Big East Game 10: Providence 68 – South Florida 63

-It is a necessity that today I precede my review of PC’s win over South Florida with a shot at the Atlantic 10’s junior varsity team…yes, I’m talking to you URI.  I want to congratulate Jim Baron for his unwavering perseverance towards recruiting his son, who essentially “Heismaned” his father last spring when he decided to attend Virginia over the prestigious University of Rhode Island.  But, Baron has decided to transfer back to daddy’s school because he just couldn’t find much success down there in Virginia.  But, there is a bright spot in all of this.  URI’s fortunes seem to be turning for the better.  Seriously, what screams future success more than a transfer student that averaged 3 points, 0.7 rebounds, and 0.8 assists per game?  If you ask me, I see the tournament in the Rams’ near future.

-Alright, time to get down to basketball teams that actually matter.  After a gut-wrenching loss to Seton Hall, Providence rebounded in ugly fashion at home against the South Florida Bulls.  Providence trailed for much of the game before a Marshon Brooks layup put them ahead with 10:45 left to go in the second half.  From there on out the Friars didn’t look back.  Ray Hall came into the game and gave the Friars his best performance of the season.  Although his stat line is somewhat pedestrian (13 minutes, 3 points, 2 rebounds [1 offensive], 1 assist, 1 block), Hall provided an interior presence and a spark off of the bench that the Friars had been missing for much of the season.  Keno Davis said it best after the game on Wednesday night, the Friars would not have won that game without Ray Hall.

-Ron Giplaye may be the worst free throw shooter in the history of NCAA basketball, but man I love the effort that kid brings to the floor.

-Marshon Brooks carried the Friars again, no surprise there.  Brooks scored 24 points on 8-16 shooting while grabbing 7 boards and only committing one turnover (a big change from the nine he gave up against Seton Hall).  Brooks has struggled to get it going early in games as of late, but when his shot isn’t falling Marshon has a knack of getting to the free throw line and using that to get his game started.

-Just when all of the “experts” thought that Bilal Dixon’s game against Seton Hall would turn his season around, he throws up another damn stinker.  In a whopping 8 minutes of play, Dixon racked up as many fouls (4) as points and rebounds combined (3 points, 1 rebound).  Damn Bilal, your killing it out there kid.  Slow down a little and save some for the Big East tournament, your going to wear yourself out.  What happened to the Bilal Dixon that used to bang with anybody underneath?  Did he give all of his aggression to the even smaller Kadeem Batts?  Speaking of Batts, the stat line doesn’t do him justice.  Although Kadeem does not have ANY low post moves and is falling in love with his jumper a bit too much, the kid is doing all that he can underneath the rim.  You can’t ask much more than that out of a freshman.

-Vincent Council didn’t play terribly, but he also didn’t play well.  Council had a decent stat line (12 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers), but for about the 10th game in a row his decision making has been a bit off.  Maybe coach Davis isn’t working on fast breaks in practice?  Maybe Vincent Council thinks the is the next coming of Derrick Rose?  I’m not sure what the reason is, but it is ugly either way.

-Duke Mondy, thank you for finally showing at least a glimmer of hope.  In 35 minutes off of the bench, Mondy contributed 8 points, 4 steals, 1 assist, and 1 rebound.  Those numbers aren’t overly impressive, but they are better than what he has been giving as of late.  Mondy is one of the best one-on-one defenders in the entire league, but his offensive production needs to improve to warrant him seeing 30+ minutes.

NEXT GAME: Saturday, February 5th @ #14 Georgetown, 12pm

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