Big East Game 12: Providence 76 – South Florida 66

-The Providence College Friars have strung together three consecutive Big East wins for the first time in 4 years.  The difference with these wins is that they were mainly a product of great defensive basketball.

-Kadeem Batts, stand up.  You sir deserve some recognition.  For the second consecutive game Batts dominated the paint, demanding touches, and finishing consistently.  The more I watch Batts work the paint, the less I miss Sidiki Johnson (damn, I loved Sidiki though).

-LaDontae Henton, stand up.  Alright sit down.  Good game LaDontae.  That’s all your gettin

g until we start to see a little more consistency.  Coach Cooley gets visibly frustrated with Henton’s defense at times, an area that he needs continued improvement.

-In a game that Ice Cotton wasn’t feeling it, the rest of the Friars stepped up and filled in where necessary.  Batts, Henton, Council, Dunn, and Fortune (to a lesser extent) all produced for PC en route to this win vs. USF.

-Kris Dunn is the energizer bunny that makes the Friars go.  I don’t care what anyone else says, it was Dunn’s defense that got the Friars’ run started in the second half last night.  Defensively, Kris Dunn is wise beyond his years.  Offensively, Dunn displays explosiveness that is simply special, he just needs to develop a little more consistency.

-Talk about an efficient stat line for Dunn: 4 points (2-3 FG), 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 24 minutes.

-Did you see his late game dish to Batts for a dunk?  Awesome!

-If the Friars never got off to a slow start, they would be undefeated.

-USF’s size bothered PC at the beginning of the game until they transitioned to a zone defense

-PC only had 6 turnovers all game, and forced USF into 11.  If they keep winning the turnover margin, and displaying the same defensive intensity that they did in the second half of last night’s game, this team will be a tough out for the rest of the season and into the Big East tourney.e.  Once they went to the zone, USF was hurting them from the 3-point line.  That is a definite weakness of this PC team.  6’2”, 6’0”, 6’3”, 6’6”, 6’8” isn’t necessarily scary.  That’s PC’s starting lineup.

-Providence has improved to 5-7 in the Big East, still in 11th place.  They are one game behind Villanova, and 2 games back of Cincy and St. John’s.

-Their remaining schedule is vs. #21ND, @ #6 Syracuse, @ Rutgers, vs. SJU, vs. Hall, @ Conn.  Realistically I could see 4 wins out of that stretch.  That would move them to 9-9 in the Big East.  You would expect that to place them in the middle of the pack and grab a decent seed in the Big East tourney.  From there…who knows.

-This team is gelling at the absolute perfect time.  No Sidiki, no problem with Kris Dunn rounding into form.

-NEXT GAME: Saturday, February 16th vs. #21 Notre Dame, 12pm (ESPN3)


One Response

  1. Tonight Pitino said, “Providence is playing the best basketball in the Big East right now.”

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