The Providence Crier has made it to Nassau and ready for a great weekend of beaches and basketball. The Friars are coming into this thing with a ton of positive momentum with their convincing victory over Wisconsin on Tuesday. Kansas State is coming off a banner year in which they saw Jerome Teng lead the Wildcats to an Elite 8 in his first season as coach. However, their season is off to a so-so start with victories over South Dakota St and Bellermine but they took a 82-69 loss in their opener vs USC. Teng is trying to replicate the portal magic he had last year with Keyontae Johnson and Markquis Nowell by bringing in Arthur Kaluma and Tylor Perry. It should be a good opening test for the Friars as they start this two-day event, lets dive in.
Play Tough Perimeter D – North Texas transfer Tylor Perry and Kansas State returnee Chris Carter are the volume scorers on the Wildcat squad. Thankfully, Providence’s best defenders are at the guard positions. This is a match-up that suits Providence. If PC can force these two into tough contested shots and don’t allow easy looks, these two can just as easily shoot KState out of the game. Look at what transpired against USC. PC’s defensive prowess has the ability to do the same.
Status of Kaluma – Friars look to take on familiar foe Arthur Kaluma. The former Creighton Bluejay transferred to KState this offseason. Kaluma is questionable as of early this week. If he is out, a short rotation for the Wildcats become even shorter.
Get McNair in Foul Trouble – McNair may have the shortest tenure in PC history, being a Friar for all of 4 months. What a 4 months it was. He got to practice with the new coach, play alongside some all-conference teammates, and travel to Spain on the company dime! Nice gig.
All jokes aside, McNair would have been this year’s version of Clifton Moore by being the first big off the bench and potentially starting a few games contingent on match-up. Providence will have their hands full with the graduate transfer; however, the Wildcats are woefully thin at the frontcourt with the suspension of Nae’Qwan Tomlin. If Providence can get him in foul trouble, it bodes well for the Friars.
Crier: I said on the podcast that I could see PC winning this one by double digits, no sense in backing down now. The Friars just have a ton of momentum right now and Kansas State seems to be trending in the opposite direction. Both teams will be well represented by their fans but I’d consider this game more of a homecourt advantage for the Friars. PC 80 KState 70
BOC: This is a game PC should win, in my opinion. Kansas State has a few personnel issues that prevent them from hitting their proverbial ceiling. Providence needs to take advantage of the lack of frontcourt depth as well. PC fans show out in Bahamas, with PC winning a close one 78 – 74.