The Providence Friar’s trip to Fort Worth certainly didn’t go like their last, as the Friars lost to TCU 75-62 at Schollmaier Arena. Providence couldn’t overcome slow starts to both halves and dropped to 5-3 on the season. PC had over a ten minute span where they didn’t hit a field goal between the end of the first and into the second half. Here’s our thoughts from the game.
Starting Backcourt Struggles Against Stout TCU Defense- Jared Bynum and Noah Locke were expected to fuel the Friars backcourt this year but they both continued their recent struggles in this one. Noah Locke, after an inefficient shooting game against Columbia, didn’t register a single point in this one. He also only played 10 minutes. After a sequence where he airballed a three and gave up an and-1 to TCU guard Mike Miles, he was essentially done for the night. Jared Bynum only scored 2 points, while dishing out 4 assists. JB continues to struggle with his shot, going 0-4 from three (18% for the year), and clearly is showing a little bit of a lack in confidence. I won’t bet against Bynum but bottom line is him and Locke need to provide more scoring in an efficient manner.
Lampkin Wins Battle of the Eds- Friar fans didn’t get a chance to see Lampkin when they played TCU in 2020 but if you follow the Crier you’ll know I’ve always been an outside admirer of his game. It was expected to be a epic battle of the bigs between Croswell and Lampkin but it was Lampkin’s energy and effort that couldn’t be matched. Lampkin gobbled up the glass en route to a 16 and 12 night for the big fella. Croswell scored all 7 of his points in the first and got out worked on the boards all night.
Young Guys Perform, Despite Turnover Woes- It was Bryce Hopkins and Devin Carter who led the Friars in scoring with 17 a piece. Freshman Jayden Pierre came off the bench and added 13 points. However, between the three of them they committed 11 of the Friars 14 turnovers. Hopkins and Carter clearly have great skill sets and Pierre shows he deserves more minutes with each game but they all have to take better care of the rock.
TCU Does What They Haven’t Done All Year, Make the Three Ball – TCU came in shooting 25.6% from 3. Of course, they use the game against PC as a get right game from deep. They finished the game shooting a scorching 50% from three. When you are facing a superior opponent, you can’t afford to have them be hot from deep. Oh well.
Balanced Scoring for TCU – I’m getting PTSD from the Duke/Watson year looking at the Friar box score and seeing two players score 17 points with not a single other starter getting double digits. Contrast that with TCU where all 5 starters scored in double digits and one bench player as well. That’s the winning recipe, which we showed all of last year.
Crier: It certainly is disappointing that the Friars are 0-3 against tournament quality opponents and haven’t dominated some of their easier games. While the schedule gave PC opportunities to gel, it also limited their chances at resume building wins. So here now they sit at 5-3 with no chances at a resume builder and three possible bracket busters before Big East play. With all that said, I’m not ready to write this team off. They clearly show talent and showed an overall improvement on the glass tonight. This was never going to be an easy game. Jamie Dixon’s team is legitimate. Providence will look to bounce back against URI in Kingston on Saturday.
BOC: This season has broken out almost exactly as I had envisioned thus far. I did have them at 6-2 with a split at Mohegan, but realized early on that this was going to be a team that grew together. You cannot replace 5 starters and expect immediate results out of the gates. To all Friar fans, I channel Aaron Rodgers and say “R-E-L-A-X”. In my opinion, Hopkins, Carter, Pierre, and even Moore have all vastly outperformed expectations. The only confounding part of this team is the lack of consistent production from their veterans in Bynum and Croswell. That will change this year, mark my words.
Despite the loss last night, I think we learned even more that Pierre should be getting starter’s minutes. Additionally, a line-up rotation HAS to transpire with Locke being relegated to the bench. When the one-trick pony isn’t doing the one trick with any consistency, it’s time to put in players who can contribute in multiple areas of the game. I’m hopeful we see a starting line-up of Bynum, Pierre, Carter, Hopkins, and Croswell against URI, and the hostile environment gets Bynum back on track.
Keep the faith, Friar fans. We know what Cooley can do in Big East play.