team together but I honestly feel bad for the guy. I can’t imagine what Ed and the Boys will have in store for the Rams coming off of last year’s loss. No I really can’t imagine it because Ed had never lost to these losers, Friars by 100!
Providence Friars @ Boston College Eagles 12/4 7pm ESPN2
Conte Forum… welcome to Hell on Earth. This ice rink turned basketball venue with it’s stupid fake crowd noise and nonworking scoreboards has been a house of horrors for the Friars over the years. The BC Eagles could have a bunch of Helen Kellers on their team and still find a way to beat the Friars at Conte. BC was expected to potentially be a top 25 team this year with Ky Bowman and Jerome Robinson, but then Robinson declared for the draft. Doesn’t matter though BC will probably find a way to knock off the Friars… only if they don’t expect the Crier to burn the place down.
Providence Friars @ Texas Longhorns 12/21 9pm ESPN2
The Friars wrap up their non-conference schedule with a trip to Austin to face the Longhorns. While Texas may not be a top 25 team, they have a ton of talent with four returning starters and a really good recruiting class to boot. The Longhorns are led by bouncy senior guard Kerwin Roach, cancer survivor Andrew Jones and lumberjack Dylan Osetkowski. This team could quite possibly be the most athletic team the Friars will face all year, but as long as PJ Tucker doesn’t walk through that tunnel I’ll give us a chance.
Big East Games
Providence Friars vs. Villanova Wildcats 1/5 2pm FOX/FS1
The Friars will host the defending National Champion Villanova Wildcats in their second Big East game. PC was able to get the best of Villanova last year in the Dunk and Friar fans will hope for the same on this Saturday afternoon. Villanova lost a lot from their title team but were able to reload and should have a Top 15 team again this year. Villanova added Albany transfer Joe Cremo and have a talented recruiting class that includes a guy plenty are familiar with in Friartown. Rhode Island’s own Cole Swider chose the Wildcats over the Friars and we got to give this guy the Eric Gordon at Assembly Hall treatment.
I can’t believe this happened 10 years ago and I can’t find a really good video to give it justice but in summary we have to boo the shit out of Cole Swider every time he touches the ball. If you ain’t with us your against us so enjoy getting heckled Cole.
Providence Friars vs. Marquette Golden Eagles 2/23 12pm FOX
The only reason why I chose this game is because of how much I fucking hate Marquette. The team is full of these soft finesse players who just jack up threes all day and can’t defend a lick. Coach Steve Wojciechowski is a whiny little bitch but what do you expect, he’s from Duke. Also Marquette fans Jimmy Butler is overrated, top 10 NBA player my ass. This is a matchup of two teams that were voted top 3 in the Big East preseason poll so thats another reason its a marquee game for me but mostly just my disdain for Marquette University.
That wraps up Part II of the Friar Season Preview, be on the look out for a Big East season preview at some point before the season starts. This time next week the Friars will have already played their first game of the season, we are so damn close!
– The Crier