Let me take you back to March 7th, 2020. The Friars finished off a great conference showing by boat racing DePaul 93-55. You all know how that turned out with COVID having other plans for college basketball, but similarly today’s game felt like a celebration. A celebration of PC having a strong non-conference resume and setting themselves up for a return to the NCAA Tournament. It did seem like the players got the celebration started a little early and a 19-point halftime lead resulted in only a 15-point victory.
- Friars Again Start FAST- It was apparent early the Friars weren’t going to take CCSU lightly. For the third straight game Providence started the game with the first 9+ points. PC started this one with a 12-0 lead with a pair of hoops from Justin Minaya and Noah Horchler, plus a three ball from AJ Reeves. Stating the obvious, starting off the game way typically will lead to good things.
- Reeves & Minaya Shoulder Offensive Load- We’ve mentioned before that a real positive of this Friar team is anyone can lead the team in scoring on a given night. Against UVM it was all Nate and AJ, and today it was AJ and Minaya. Reeves continued his hot play of late with 17 points. He also added 9 rebounds, 7 assists and a block— a real great overall game for AJ. Reeves becoming the scorer we know he can be is a huge development going into conference play. Justin Minaya was awesome in this game as well. He had 14 points on 6/6 from the floor with 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. This was his best overall game as a Friar.
- Free Throw Woes Creep Back Up for Friars- Clearly the Friars didn’t listen to everything Coach Crier said. Not only did the Friars shoot 55% from the charity stripe, they only attempted 11 freebies. It was very apparent the Friars were less aggressive in the second half, where they only attempted 2 free throws, going 2/2. The Friars have the personnel to live at the free throw line, they need to be more aggressive on offense in Big East play.
- Horrific Second Half of The Second Half- The Crier understands that a win is a win, but I know for a fact Ed Cooley was not happy with how this game ended. The Friars held a 63-34 lead with 11:35 left in the game, but they finish the game getting out scored 19-5 . You are not going to be able to get away with that in conference play. This was a perfect teaching moment for Cooley to his team as they enter league play.
AP Rankings come out Monday. Given that Providence didn’t get ANY votes last week, we don’t foresee them being ranked.
Friars then have a week off for exams before opening Big East play a week from today at #15 UConn.
Continue to follow along at TheProvidenceCrier.com and on Twitter @ProvidenceCrier @BOCallday.