Big East Game 4: Rutgers 85 – Providence 72

-It is important for me to preface my critique of PC’s fourth Big East game by explaining that I was not afforded the opportunity to watch the entire contest because of three reasons: 1) My three other roommates wanted to watch the NFL playoffs over the Friars, 2) my good friend Miller Lite and his 29 friends kept peer pressuring me, and 3) I had a party full of dudes and a few women to attend.  I caught most of the game, but not the entire thing so if I miss something cut me a break.

-There are three things in this world that are unacceptable, parties that consist of a 2:1 ratio or greater of dudes to chicks, striking out in a game of slow-pitch softball, and losing to the Rutgers men’s basketball team.  I have been praising the Friars all season long for playing very good basketball teams very tough.  I was willing to accept a seven point loss to Syracuse, a two point loss to an emerging St. John’s team, and a nail-biting four point loss to Pittsburgh.  I am not willing to accept a thirteen point loss to Rutgers, not will I ever be willing to.  0-4 in the Big East is not good enough, I don’t care how young this team is.

-Hopefully Bilal Dixon is a regular visitor to NTCF, because I’ve got some things that he needs to be told.  Bilal, 14 minutes on the floor isn’t going to cut it.  To tell you the truth, I’m not positive if your lack of playing time was due to foul trouble, inability to perform what coach Davis wanted to see, or if you forgot to put some deodorant on that morning, but honestly I don’t care.  You are the most veteran member of the Friars’ front court, but since Big East play has started, you have not played like it.  To be honest, right now if I had to choose between you and Kadeem Batts, I’m taking Kadeem all day…and believe me that is not a compliment for Batts.  For this Friars team to succeed, you and Batts need to be on the top of your game at all times, due solely to the Friars lack of size off of the bench.  The time to step it up is not Bilal…let’s see it.

-Taking a quick look at Vincent Council’s stat line (14 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals), you might think that he had a decent day.  If so, you are very wrong.  For the second game in a row, the usually calm, cool, and collected on the court leader for the Friars has played erratically, out of control, and just downright poorly.  Council scored 9 of his 14 points from the free throw line.  He shot 2-13 from the floor, and an abysmal 1-6 from beyond the arc.  I’ve said it from the beginning of the season, the Friars will go as far as Vincent Council and Marshon Brooks want to take them, but if Council keeps playing like this than the 2010-2011 season will be a waste.

-Looking over the box score, it is very easy to see the reasons behind PC’s loss on Saturday night.  It goes beyond x’s and o’s, it is just simply about getting out-hustled and out-played.  No Friars team will ever win a game when they shoot 30.8% from the field and 27.3% from the three point line.  PC is one of the smallest teams in the Big East, so the three point shot is vital for them to help open up the opponent’s interior defense.  If they can’t hit three’s, they are in for a long day.  Rutgers out-rebounded the Friars 36-32, out-assisted the Friars 18-9, and out-blocked the Friars 10-2.  However you want to analyze and breakdown those numbers is up to you, but I’m coughing it up to a lack of effort.  The key to the Friars success (although limited) since the start of Keno Davis’ tenure has been hustle and effort.  You need to win the battle of heart to win games in the Big East if you are the less talented team.  That is exactly what Rutgers did on Saturday, and quite frankly it makes me sick.

-There are few tougher places to play in the country than in Morgantown, West Virginia.  The Mountaineers are fresh off of a win against #13 Georgetown and will now look to continue and pile up Big East wins to build their post-season resume.  After starting the season 11-2, the Friars are 0-4 in Big East play and are in desperate need for a win.

NEXT GAME: Thursday, January 13th @ West Virginia, 7pm


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