The Providence Friars earned their final win out of conference 79-70 before heading into Big East play Saturday against Xavier. This wraps up their out-of-conference with a 4-2 record. It was an important win on the road against a TCU team that was 4-1 coming into the game.
Revisiting Keys to Victory
1. Gang Rebound – The Friars need all 5 on the court to make a concerted effort to get the ball. If it isn’t a team effort, TCU will own the Friars on the glass.
BOC: The Friars did a fabulous job on the glass. They outrebounded the Horned Frogs by a margin of 13, 33-20. More importantly, they kept Samuel off the glass with only 6 rebounds, approximately 6 below his season average. Horchler and Watson each had 8 rebounds, so they did their job.
2. Please Don’t Repeat the Alabama Blueprint – In our write up on Alabama, we said the key to beating Bama was making sure every 3 was contested. When possible, PC had to run the Tide off the three point line. They did neither of those and lost handily. They can’t do that against TCU.
BOC: The Horned Frogs actually shot 43% from 3, which would initially mean they repeated the failed efforts like they did against the Tide. This stat is incredibly misleading, however. The Horned Frogs only 14 3’s, making 6. That is TEN less threes attempted than their season average. The Friars did an admirable job running TCU off the three point line.
3. Get Samuel in Foul Trouble – Watson has been a beast on the offensive end. Get Samuel in foul trouble, and the identity of TCU is completely altered. This also feeds into the theme post-Maui of ensuring Watson gets a touch every offensive possession.
BOC: Mission accomplished. Samuel sat for a great deal of the first half in foul trouble. Samuel finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds, so they clearly kept him in check. You saw his presence in the second half with his block against Duke, so to keep him off the court is a massive accomplishment.
Takeaways from the Game
- Friars Defense Leads to Offense – Providence caused TCU to turn the ball over 19 times, leading to transition buckets for the Friars. The press instituted throughout the game clearly bothered TCU, and it is something I’d like to see implemented throughout the rest of the season. Providence has the bodies and length to implement the press effectively. It also limits the number of half court sets that Providence is in offensively.
- Incredible Bench Output – The trio of Gantt, Croswell, and Nichols poured in 23 points, 12 more than TCU. We have spoken a great deal about the depth of the Friars. Seeing this production from the bench and not having to rely on Duke and Watson exclusively is a fantastic sign.
- David Duke Continues to Emerge as BE POY candidate: Duke scored 28 points for the second game in the row. He is third in the Big East in scoring average, for what it is worth. More importantly, he made the 28 look EASY. He seemed to be in complete control last night, detailed by his efficient 11-19 from the field (5-8 from 3). If Duke is going to average 40% or so from 3, this offense will be just fine moving forward.
- Bynum’s Assist Numbers Mask the Poor Shooting – I think all Providence fans are painfully aware of Bynum’s 0-17 from 3 to start the season. Bynum had another poor shooting night, going 1-6 from the field. While Friar fans hope to see him turn this around, it was his passing that illustrated why Cooley is sticking with him. He had 8 total assists and only one turnover. I’ll take an 8:1 ratio from my point guard all day.