Providence Friars (15-11) 71
#21 Butler Bulldogs (19-6) 65
Just what the doctor ordered.
Not since the Friars beat a ranked URI team at home have the Friars come through against a ranked opponent this year. They had lost 6 of their 7 games against ranked opponents this year (UVA, Creighton, Butler, Nova 2x, & Xavier) and were in desperate need of a signature win on the season after dropping a very winnable game against a Seton Hall team with a similar NCAA resume in their last game.
The best part of this win is that Butler was listed a projected #4 seed in this year’s upcoming NCAA Tournament in a new bit where they come out with the projected top 16 teams in the field, taking a note from the weekly updated rankings that College Football has integrated into their bag of tricks. The best thing about this projected group of the top 16 teams is that you get a feel for what the committee is looking for in a NCAA resume, and to me, it looks like they are valuing good wins a lot higher than bad losses. If that is the case, then this game was even bigger than at first glance.
Alpha Diallo led the scoring for the Friars with 15 points (all in the 2nd half) and Kyron Cartwright had 14 points in a balanced effort for the Friars.
- Don’t look now, but the light is starting to turn on for Alpha Diallo. This kid looks like he has the makings of a real player and has started to show both a growing confidence and aggressiveness that hints at him coming to that same realization.
- After finishing the first half 0-2 from the floor, Diallo made all 5 of his shots in the 2nd half and scored all of his team-high 15 points in the second frame.
- Diallo also made it to the line 7 times in the game, connecting on 5-7, grabbed 5 rebounds, added 2 assists, and didn’t have a single turnover in 36 minutes of action. Ed Cooley’s early confidence in Diallo to take over a spot in the starting lineup has instilled something in him that is now coming to fruition.
- Alpha also had not only my favorite play of the game, but also the BIGGEST play of the whole game.
- Rhode Island native and starting Butler big guy Andrew Chrabascz has really emerged as a legit contributor for the Bulldogs this year. He’s developed through his career and turned into a nice player. Chrabascz is averaging double-digit points for the 3rd straight season and had 12 points in the game.
- Kyron Cartwright didn’t have the best night shooting, only going 4-13 from the floor, but he did get other guys in good spots to score, handing out 7 assists and turning the ball over only once. I always love guys who can still effect the game in positive ways even when their shots are going through the net.
- Kyron has one of these full court passes for a bucket every damn game.
- Kelan Martin didn’t get the start for Butler after struggling the last couple of game for the Bulldogs. He has consistently had Providence’s number the last couple of meeting but he didn’t look all that comfortable coming off the bench. Martin was just 3-11 from the floor with a team-high 3 turnovers (and 0 assists).
- On the opposite end of the spectrum of guys now coming off the bench, Emmitt Holt looked great in his new bench role. Even though he battled through some foul trouble (again), Holt was incredibly efficient offensively when he was on the floor, connecting on 4 of 5 shots for 12 points and 4 rebounds in just 18 minutes.
- Nate Fowler couldn’t be stopped by PC. Yes, for some reason, Nate Fowler couldn’t be stopped in this game. Nate Fowler.
- Fowler had 19 points in 23 minutes, shooting 7-9 from the floor, including 3-3 from three. Now, I have only seen parts of some Butler games in which they aren’t playing PC, but I’m going to throw out a guess and say that this was definitely his best game of the season. I mean, no offense, but he averages like 5 points a game. He scored almost 15% of his total points on the season in this game alone.
- Rodney Bullock was only 4-15 shooting the ball for 12 points but made up for a little bit by taking in a team-high 7 rebounds.
- Cartwright & Bullock were a combined 8-28 (28.6%) from the floor and somehow PC was able to pull out a big win against a ranked opponent. The rest of the team combined to go 15-24 (62.5%) from the floor. What a game from the supporting players. That’s the most astounding part of that game for PC.
- Jalen Lindsey has his usual Jalen Lindsey stat line for the game. He was 3-6 from the floor, including 2-3 from three for 9 points and had 6 rebounds.
- Isaiah Jackson came up huge off the bench and has cemented himself as the Junior Lomomba of this team. Jackson made some big shots at the end of the first half and finished with a stuffed stat line of 8 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
- Chris Holtman got a little animated at the end of the game…I think that’s a safe assessment of this reaction.
- PC retired some jerseys on the night as well. PC legends Otis Thorpe and Bruce Campbell had their jersey numbers pulled up to the rafters.
Otis Thorpe Jersey Retirement. Providence Friars. 🏀 pic.twitter.com/mmpIdwXE5l
— MrsNellaT (@NellaJT33) February 14, 2017
- The finishing touches by Emmitt Holt.
- Next up, the Friars have another big game at home against Xavier.