PC – UVM Game Preview: Friars Look to Climb to 9-1

Providence, fresh off a huge week with wins against Texas Tech and Rhode Island, look to keep the winning streak alive when they face the Catamounts of Vermont. The game is Tuesday at 6:30pm EST on FS1.

We break down the UVM Team and provide keys to a Providence victory.

Vermont Program Overview

Record: 6-3, No Notable Wins, Losses to Maryland, Oakland, and UNC Greensboro

KenPom: 98; Barttorvik: 103

Key Players: Ryan Davis, a 6’8 forward, averages 16.8 points and 6.3 boards. Ben Shungu, a 6’2 guard, averages 12.8 and 4.7 boards. Rhode Island’s own Justin Mazzula averages 7.1 points a game.

Keys to Friar Victory

1. Generate Your Own Energy – There is no two ways to say it: this game is likely going to be a dead atmosphere inside the Dunk. It’s a 6:30 tip on a Tuesday, and most fans may not make the trek to see Providence after attending two home games against Texas Tech and URI. I’d love to be wrong here, but I don’t think I will be. With an expected decrease in fans, the PC Team will have to channel their own energy and avoid a lethargic start. While Vermont’s resume isn’t overly impressive, John Becker is a heck of a coach and can scheme his team to victory. Providence must show its experience and maturity by coming ready to play, fans or no fans.

2. Maintain the Advantage on the Glass – I feel like a broken record, but Providence has a distinct size advantage in this game and should lead the rebounding category by a wide margin. PC should start offensive sets inside-out and should have countless second chance opportunities on offense. On defense, I’d like to see Vermont be “one and done” with the Friars getting out in transition quickly.

3. Don’t let Ed Croswell Week go to waste Croswell has earned more significant playing time. Croswell is only averaging a shade over 12 minutes a game; however, the last two games he has played 22 minutes in each. I’d like to see Croswell continue to spell both Horchler and Watson and get 17-20 minutes a game. The big man has earned it.

4. Take better care of the basketball – I know it is hard without Bynum at point, but Providence needs to get used to life without Jared. There’s a chance he may not be ready to play until the new year. In two games without Bynum, the Friars are turning the ball over 14.5 times a game. I’d like to see that number in single digits against UVM.

Prediction

BOC: Providence wins with ease 81-66 to get to 9-1

Crier: The fact that PC didn’t even get a vote in the AP poll makes me think they may not sleep on the Catamounts. Still though UVM is a well coached team that just hasn’t lived up to the billing as top team in the America East. I think this one will be closer than we think and might even be a nail bitter. PC does move to 9-1 though, I got 74-69.

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