Providence Manhandles UConn 90-76 in Hurricane Relief Exhibition Game

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Before we get into the game, let’s just acknowledge the the NCAA actually did something right.  They should do this every year where they grant teams the opportunity to add a third exhibition game where the proceeds can go to a charitable cause.  It seems like a no-brainer.  The Providence/UConn game raised $75,000 that will go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund…not too shabby.

As for the game, there was a really nice turnout for a game that was scheduled with 8 days notice on a Wednesday night and with little to no promotion.  The game drew a crowd of 6,415 that was probably split 50/50 between the UConn and Providence fanbases.  With a capacity of 10,000 for Mohegan Sun Arena, that’s a pretty impressive feat to pull off on such short notice.

As for the game itself, it was never really in doubt.  The game was tied at 2-2 for a while at the beginning as the guys were getting their first game jitters out of their systems but Providence, being the more experienced team who has the advantage of having most of their guys back from last season, was able to getting things rolling pretty quickly once things got going.

UConn is one of the more intriguing teams coming into the season.  They’re kind of an enigma as they are only returning two players from last year who got any run in Jalen Adams and Christian Vital.  UConn fans are quick to point out the fact that Terry Larrier (ACL) and Alterique Gilbert (shoulder) are back this year which will instantly make them a way better team than last year…but they’ll completely forget the fact that both of those guys played and were healthy in UConn’s first two games last year when they lost at home to Wagner and Northeastern.

UConn has a long way to go and a ton of work to do with all these new players coming into the fold this year.  Unfortunately for them, they don’t have much time to do it with a brutal out-of-conference slate to start their year.  They play Oregon, Arizona, Auburn, Syracuse, and start their conference schedule with newcomer Wichita State.  The extra exhibition game with Providence was a good early test for the Huskies to see where they currently are as a team.  It might be a wake up call to UConn fans that having guys return from injury doesn’t automatically make them a good team again.

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As for the actual game, the Friars dominated the Huskies, and did so without Jalen Lindsey, Emmitt Holt, or Maliek White.  Obviously, its hard to get a read on any sort of rotation in a game like this but you can get a look at some of the Freshmen and what some of the lineups would look like with certain combinations on the floor together.

Game Notes:

  • Isaiah Jackson led the Friars in scoring with 16 on the night and was all over the floor on the offensive and defensive ends.  Everywhere you looked, there was Jackson making a positive impact in one way or another.
  • Alpha Diallo looks primed to take the next step this year.  Diallo finished with 15 points and a team-high 7 rebounds on the night.  I was pleasantly surprised that the team is making the rebounding belt a game thing as well and not just for the best rebounder in practice.  The gif possibilities are almost endless for this.
  • I would think that this would only be for wins but it’ll be interesting to tally up the guy who wins it the most times at the end of the season.
  • I was really excited to see the matchup between UConn’s Jalen Adams and Kyron Cartwright as both players were named to the Bob Cousy Award watchlist to start the season and actually checked in one place next to each other on NBC Sports’ Top 100 college basketball players heading into the season (Cartwright 1 spot ahead…obviously).

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  • Unfortunately, Cartwright got into some early foul trouble and when they were in at the same time, they rarely were squared up against one another, as Vital drew the assignment with Adams being the taller guard of the two.
  • Kyron (13 points) recorded 5 assists on the night, including an especially slick one for a Rodney Bullock flush…I feel like I could hear his Bullock War Cry perfectly from my seat.
  • Cartwright looks poised to have a 1st Team Big East year and challenge Jalen Brunson for the best guard in the league.  He also continued his acrobatic finishes that he somehow makes feel extremely hard AND extremely easy at the same time.
  • Makai Ashton-Langford (10 points) was slightly booed by the UConn faithful when he first entered the game but nothing to write home about.  After about a minute of playing, he looked like he belonged on that court with the Seniors.
  • My first impression, MAL has the best hair on the team.
  • Actually, come to think of it, it seems like every single player on the team has a new haircut this season.
  • As for the other Freshmen, Nate Watson is a big fucking dude.  That guy has legit college size as a Freshman.  He had a really nice stretch where he scored three time in a row, including a finish down low where he got himself in perfect post position against his defender.
  • Watson is going to be both a contributor and force this season.
  • Dajour Dickens has legit center size.  Does anyone else think he looks like a Stretch Armstrong version of Charles Burch?  Same number and everything.
  • The reports of Dickens being further along than the coaches expected at this point proved to be true.  He has a thin frame, but he looked good out there.  It probably helps that UConn’s frontline is both unproven and built the same way as Dickens.
  • Dajour had a hell of a rundown block of the boards and a stellar alley-oop on a Freshmen Connection.

How about one more look…

  • Also, Dickens just might be the best dancer on the team…well, so far that is.
  • Bullock was Bullock.
  • He started a little slow, but then you blinked and he was in double-digits.  He can still score in bunches.
  • He also got a great pic to go with that Bullock War Cry.

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  • We got to see some Tommy Time with the blowout win and boy did he deliver with a really nice running hook shot.
  • Drew Edwards got his first action since being back at 100% from his knee injury and still looks like he might need some additional time to get fully comfortable out there.  He was a little hesitant with pulling the trigger on his jumper that resulted in a turnover and missed shot after a shot fake.
  • Kalif has slimmed down since last year which makes him running the floor even more dangerous.  I’d love to see if he has extended his game out for some 8-10 foot jumpers this year.
  • The one area that PC struggled was from the line.  If they knocked down their free throws, it would have been even more of a bloodbath.
  • It was cool to see some PC alums (John Linehan and Marcus Douthit) in the building to support the team.

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  • The two best players for the Huskies (Adams and Larrier) combined to go just 8 of 29 from the floor.  Based on the new additions to the lineup and the returning players, it looks as though UConn is going to run some three guard lineups out there which could keep things interesting for the team.  They’re going to need to be a lot better from three point land if that’s going to work though.
  • I really like the way Jalen Adams plays.  He seems to hang in the air forever when he takes it to the rim, he just has to watch out with the charges.
  • I had some pretty high expectations heading into the game for the Friars and I knew the team was the deepest that Ed Cooley has had in his tenure at PC, but man, every damn one of the guys looked on point.  Even without Holt, Lindsey, & White, who averaged a combined 25.4 ppg and 10.6 rpg last year, the Friars looked awesome from top to bottom and completely overmatched the Huskies.
  • Now if we could just get those cowards from UConn to schedule Providence for a yearly matchup and make this New England rivalry a real thing.

Tell me something I don’t fucking know…Go Friars!

One thought on “Providence Manhandles UConn 90-76 in Hurricane Relief Exhibition Game

  1. Pingback: PC Friars Offer 2020 Five-Star Big Man Hunter Dickinson | The Morning Hangover

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