The Friars are looking to finish off their non-conference with a win, as they host the Albany Great Danes at the AMP. PC looks like they’re coming together after a dominant win over Manhattan on Wednesday (recap here: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2022/12/08/providence-secures-biggest-win-of-season-beats-manhattan-99-59/#more-5421), and they’ll look to build off that today. So far non-conference play has been a mixed bag for the Friars. While they squandered all three chances at resume building wins, they also haven’t hurt themselves with any bad loses. Albany represents another weak team that the Friars should find success against yet can’t afford to lose. Let’s see what to watch for in this one.
Bynum’s Shooting Slump- Against Manhattan Jared Bynum struggled scoring, only registering 2 points on 0/8 from the floor. Bynum was picked first team all-Big East this preseason but his shooting slump has put himself far away from that conversation. JB is shooting only 33% from the floor this year and 18% from three. The good news is his shooting woes haven’t deterred him from making an impact on the game. Bynum has 55 assists this season to only 13 turnovers. This is exactly what you want out of your lead guard. Let’s see if Bynum can get it going against an Albany team that doesn’t feature great guards.
Drumgoole Makes It Rain?- The Great Danes are led in scoring by senior forward Gerald Drumgoole Jr. He originally played at Pitt before transferring to Albany two seasons ago. Drumgoole’s numbers are fascinating. He averages 13 ppg yet 7 of his 10 shot attempts per game come from the three point line. Against UMass to open the season he went 6/14 from the floor, yet was 6/13 from three. The guy clearly likes to let it fly and against a PC team that struggles to defend the perimeter he won’t be shy today. Look for Cooley to have this guy on the top of the scouting report.
Getting Offensive- After the TCU game, where the offense looked in shambles, the Friars responded with two offensive explosions. In their last two games PC is averaging 93.5 points. Albany is giving up 75 points per game, and they should have problems with PC’s weapons. Look for the Friars to put up another big number today.
Guard Minute Distribution – It will be really interesting to see the minute breakdown of Breed, Locke, Pierre, and now Floyd Jr. Breed has really come on strong of late and is forcing Cooley’s hand on expanded playing time. Locke has been hit or miss, but is known as a consistent deep threat. Pierre is the future, but has had trouble taking care of the ball. Floyd Jr. was a surprise last game, albeit in garbage time. The dynamics have my attention, and I’m hoping we can get more insight before Big East play commences.
Crier: Similar to Manhattan the Danes represent a team that isn’t going to be able to score enough points to keep up with the Friars. I think the Friars will have at least 5 guys in double figures scoring and will wrap up non-conference play with another dominant performance. PC 92 Albany 64
BOC: I expect a similar performance as the URI and Manhattan games. 89 – 71 PC. Friars march into Big East play 8-3.