Providence looks to bounce back from their loss to Indiana, as they face Davidson. Davidson lost in the closing seconds to Texas and appears to be a more than formidable opponent. PC better come prepared to play or they may face a similar outcome as yesterday.
Themes to Watch
Defensive Intensity – Yesterday’s game against the Hoosiers was frustrating for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons was due to the laissez faire approach to defense. Indiana seemingly scored at will in half court and in transition and outrebounded the Friars by a significant amount (42-33). I anticipate the team to come out with more urgency and play the type of defense Friar fans come to expect from a Cooley squad.
Defensive Adjustments – We’ve also heard about the depth of this squad. It’d be nice for Cooley to lean into that depth and press Davidson for all 40 minutes. Sure, it may lead to some easy buckets, but it could also lead to turnovers and points in transition. I think we have the athletic edge over Davidson, so it may be the right time to explore this approach. Given how the half court offense looked yesterday, I think most fans want to see the Friars in transition rather than in half court sets.
Line-Up Changes – Cooley mentioned a big change was coming ahead of this game. It is my belief we’ll see Horchler start with Gantt coming off the bench. Horchler has shown he can make buckets and rebound, and I think Cooley may side with more offense (even if Gantt is the perceived better defender).
Duke Gets Back on Track – The sign of a veteran leader is somebody who can have a tough game and bounce back the next game. I believe we see that from Duke today.
Final Score Prediction
Things are never as good or bad as they initially seem. We’ve experienced both sides of that coin in our first two games.
Friars win a close one 66-64.