Providence Friars (1-0) 80
Vermont Catamounts (0-1) 58
Now that is exactly how you want to kick off your basketball season, with a stomping of a visiting Vermont team in your home building. The Friars were picked to finish 9th out of 10 teams in this year’s Big East in what is considered a rebuilding year for Providence after losing both Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil to last year’s NBA Draft. In their first game of the season, the Friars looked like anything but a team in rebuild mode.
The Friars have a lot of new faces this year but look like they have much more depth to their roster than the last couple of seasons. Going up against a Vermont team that is coming off a respectable 23-14 season and being picked to win the American East conference this year, tonight’s game was set up as a measuring stick to see exactly what kind of team the Friars would be fielding this year.
There isn’t a bad thing I can say about this game in any facet. I don’t know why I would expect anything less from an Ed Cooley coached squad. Just a quick side note, this FS2 bullshit with the non-HD is for the birds and has to go immediately.
Let’s go player by player shall we…
- Kyron Cartwright looked as poised as I’ve ever seen him play. He was calm, cool collected, and on a mission to get everybody some easy buckets, while also picking his spots to attack the paint with some nifty floaters. Cartwright finished the game with a career-high 12 assists, plus stellar rebound and rip feed to a streaking Ryan Fazekas.
- Cartwright also chipped in 9 points and seemed to be able to get buckets whenever he chose to but tonight was all about the dimes for Cartwright, who played like a true veteran.
- The story of the night was Junior forward transfer Emmitt Holt. Holt has the body of a banger but is way more athletic and agile than I expected. Holt was a matchup problem for Vermont and finished the night with a career-high (and game-high) 22 points in his Friar debut.
- The over/under for Steve Holt gifs for the season is at 1,000 and if I were you, I’d be crushing that over.
- Holt took a couple of shot from long distance that I wasn’t really expecting but if he can hit those when he’s left open, that will go a long way to opening some other things up for him.
- I’m already a HUGE fan of Holt and it’s only been one game.
- If I had one little itty-bitty critique for my man Emmitt, it might be that he overused the flex move a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a GIGANTIC flex guy for an And-1 but I just don’t want him to overuse it so that I get sick of it. Or maybe that can be his thing. He can flex for everything that he does. So I guess either use it sparingly or completely go over the top.
- Rodney Bullock looked up to the challenge of stepping his scoring load up this year, hitting 3 threes on his way to 18 points.
- Ryan Fazekas looks like a completely different player already finishing with 11 points. His body is more filled out and he just looks more sure of himself out there. He started the game but didn’t play as many minutes as I thought he was going to. Cooley was able to spread minutes around tonight which was fine by me as there was no one really hurting the team while they were out there.
- I’d say Ryan’s range looks pretty decent to me…
- Kalif Young is a beast of a dude. I like the high-low possibilities of him and Holt.
- Maliek White was the first guy off the bench and looked pretty good in his first collegiate test.
- Jalen Lindsey had a quiet game but showed some great effort throughout the game and whenever he shoots a three, it just looks so damn pretty.
- Alpha Diallo didn’t get a ton of run but I like the form on his foul shot if that counts for anything.
- Was it just me or were those new Providence uniforms pretty gross to look at? Those stripes were kind of weird and the lettering and numbers on the back was super tiny.
- Providence outscored Vermont 46-30 in the second half, shooting 62.5% from the floor.
- The Vermont win will look pretty good from an RPI perspective by the end of the season in my opinion.
- That’s about as good of a game as you can expect for the first game of a season…1-0 it is.
Next Up, the Friars travel to Ohio State for the Dave Gavitt Tip-Off that pits 8 Big East teams against 8 Big Ten teams. The game is at 8 PM on the Big Ten Network…which I hope I get.