Big East Game 13: Providence 71 – #21 Notre Dame 54

-The Providence College Friars are the hottest team in the Big East right now.  That is a phrase I never thought I would write during the 2012-2013 season.

-PC has won 4 straight games in the Big East for the first time since the greatest Friar of all time was roaming the paint (Ryan Gomes of course, 2004).

-PC beat Notre Dame for the first time since that same season, 2004.

-Coach Cooley was clearly emotional after the game when he did a sit-down interview with the ESPN broadcast team.  He kept reiterating how proud he was of his team.  I think that gives us a good sense of how much time, energy, and emotion that Coach Cooley, his staff, and his team have put into this season.  With everything they have been through, having success like they have over the last 4 games must be exceptionally gratifying for everyone in that locker room.

-Congratulations ro Vincent Council.  He passed Ernie D on PC’s all-time assists list, and is now the leader in school history.  Comparing Council to Ernie D simply isn’t fair, but Vin’s consistency and vision have been constants over the last 4 years and he now has his name in the record books to prove it.

-Kadeem Batts is playing like a man possessed.  If Batts keeps performing at this level, he’ll be a great pickup for an NBA team in the 2014 draft.  A 6’9″ big man that can bang underneath, hit the mid-range jumper, and consistently hit his free-throws must make some NBA teams salivate.

-Kris Dunn, stand up.  Scottie constantly hounds me for my man crush on Kris Dunn.  I don’t care what anyone says, it’s warranted.  As I’ve said countless times, Kris is having a tough time finding his shot this season, but he is finding so many other ways to contribute.  The kid defends like a fifth year senior.  He crashes the boards hard, gives you constant energy on both defense and offense, has exceptional vision for an 18 year old kid, and forces the other team into turnovers time and time again.  Kris Dunn is the spark that makes Providence go.  Is it ironic that in the past 2 games, when he has checked in for the first time in the 2nd half PC goes on a huge run and busts the game wide open?  I think not.  Keep doing your thing Kris, the offense will come in time, defense makes you millions (ask Bruce Bowen).

-Is Lee Goldsbrough the next Ray Hall in terms of fan fare?  Is Lee Goldsbrough the next Brian Scalabrine in terms of white-man effort?  Is Lee Goldsbrough the next Tony Allen in terms of defensive shutdown-ness?  Maybe the last is a stretch, but Lee Goldsbrough needs to stand up!  This kid is laying it on the line for Coach Cooley and the Friars.  He is diving on the floor, playing exceptional help defense, closing passing lanes, and finally making a difference in games.  Lee might be the catalyst for the Friars for the remainder of the season.  Without any big-man depth, consistent play from Lee will help this team immensely.

-Scottie forced me into mentioning Henton in this one.  LaDontae showed glimpses of his old self against Notre Dame.  He was playing with a little bit of swagger down on the low post (thank God!) and actually made a three point shot!  Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, Henton still got rejected by Jack Cooley, the whitest of white men.  LaDontae needs to keep playing with some swagger to give Kadeem some relief down low.

-Bryce, keep doing your thing man.

-Fortune, keep doing your thing man.

-That might honestly be the best all-around game I have ever seen the Friars play.  It was awesome!

-Vincent Council was 3 points shy of a triple double.  The dude was all over the place.  He found the open guy on every play.  He got every rebound off of a missed free throw.  He shot when he needed to shoot, passed when he needed to pass.  Vincent Council is the best pure point guard in the Big East, no questions asked.

-PC held Notre Dame to 7% shooting from the thee-point line.  This is the same Notre Dame team that leads the league in three-point FG %.  PC forced Notre Dame into 11 turnovers.  This is the same Notre Dame team that commits the fewest turnovers per game in the league.  It’s exceptionally gratifying when after years and years of being forced to play other teams’ styles, we are finally forcing teams to play our style.

-Time to show ‘Cuse why they picked a good time to leave the Big East as the PC reign is set to begin!

-NEXT GAME: Wednesday, February 20th @ #6 Syracuse, 7pm (ESPN 2)

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