The Providence College Friars return to action this Wednesday in a rematch vs the Xavier Musketeers, at the Dunk. The Friars (15-11, 5-8) are looking to avenge their biggest defeat of the season, as they were blasted by the X-men by 26 points back on December 28th at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati. A lot has transpired since the last time these two teams met, including the fact that the Xavier Musketeers (18-7, 8-4) has got a serious case of the injury bug. Back on January 29th the Musketeers’ lost their star point guard Edmond Sumner to a torn ACL in a 82-77 victory over St. Johns. Xavier has played better then expected since the injury join 3-1. However, in their most recent game they were run out of the gym by Villanova and adding insult to injury leading scorer Trevon Bluiett reinjured his ankle and is now questionable to play against the Friars. The Friars on the other hand are coming off arguably their biggest victory of the season, a 71-65 victory over Butler, on Saturday. With the victory the Friars have put themselves into the bubble conversation and Wednesday’s game is another great opportunity to enhance their resume with another RPI top 25 victory. With that my keys to the game.
The #22 Butler Bulldogs will make the trip to a snowy New England, as they will face off against the Friars for a second time this season at 4pm Saturday. I’ll be at the game and it will be my first time seeing the new dalmatian mascot in action. To be honest with you I had hoped the dalmatian would be an actual dog and not a guy in a suit but seeing a guy dressed as a spotted dog doing flips all over the court is fine by me I guess. Back to the actual game this will be a rematch from their first meeting which saw the Friars get run out of the gym for the majority of the game at the historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. This is a contest of two teams that seem to be trending in two different directions. The Friars are now losers 4 of their last 5 game, while Butler is winners of 5 of their last 7 games, including three straight victories road wins. If the Friars want to flip the script they need to do the following in my keys to the game.
The Providence Crier is back from hiatus! I was away at a bachelor party in Scottsdale, AZ this past week to attend the Waste Management Phoenix Open and to watch Tom Brady receive all the glory that comes with attaining football immortality. I returned to Boston Monday morning at 2 am and while I did plan to write a preview for PC @ Seton Hall I never got around to it. Bachelor parties take longer to recover from then I anticipated, I’ve spent the majority of this week either working or sleeping. I also spent it watching last Wednesday’s game, which saw the Friars fail to execute late in the game once again and thus falling to Seton Hall 72-70 in OT. With the loss the Friars have seen their record drop to 14-11 and 4-8 in the Big East. Baring a New England Patriots-esque miracle it appears the Friars will miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2012-2013 season. On the flip side baring a Atlanta Falcons-esque collapse down the stretch it appears that the Friars will have their 5th consecutive winning season and thus qualify for postseason basketball, even if it isn’t the NCAA tournament. It appears that the Friars will most likely be NIT bound and believe it or not Friartown that may not be a bad thing.
The #4 Villanova Wildcats (20-2 7-2 BE) make their return trip to the Dunk Thursday night at 7pm, the game will be televised on FS1. This will be the second meeting between the two teams in as many weeks, as the Friars (14-9 4-6 BE) made the trip to Philly a week ago this past Saturday en route to a 78-68 defeat at the hands of the Wildcats. Both teams are coming off a roller coaster week in the Big East, which is starting to become a norm for a lot of teams in the conference.
The Xavier Musketeers can’t seem to catch a break these days. After they saw guard Myles Davis leave the program less then two weeks ago, they suffered another major loss. Jeff Goodman of ESPN reported earlier today that standout point guard Edmond Sumner would miss the remainder of the season due to a torn ACL suffered against St. Johns yesterday. It’s never good to see any player blow out a knee but especially one of Sumner’s talent. It will be very interesting to see how Xavier handles the loss especially in the short-term. The Creighton Blue Jays lost their star point guard Maurice Watson to an ACL as well and it saw them drop their first two games without him. While you feel badly for the player and the program, the latest injury begs one to ask the following question, “Outside of Villanova is the Big East wide-open?
The Providence College Friars (13-9, 3-6 BE), in an attempt to shake off a tough loss to St. John’s this past Wednesday, head out to Milwaukee for a tilt against the Marquette Golden Eagles Saturday at 2pm. The Golden Eagles (14-6, 5-3 BE) come into the contest as the hottest team in the Big East, last week they won at #7 Creighton 102-94 and then rallied from 17 points down to defeat #1 Villanova on their home court. Marquette sports a high octane offense that’s ranked 18th in the country in scoring at 84.1 ppg and are led by senior guard Jajuan Johnson at 12.8 ppg (no not the former Celtic Legend JaJuan Johnson).
Coming off a 78-68 loss in Philadelphia against the Villanova Wildcats, the Friars try to get back to winning ways as the St. John’s Red Storm make their way to The Dunk on Wednesday. The Friars will try and earn their third win in four games against a team they swept last season, with the two victories coming at an average of 16 points per contest. Continue reading “Game Preview- St. Johns @ Friars 6:30PM FS1”
YOU CANT HURT US ANYMORE!!!!!
The Friars get their first shot at the defending National Champion Villanova Wildcats on Saturday at noon, the game will be nationally televised on FOX. The Friars will make the trip to Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia and Friar fans are hoping for a similar result to what happened last season. Continue reading “Game Preview- Friars @ Nova 1/21/17 12pm FOX”