Providence is looking to finish what it started last night by winning the Legends Classic championship against the Cavaliers of Virginia. Providence made the championship by defeating Northwestern 77-72. UVA defeated Georgia in the semi-final 65-55.
Game Details: 7:30PM tip on ESPN2, Providence favored by 2.5
We break down the Cavalier team and detail the keys to a Providence victory below
UVA Cavaliers Overview
Record: 3-2. Notable Losses: Houston and Navy
Key Players: Armaan Franklin, transfer guard from Indiana, is averaging approximately 14 a game. Jayden Gardner, transfer forward from East Carolina, averages 13 and 7 boards. Kihei Clark is the veteran PG on this squad. Lastly, Shedrick is the uber-athletic big who averages 3 blocks a game.
Keys to Friar Victory
Just like yesterday, start hot – The hallmark of Tony Bennett’s teams is their pack line defensive strategy. Virginia is allowing teams to only score 58.4 points a game. If Providence can get out to an early lead, it throws Virginia off script. Conversely, if Providence starts out slow, the Friars may begin to press a bit, which could lead to UVA growing out a lead. This Cavalier team is tough to score on, so it is imperative Providence starts quickly.
Watson and Horchler need to be ready to pass out of double teams down low – We all know teams are going to swarm Watson whenever he gets the ball in the low block. He needs to be conscientious of this and not force contested shots. This is a big game for the Providence guards to step up and knock down timely open perimeter shots.
Get out in transition as much as possible – If this game is played primarily in a half court set, that plays right into Virginia’s game plan. Providence needs to get boards and get into transition as much as humanly possible.
Team Rebounding is a MUST – This UVA team may not have the horses of years past, but they have some athleticism to them. Rebounding must be a team effort. It sounds simple enough, but the Friars need wings like Reeves and Minaya to assert themselves on the glass.
I have much more confidence in this team than The Crier does. I think PC is the better team and wins in a bit of an offensive struggle, 68-61. Friars win the Legends Classic
The Crier Prediction
The Crier may have been intoxicated when he made this prediction on the pod, but he thinks UVA wins 55-40. The Crier thinks Providence only scores 40 points. You read that right.