Providence – Xavier Recap & Themes Moving Ahead

Providence College loses another buzzer beater, falling to Xavier 74-73.


Bynum Sits due to Injury; Breed starts first game of collegiate career: The passing presence of Bynum was missed, as Breed didn’t record a single assist. Breed showed well on defensive end, and this will be a good learning experience for the future. Bynum is questionable for their next game.

Duke & Watson carry team again (A positive and negative): It is amazing to enter a game knowing your two stars are going to get 40 points a game. There are maybe 15 teams in the country who can claim that. On any given night, you know that Providence has probably the best player on court in Duke. Watson is a first team all Big East player. That is such an advantage.

The problem is they do not have anybody else that is consistently showing up. What needs to happen next if they want to make the NCAA tournament is a third player to emerge. It just isn’t happening yet.

Scouting of Opposition Needs to Improve: Nate Johnson shoots 3’s. That’s his hallmark. We wrote in preview that they can’t let him get any 3’s off. Well, he did. He went 4-6 from 3. Similar to Creighton and Ballock, it’s on the coaches to hammer home that certain players have to beat you in any other way besides what they are known for and good at.

Controversial Call Late Masks Providence’s Inability to Close: Breed was called for a travel late in game that gave the ball back to Xavier and helped them ultimately secure the win. In my opinion, if it wasn’t a travel, it was an offensive foul. Providence fans complaining about that call are ignoring the bigger issue. You cannot let one call be the scapegoat for your team’s inability to secure the win. Providence was up 7 with 73 seconds left and lost the game. That just can’t happen. Xavier closed the game on an 8-0 run to win. Blame the ref if you want, but don’t ignore the collapse.

The Crier- I must chime in on this one. The Friars have shown ability to both close games (two OT wins this year) and puke on their shoes down the stretch. Blowing a 7 point lead is inexcusable but it doesn’t give a pass on the officials. Xavier was called for 9 fouls the entire game. In the last two games Duke has taken two FT attempts, TWO!! The amount of contact on his drives that’s going uncalled is beyond frustrating. End of the day though it’s the Friars who have to right the ship not the zebras.

Providence’s next game is against Marquette.

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