It was a tough night for road teams in the Big East. The Friars were looking to get a split on their two game road trip and a season sweep of Marquette, but it wasn’t to be. Providence once again showed great fight to claw back into a game on the road but similar to the Creighton game it was just too little, too late.
Below, we break down what led to the loss for the Friars.
In the preview of the Marquette match-up, we discussed what needed to be done to secure the victory (https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/01/16/a-rematch-on-enemy-grounds-20-marquette-looks-to-settle-the-score-against-22-providence/#more-5795). Not much of that was accomplished.
Missing Bynum– The Friars clearly need their lead guard back in action. While PC was able to hold off UConn, when Jared Bynum got hurt, and then beat St. John’s, they’ve now lost two straight. The Friars had 13 turnovers in this one and often found trouble getting into their offense. Hopefully Bynum can return during this two game home stand because the Friars desperately need him.
Bynum as a threat from deep keeps the opposing defense on their heels, and we just don’t have that right now. The offense has sputtered the past two games, and it is no surprise that you can point to Bynum being out as a reason why.
Defensive Lapses Doom Friars- On this road trip the Friars played two of the best offensive teams in the country, but the defense didn’t travel. Providence allowed Marquette to score 83 points, shooting 53% from the floor and 42% from three. There were several defensive lapses, especially on the perimeter, that ultimately the Friars couldn’t overcome. That’s a focus issue, which is concerning. That has nothing to do with injuries or favorable whistles by home refs.
Ice Cold from Deep – This is another outcome of Bynum being out. In the last 2 games, Providence has gone 8-37 from deep. With Bynum out, it isn’t Providence’s game. I’m hopeful that a Bynum return will lead to more high quality looks from deep for the Friars.
A Similar Theme: No Bench Production – Ed Cooley will need to address this in the portal this offseason, while demanding his bench players work their tails off in the offseason. Providence again received nothing of substance from the bench, totaling 4 points in 38 minutes. That cannot happen and is asking too much of the starters.
Croswell Plays Hard Nosed Game- It was Ed Croswell who led all scorers for the Friars tonight with 20 points. He was also was a menace on the offensive glass. Croswell brought it tonight with Hopkins also being a contributing factor.
Here’s What Coach Had to Say:
While the Friars would’ve loved to get a split on this two game trip, it’s not the end of the world that they couldn’t get one. The Friars stand at 14-5 on the season. With Xavier’s loss to DePaul tonight, they still remain just outside of first in the league. Speaking of DePaul, the Friars will return home Saturday at the AMP to host the suddenly hot Blue Demons. It’s the beginning of a two game home stand and a crucial 6 game stretch. The Friars can put themselves in a great position to be atop the Big East after this 6 game stretch.