Friars Leave Mohegan Sun Winless After Loss to St. Louis

At a casino there are big winners, and there are big losers. The same could be said about the Hall of Fame Tip-Off this weekend at Mohegan Sun. The Friars dropped a heartbreaker against St. Louis to come up empty handed this weekend. PC took and held a lead with 2:10 left in the first half all the way until the final 26 seconds of the game but couldn’t stave off the Billikens comeback effort.

Friars Fix What Cost Them Against Miami- In the Friars opening game against the Hurricanes, the Friars lack of rebounding was exposed. The Friars were a minus 9 (-8) on the boards only snagging 24 total rebounds Saturday. Clearly Cooley addressed it in the locker room because they had a much more concerted effort on the glass against St. Louis, beating them by 5. Yet at the end of the day it didn’t matter, and that is frustrating.

Backcourt Inefficiencies– It was a weekend to forget for Jared Bynum. Bynum was able to average 14.5 ppg at the Hall of Fame Tip off but he had to work extremely hard to get it. He shot 10/28 from the floor including 1/12 from three point land. Speaking of struggling with the three ball, Noah Locke shot 3/11 on the weekend. If Providence wants to go places the backcourt must be more efficient.

I think Cooley is asking too much of Bynum right now. Pierre and/or Breed need to see more minutes, as there simply aren’t enough ball handlers on the court. Bynum can’t carry the offensive load entirely on his own.

College Continuation?– Yes, this may come off as the Crier crying about a call but I could care less. With the Friars clinging to a 2-point lead, Billiken’s guard Yuri Collins drove to the hoop against Carter. Yuri uses his off arm to dislodge a tightly defending Devin Carter. Not only was the play ruled a block but Collins was allowed to eurostep and score after the contact was made. That’s always a foul on the floor yet Collins was able to give the Billikens the lead for good with the free throw make after the “bucket”. The Friars were complicit in their own demise, but this was just a very poor call that had major consequences.

Who is the Guard Off the Bench?– We never got our answer this weekend at Mohegan Sun. Alyn Breed didn’t play a single minute in this one with Corey Floyd Jr essentially taking his minutes. In the postgame press conference Cooley said not playing Breed might’ve been a mistake. From the Crier’s perspective the mistake might’ve been only playing Jayden Pierre 8 minutes. Pierre didn’t flash like he did the past two games in his limited action but would’ve liked to see him in the second half, especially with the team up 13 points.

What’s The Rotation? Besides a lack of size in the frontcourt, this is my biggest fear. Cooley’s teams tend to struggle when he cannot firmly grasp a rotation of 7 or 8 players. Right now, there are about 10 players playing, but there is no consistency at all in their minutes and rotation. Cooley needs to tighten up the rotation after this week because it leads to no flow on the court.

Providence ran into two really good teams this weekend, yet coming out empty handed is a tough pill to swallow. In the big picture PC didn’t suffer any bad loses but with their schedule the way it is their margin for error just shrunk big time. The Friars gotta pick themselves off the mat and put this weekend in the rear view. That starts Wednesday when they host Merrimack at the AMP.

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