The Friars wrap up the 2022-2023 regular season Saturday afternoon, as they play host to the Seton Hall Pirates. PC is coming off their first home loss of the season in a 94-89 loss to #19 Xavier on Wednesday night and will be looking to get back to their winning ways at the AMP. It is also senior night (day) for the Friars. Jared Bynum, Ed Croswell, Noah Locke, and Clifton Moore will suit up for one last game in Providence. There is a lot at stake to for the Friars, as a victory and some scoreboard watching would likely yield them a 3-seed in the Big East Tournament.
Will the Friars bounce back?
Defensive Effort- I hate that we have to start with this, but here is where we are with this team. The Friars started off slow defensively to begin the season but started to turn the corner in December and January. However, the Friars have given up an average of 80.4 ppg in their last 5 games and the poorest showing was their last game. The need to find a little more communication on the defensive end, get a little tougher, and just play overall better team defense. Luckily for PC they get to finish the season with the second worst scoring team in the conference in Seton Hall. The Pirates are averaging 68.2 ppg this year and only 61.8 ppg in their last five. Yes, the Friars need to clean up their transition defense and defensive miscues. Shaheen Holloway’s squad will certainly defend and maybe that will inspire the Friars.
Senior Send Off- The Friars will send off four seniors in this game who’ve made an impact on the program. Jared Bynum has had so many great moments as a Friar, as we’ve seen him put on his Batman cape and help the team in some thrillers. Bynum’s microwave scoring was something that will always be remembered in Friartown and who could forget “Bynum! From Pawtucket!!”. Ed Croswell didn’t take long to have cult following at Providence. Croswell’s grit and tenacity on the glass drew fans in at first, but he’s truly developed an all-around game over his time here to become of one the best centers in a conference full of good ones.
While Noah Locke and Clifton Moore’s tenure hasn’t been very long they’ve had some good moments as well. Locke has been a marksman for the Friars connecting on 39% of his threes and has hit some clutch shots this year. Moore has been a reliable rim protector off the bench, leading the team with 1.3 bpg. Hopefully they all can have their moments in their last game at the AMP.
Kadary Richmond’s Status– The Pirates have been without point guard Kadary Richmond the past three games with a back injury. In the first matchup between these two, Richmond gave the Friars all sorts of trouble with 28 points on 10/16 from the floor including 7/8 from the free throw line. Regardless of his status, the Friars need to make defense a number one priority in this one. This is a get right game if there ever was one.
Crier: I’d like to remind Friartown that the sky is not falling. Yes, the Friars have scuffled a bit but they have the talent to get back on the right track in a hurry. I think the seniors deliver, Carter and Hopkins do their thing and the Friars close out the regular season with a victory. PC 81 Seton Hall 67.
BOC: I don’t care about the offensive numbers. I just want to see PC play sound defense for 40 minutes. I hope Cooley has delivered a message in practice that winning starts first and foremost on the defensive end. I’m nervous about this one, as I think the environment will be a bit peculiar in the AMP, but ultimately think PC runs away with this one. Providence 73 – Seton Hall 64.