Providence, fresh off a 2-0 start, hosts 1-2 Stonehill at 5PM EST as the Friars look to remain undefeated heading into the crucial weekend at Mohegan Sun. Providence is favored by 24 points, and we are hoping to see an almost entire second half of PC’s bench getting minutes.
Below, we break down keys to the game and what to watch for.
Defensive Effort the Entirety of Game – Despite the heavy spread, Stonehill has proven to have an above average offense in their 3 games, averaging 77 points a game. Cooley is honing in on his rotation. The way for a bench player to determine his minutes moving forward will be his defensive intensity and effort with the game likely already decided. I don’t expect Stonehill to score more than 65 in this one, and I know Cooley will likely do a “statement benching” the moment he sees half-hearted effort on defense, score be damned.
Heavy Minutes for Rotation Players – We know what we have already in our starters. This is a time to jump out to an early lead and get heavy minutes for players like Pierre, Floyd Jr., and Castro. The Croswell injury against Northeastern, although minor, was a prime example of how we are one play away from having to rely on our bench. These guys need to get minutes playing collegiately (and not just in practice).
Avoid Injury – This is a game PC should win running away. They need to stay healthy ahead of the meat of their out of conference schedule coming up. Starters shouldn’t be getting extensive minutes.
Do the Little Things Well – It sounds easy enough, but the quality of your opponent shouldn’t influence how you take care of the ball, make free throws at a consistent clip, and do your job. I’m hopeful we don’t see a lull in play. That’ll be a good sign of whether this team is fully embracing Cooley’s message.
BOC: Providence wins, but does not cover. Final score 88 – 65.