Big East Game 16: Providence 62 – St. John’s 59

-In front of a nearly sold out Dunkin Donuts Center, the Providence College Friars were able to pull off a huge win against SJU on a night when they just weren’t at their best.

-Bryce “Ice” Cotton was ice cold in the first half against the Red Storm, but have no fear…Kris Dunn was there!

-Kris is the 5th scoring option on the court at nearly all times, but as I’ve said time and time again this season, he finds other ways to contribute.  Dunn ripped down 10 boards in the 1st half alone, and kept the Friars in the game by allowing several second and third chance buckets to go down.  Dunn shows flashes of brilliance when he handles the ball.  One play that specifically comes to mind is when he was leading a fast break down the court, encountered a defender just above the Friars’ 3-point line, so he palmed the ball, wrapped it around the defenders back, and dished it out to Cotton for a 3.  This kid is going to be a stud.

-Dunn’s stat line: 5 points, 12 boards, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 block.  Dunn would have probably racked up another 3 assists if Kadeem could finish a fast break in the 1st half.

-Is Josh Fortune the next Charlie Burch?  He very well might be.  A combination of stupid fouls, untimely shots, poor ball control, and downright stupid play are moving Fortune more and more into Charlie Burch territory.

-For those of you who don’t know Charlie Burch…he was terrible.

-Kadeem battled his way through another tough Big East game.  This was the most physical game I’ve seen Kadeem play all season.  His shot wasn’t necessarily falling as it has been, but he found ways to score and grab boards.  Obekpa is a shot-blocking menace and Sampson can jump out of the building, but Batts was throwing his weight around and fighting for everything underneath.  Kadeem Batts is blossoming into an eventual NBA Draft pick right before our eyes.

-Man, Jakarr Sampson is good.  Granted, I certainly didn’t like seeing him throw it down over the top of Kris Dunn and having NO ONE do anything about it (I’ve talked about this previously).  But, the kid can jump out of the building and is a force on the floor.

-How nice would it be to see Obekpa and Sampson in PC uniforms…

-That’s ok, we have Kris Dunn!

-You have to love Coach Cooley’s enthusiasm throughout the game on Saturday night.  He was trying to urge on the crown, pump up his guys, and infuse his team with energy nearly the entire second half against St. John’s.  After the game, he looked completed elated that his team was able to pull out a win on a night where they were far from their best.  Gotta love Coach Cooley!

-Providence has won 6 of their last 7 games, and is working their way towards NCAA bubble talk.  I think it will take 3 more wins to get them in the dance.  That would give them 19 wins on the season, at least 1 win in the Big East tourney, and possibly a top 8 finish in the Big East.  However, there is no time to let up.  The Friars need to bring energy to the Dunk on Tuesday night against Seton Hall.

-NEXT GAME: Tuesday, March 5th vs. Seton Hall, 9pm (ESPN3)

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