Providence Friars (20-12) 58
Creighton Bluejays (24-8) 70
Ed Cooley summed up the game perfectly in the post-game conference, “We just didn’t play well. We picked a bad time to play our worst game in probably 5 or 6 weeks.”
After finishing the Big East regular season with 6 straight wins and seemingly gelling and peaking at the most opportune time as a team, Providence laid an egg in the Big East tournament through some very uncharacteristic play. Whether it was turnovers, points off those turnovers, free throws, or missed layups, this game had a very familiar feel to the NCAA play-in game that Providence played against Dayton.
A true Murphy’s Law game where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. We were just missing an Ed Cooley chair throw to put us over the edge. Every single time that the Friars did something right, it was followed by something to mess it up. They’d get a steal and then double-dribble with no defenders around. They’d lay out for a ball on the ground and then somehow throw it to the other team. It was frustrating to watch and I’m sure even more frustrating to play.
Hopefully the Friars have still done enough in the last couple of weeks to assure themselves of a spot in the NCAA Big Dance come Sunday evening. I think that they have, and fingers crossed that they don’t find themselves in a play-in game again. In what should have been a rebuilding year, both these players and the coaches have done an incredible job of even being in the conversation to make the NCAA Tournament, let alone being as competitive in such a deep league as the Big East. Go Friars!
- Providence held a three point lead going into halftime and were outscored by fifteen points in the second half. Not ideal.
- Kyron Cartwright once again closed out the first half with a great one-on-one play to give the Friars a little more of a cushion going into the half.
- Cartwright even finished that left-handed floater over recently named Big East Defensive Player of the Year in Khyri Thomas.
- On the other hand, Khyri Thomas must have been heated that he wasn’t on any of the All-Big East teams and looked like he had a message to send. Thomas had a game-high 19 points on 5-11 shooting and an impressive 8-8 from the line. Thomas finished out a nice rounded stat line with 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals.
- The Bluejays had come into the game struggling from the free throw line but the roles were flipped for the game as even though Creighton went 20-33 from the line, Providence was even worse going 14-26 (53.8%).
- Providence committed 22 turnovers versus 8 assists which is pretty much the opposite of what they usually do as a team.
- Cartwright was uncharacteristically turnover prone in the game recording 6 for the game. 8 players on the team had multiple turnovers in the game, so the blame for giving up the ball was definitely there to go around.
- Cartwright did lead the team in points (15), assists (4), and rebounds (7).
- Emmitt Holt was the most efficient player for the Friars, shooting 5-11 from the floor and 3-4 from the line, totaling 14 points.
- Foul trouble was also abound for the Friars, with Jalen, Alpha, and Emmitt all having 4 fouls and Cartwright fouling out.
- When in the game, Alpha was rising to the occasion as we’ve seen him do on the big stage this year. Diallo finished with 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals in just 25 minutes, including this stellar finish.
- Jalen Lindsey was 1-5 from three, making it the first time in the last 7 games that he hasn’t hit multiple threes.
- The bench was also uncharacteristically careless with the ball, with three of the four bench players to get time having 2 turnovers apiece.
- Fazekas got just 2 minutes of run but was able to score a bucket (and not a 3). I was surprised that he didn’t get more playing time based on the lack of offense in addition to the foul trouble that the starters had.
- Isaiah Jackson rightfully got the majority of the bench minutes but just wasn’t the same play maker that we have become accustomed to over the last couple of weeks.
- Jackson was just 1-4 from the field in 21 minutes.
- Maliek White had some nice minutes off the bench, save for a couple of very preventable mistakes. White was uber aggressive taking it to the hole and might be the best finisher at the rim on the team.
- White’s 3-point shooting didn’t look all the great but I still liked his hustle and urgency.
- The PC Freshmen must have been working on around-the-back moves this week or something because both Diallo and White had great finishes with the maneuver.
- Justin Patton is gone after this year. Fact.
- His skill set and athleticism translate perfectly to the next level. If he puts on a little bit more muscle, he’s going to have a long career in the NBA.
- Rodney Bullock disappeared in the game. Bullock was just 1-8 for 3 points, with his one basket coming on a broken play layup. He was 0-4 from three, 1-2 from the line, and had 4 turnovers with 0 assists. That is what Khyri Thomas can do to guys and that is why he was the defensive player of the year in the conference.
- PC needs Bullock to be effective offensively in order to hang with the higher caliber teams.
- The good thing about this (if there is one) is that we have seen Bullock bounce back from games like this before. You have to have a short memory after a game like this. Plus he has to be thankful that Khyri Thomas won’t be guarding him going forward, so that will make things easier for him right off the bat.
- Marcus Foster has a pretty looking shot. I was going to do a post about the 5 prettiest shots in the conference but I never got around to it.
- It was going to include Jalen Lindsey, Josh Hart, Marcus Foster, Trevon Blueitt, and Andrew Rowsey.
- I was going to follow that up with the ugliest shots in the conference that would have included Desi Rodriguez, Edmond Sumner, a guy on St. John’s who I can’t remember, at least to start.
- Fingers crossed for the NCAAs.
- Go Friars!