Where’s the Defense?

Being a Providence College basketball fan has not been easy over the last decade or so.  Since their run to the elite eight in 1997, led by Austin Croshere, God Shammgod and company they have been a mediocre program.  As a fan, I have high unreachable expectations for a small school team in the premier conference in college basketball.  Up until 2 years ago the problem was Tim Welsh. I will say nothing further about him because my blood pressure will skyrocket in nanoseconds.

Last season was the first in Providence for Keno Davis, fresh off a 28-5 season with mid major Drake.  There was much excitement amongst the PC faithful because Welsh was gone and there was fresh blood coming in.  Davis was blessed with a senior class featuring Weyinmi Efejuku, Geoff McDermott, and Jonathan Kale. He also walked into having an experienced point guard in Sharaud Curry who had to redshirt the year prior to Keno coming to town.

The Friars had 19 wins last season, most in recent memory for the school.  However, in reality they easily could have won 4 more games off the top of my head. That season the team seemingly could not put 2 halves together all season.  They would either sprint out to a 15 point first half lead or find themselves fighting back from that same 15 point deficit late in the second half. While they have no doubt been a fun and exciting team to watch, the argument can be made that they are equally frustrating.

Keno Davis’ second season has proven to be no different from his first in terms of results. The head coach brought in an exciting freshman class in Vincent Council, Duke Mondy, and Johnnie Lacy. They are led by fifth year senior Sharaud Curry and junior Marshon Brooks. The team is long on offense but could not be paid to play defense. (No NCAA pun intended.)

Keno is from the Mike D’antoni school of basketball. He of the 7 second shot clock, jacking threes, and playing no semblance of defense. It is the belief that the offense is the best defense that makes me sick. What makes me even more angry is that Keno believes throwing up 110 points against George Washington will be a recruiting tool that recruits will love.  News flash to Keno, recruits want to go to a program that wins.  Mike D’antoni’s philosophy has never helped the coach do anything in the NBA and Davis is proving that to be true in the NCAA.

Syracuse came into this season unranked and because of their harassing 2-3 zone defense they have beaten North Carolina, Florida, and California. These teams were all ranked high than the Orange. Not anymore. 

Until Keno realizes that defense is a must in basketball, the Providence Friars will maintain what has been true about them for years.  They are exciting albeit frustrating to watch and they will be headed to the NIT year after year.


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