Big East Game 7: Providence 72 – Louisville 67

-I usually have the answers to most questions, but there are a select few questions that even confuse me.  One of those is how do the Providence College Friars lose to Rutgers and South Florida and then beat #17 Louisville?  In my opinion, it all comes down to effort and heart.  In my last review, I called the Friars out for looking lazy, uninspired, and lackadaisical on the basketball court.  On Saturday, they came out of the gate with energy and charisma and carried their swagger through the entire game.  Coach Davis said something right coming into this game, and hopefully he wrote down what he said to use it in the future.

-I’ve been talking up freshman Gerard Coleman since he stepped foot on PC’s campus.  Aside from a few glimpses of unstoppable scoring ability, Coleman hasn’t provided much firepower to the Friars’ offense thus far this season.  That all changed Saturday against Louisville.  Coleman scored 19 critical points for the Friars on 7-12 shooting, and 5-7 from the free throw line.  Aside from scoring, Coleman added 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals which provided great assistance en route to the Friars’ upset of the Louisville Cardinals.

-As much as I dog Marshon Brooks, he was the true catalyst that help the Friars rise to the occasion on Saturday.  Although Marshon still has yet to dedicate himself to playing defense, Brooks was a force offensively.  After putting in only 7 points in the first half, Brooks exploded after the break scoring 20 points in the last 20 minutes of the game.  More surprisingly than his point total, Marshon shot 50% from the field (7-14), 4-7 from beyond the arc, and 9-13 from the charity stripe.  Brooks has continued to be an offensive force this entire season, and if he keeps scoring like this, he’ll be taken somewhere in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft.

-With all the good that comes with a win against a ranked opponent, that were some areas of concern that I had while watching Saturday’s game.  Vincent Council still looks off to me.  Council’s decision making before the start of Big East play was unbelievable.  Maybe his final exams messed with his head, but since Big East play started Council’s ability to run a successful fast break or make good decisions throughout the entirety of a game has diminished.  Council shooting percentage has been down of late, and his turnovers have increased.  But, to be fair, Council played very well over the last 2 minutes of Saturday’s game and hit two big shots towards the end of the contest.

-Bilal Dixon, you seem to be getting worse by the game.  In 15 minutes of game time, Dixon posted 0 points and 2 rebounds.  It’s not even like Dixon didn’t play much because he was in foul trouble, he had only one personal foul for the game.  As a sophomore, Dixon is one of the most seasoned members of the Friars team, but being continually outplayed by redshirt freshman Kadeem Batts is not enough production out of Dixon.  Ron Giplaye actually saw some time in relief of Dixon.  Over Giplaye’s 3 minutes of play he had 2 rebounds (one of which was offensive) and one steal.  Giplaye was playing with high energy over those three minutes, and although it seems like I am really reaching here, I was very encouraged by what Giplaye brought in his short time on the court.

-Even though it is important to celebrate big wins for young teams, the Friars need to get back to business ASAP.  The #7 team in the country in Villanova is headed to the Dunk for a match-up on Wednesday.  Although I’m not necessarily calling for a second straight upset, I think that Wednesday’s game will be a good one.  Providence and Villanova play similar styles as both Keno Davis and Jay Wright don’t shy away from using 4 guard lineups and playing an up-tempo style of basketball.  After Villanova, the Friars travel to Seton Hall and then play South Florida at home.  Winning two out of their next three games is almost a necessity as PC tries to fight their way back into the Big East picture.

-NEXT GAME: Wednesday, January 26th vs. #7 Villanova

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One Response

  1. Spot on review of this game. I have been a huge supporter of Batts all season and my only beef with both him and Dixon is that they don’t have the tenacity to be good rebounders. They don’t jump for the ball and as dumb as it sounds its true!! I’ve been to every home game this season and they literally don’t leave thier feet to bang boards and its frustrating to see Giplaye come in about two to three inches shorter and snatch the ball from taller defenders. If he had any sort of offensive game he would play more often. Word on campus is that Giplaye’s been frustrated with his lack of playing time- hopefully his solid effort against Louisville warrants him more. GO FRIARS

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