Big East Game 18: Providence 75 – Rutgers 74

-On Senior night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, the Friars gave the 9,088 fans that came out to the game all that they could have wanted.  Marshon Brooks became the most prolific scorer for a single season in Big East history and the Friars pulled out a thrilling last-minute victory against Rutgers.

-Although finishing 14th in the Big East with a 4-14 record in conference (15-16 overall) is a disappointment in my mind, I can’t say that it wasn’t predicted by many considering that Providence was picked by the coaches to finish 14th before the season started.  All is not lost though, as a strong performance in the Big East tournament could vault the Friars into some sort of postseason play.

-Speaking of the Big East tournament, I don’t believe that the Friars could have received a worse matchup in the first and possible second round of the tournament.  Marquette will be the first round game on Tuesday for PC.  The Friars got smoked by Marquette just a few games ago, and their combination of size and quickness presents matchup nightmares for the Friars.  If by some chance PC sneaks by Marquette, the Friars will have to play West Virginia, who beat Providence by 30 earlier this season.  As if Marquette wasn’t big enough, West Virginia is bigger and faster than the Golden Eagles.  I’m excited for the tournament, but I wouldn’t necessarily call myself optimistic.

-As for the game on Saturday night, the Friars squeaked out a win but didn’t play very well.  Offensively, the Friars were back to their usual ways.  PC shot over 45% from the field and 40% from three point range.  Duke Mondy was not present for yet another game, so the starting five had to account for the vast majority of the offense.

Marshon Brooks led the Friars with 28 points, adding 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocks.  It was evident that Marshon wasn’t willing to let the Friars fall to the Scarlet Knights on his senior night.  Vincent Council added 15 points, with 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals.  Gerard Coleman also added 15 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal.  In 26 minutes off of the bench, Bryce Cotton, the new 6th man because of the absence of Mondy, added 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 steal.

-Bilal Dixon played a solid 6 minutes.  What the hell Bilal?

-Defensively, the Friars struggled.  They allowed Rutgers to shoot nearly 60% from the field, and 50% from three.  A defensive effort like that will certainly lead to the Friars getting blown out at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.  Keno needs to inspire his guys.  I’m sure Marshon will come to play, but who will assist him is where the questions lie.

-NEXT GAME: Tuesday, March 8th vs. Marquette, 9pm

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