Friars Looking to Bounce Back Against St. Peter’s – Game Preview

After losing in the Legends Classic to Virginia 58-40, the Friars have a key stretch of home games over the next 7 days that will go a long ways to determining where the Friars stand going into Big East play. After playing St. Peter’s, the Friars then play Texas Tech and URI. Each of these games will be at The Dunk, so the Friars have an excellent opportunity to rid themselves of the sting of the UVA game. The game is being played at 12PM EST on FS2.

St. Peter’s Program Overview

St. Peter’s is 1-2, with two of those losses coming against 3-3 VCU and 4-1 St. John’s.

St. Peter’s only averages 62.7 points a game, with the leading scorer Doug Edert averaging a shade under 13 points. KC Ndefo, the Preseason Player of the Year for the MAAC and two time MAAC defensive player of the year, is averaging 7.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

Keys to the Game

  1. Cue the broken record comments…get the ball to Watson early – This St. Peter’s team does not have a lot of size. Ndefo is only 6’7. Although Ndefo has excellent defensive skills, Watson has the height and size to dominate this game on the offensive end. Getting a player the caliber of Ndefo in early foul trouble changes the dynamics of the game for St. Peter’s. Even if Ndefo stays out of foul trouble, Watson needs to have his fingerprints all over this game.
  2. Get consistent play out of the lead guard position – The lead guard play in the championship game left a lot to be desired. Bynum and Breed combined for 2 points on 0-6 shooting with only 5 assists. Durham has taken the mantle of the leading scoring guard, but one of those two players has to seize the lead guard spot opposite Durham and be more of the distributor.
  3. Force St. Peter’s turnovers that lead to transition offense– St Peter’s averages 20 turnovers per game through three contests this season. If Providence is able to create turnovers they got to capitalize and turn it into transition offense. Against UVA BOC and I were losing our collective minds at the team not pushing the tempo in transition, consistently pulling it out and settling in the half court. Hopefully the Friars will get out on the break often against the Peacocks.
  4. At best, be average from 3 point land – Providence went 14% from 3 against Virginia and is averaging 33.3% on the season. Particularly, it would be great to see Reeves get back on track, as he is averaging only 28% from 3. He was perceived to be the sharpshooting option from the perimeter, and he simply hasn’t been that person. Teams are going to begin to replicate the UVA defensive blueprint by doubling Watson instantaneously, and the other Friars need to make the teams pay for that.

BOC Prediction

Providence gets back on track and wins this one 74-60.

Crier Prediction

First and foremost I’d like to apologize for my score picking skills, with my fear of PC putting up a mere 40 points vs UVA coming true. I think I’m more worried about a hangover in this game than I was after the Wisconsin win. Something about playing a Tony Bennett team that leads you to playing poor offensively that could shake some confidence. We’ve seen teams show lingering effects after playing Tony during his run at UVA. Having said that though I think PC will get the ball to Watson early and he and the Friars as a whole will have bounce back game. PC 80 St Peter’s 64

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