Game Recap: PC Friars Easily Put Away Houston Baptist 84-55 for First Win

i-1Providence Friars 84 (1-0)
iHouston Baptist Huskies (0-1)

Picture via @ChurchShammgod

And just like that, the 2017-2018 college basketball season is off!  The Providence Friars played their first game at Alumni Hall in 45 years against Houston Baptist to kick of their season and put together an all-around splendid effort in front of the intimate home crowd.  The Friars took a little while to get things going, shaking off the first game jitters, and got contributions from basically everyone, with 8 players scoring 7 or more points on the night.

The Friars were without Senior Forward Jalen Lindsey who was sitting out with a knee tonight, but weren’t fazed in the slightest on their way towards an easy first win.  The game was the first home satellite game of the 2K classic which will be followed up next week with Thursday and Friday games at MSG with a quartet of St. Louis, Washington, & Virginia Tech, and will then be finished out with one more home satellite game against Belmont at the Dunk for the Friars.

The Friars were losing 6-4 at the very beginning of the game but would not be behind for the rest of the contest, getting up by 20+ for the majority of the 2nd half.

Game Notes:

  • Maliek White led Providence with 13 points on the night.  The 13 points were not only a career-high for the Sophomore, but the first time that he had scored over 7 points in his short Friars career.  I tried to tell you to watch out for the young gun and that people were completely forgetting about how good he was going to be this year.  I guess there’s only one way to prove it to everyone.
  • White shot an efficient 5-7 from the field and finished strong at the rim all night.  He’s now perfectly slid into the combo guard role where he doesn’t have to take the lead ball-handling responsibilities at all times, and it’s working like gang busters so far.
  •  Kyron Cartwright was the train conductor tonight.  He finished with the lone double-double on the team, dishing out 10 assists (to 2 TOs) while tallying 10 points on the evening.  He chipped in 4 rebounds for good measure.  Cartwright looks well on his way to finishing in the top-5 in the Nation in assists again this year.
  • I feel like Kyron was purposely trying to complete exclusively no-look passes.
  • Cartwright has noticeably put on some muscle this year but it doesn’t look like it’s slowed him down one iota in his fastbreak game.
  • The Friars go as Kyron goes.
  • The new Slim Kalif looked like he’s been working on his offense in the off-season.  He was throwing up his patented left-handed hooks but also mixed in a short-jumper that looked all natural.  He’s beginning to expand his game farther from the hoop and with the extended minutes he’s going to get with Holt out of the lineup, he’s going to need to utilize that part of his game.
  • Young 5-8 for 10 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in just 20 minutes.
  • Young still runs the floor like a mad men but we weren’t able to catch glimpse of that QB to TE connection of Cartwright to Young in this one.
  • Let’s go through the Freshmen next, because all 3 of them looked great.
  • We’ll start with Nate Watson.
  • I didn’t want to put to high of expectations on Nate because I don’t think you should ever do that with Freshmen, especially after only seeing them participate in exhibition games before the season.  Buuuuuuuuuut, damn did Nate look good out there.
  • He’s a hustler, pure and simple.  That guy has a motor on him that doesn’t stop and looks like he belongs out there.
  • Nate was 4-5 with 9 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block in just 17 minutes.  He is an Ed Cooley scrapyard dog, but headsy at the same time.  Check out this cut while Makai was taking the ball out under Houston Baptist’s hoop.
  • Great instincts.
  • Oh, did I forget to mention that he does it on both ends of the floor?  My bad.
  • Isaiah Jackson was Mr. Glue Guy.  Doing a little bit of everything on that night.  He finished with 11 points on 3-6 shooting (3-4 from three), 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal.  His threes were timely and really put the game away when the Friars needed it.
  • Makai’s hype and class ranking seem to be completely justified.  His aggressiveness is the best part of his game and his length for a guard is a great asset defensively for the Friars.  Ahston-Langford finished with 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists.  With him and Kyron in the line-up, they pushed the ball off rebounds and steals all night long.  That’s the type of fast-paced game that Cooley has always wanted to play but never had the horses to do it.
  • Alpha actually kind of flew under the radar but he didn’t need to be a superstar in this one.  He still filled out his stat line with 8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block, but with everyone contributing, it just added to the team effort.
  • He might have had the most emphatic dunk of the night though…
  • Rodney was pretty quiet on the night but even when he’s quiet offensively, he still rebounds.  He was tied with Nate for the team-high in rebounds with 6.  He’ll have to step up more against better competition, but this game didn’t call for him to be as assertive as future ones might.
  • Every single report I read about the team says how Dajour Dickens is further along than everyone thought he would be at this point.  I think he looks like a solid contributor this year.  Yeah he’s definitely thin, but he can run the floor and protect the rim for a big guy.  And he has good hands too.
  • It was just great to see Drew Edwards back on the court.  I forgot how much I liked his game.  He drives hard to the basket and finishes well when he gets there.  He used to be my favorite guy against a zone cause he actually attacks it.  Last year, Alpha became my favorite guy for the middle of a zone and with Edwards cutting and slashing alongside him, I can’t wait for them to face one on the floor at the same time this season.
  • Every Friar win is a little sweeter with Tommy Time.  It’s even a little more sweet with a Tommy Point.
  • As for Houston Baptist, that marks the second Huskies squad to be dominated by the Friars.
  • I predicted a 24-point win but I guess I undersold it.
  • The Friars held pre-season second-team all-conference (how about all those hyphenated words huh?) player Josh Ibarra to just 8 points and forced him into 6 turnovers on the night.  I thought he had the chance to give the Friars trouble up front but boy did they prove me wrong.
  • David Caraher, a former Butler commit, was the bright spot for the Huskies on the night.  He scored a game-high 19 points on 7-13 shooting.  He shot 3-8 from three-point land while the rest of the team combined to go 1-14 from distance.
  • The Friars held the Huskies to 31.7% shooting from the floor and just 18.2% from three, continuing their great three-point defense from last season.
  • Providence also forced 18 Husky turnovers.
  • The Friars had 17 assists on 31 baskets, accounting for an assist on more than half of their field goals.
  • The Friars shot 50% from the floor and 44.4% from distance.
  • Ed Cooley improved to 7-0 in opening games.

Next Up, the Friars take on PC grad Richard Pititno and the 15th ranked Minnesota Gophers in the Gavitt Tip-Off Games at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Monday.  The game is at 6:30 PM and will televised on FS1.

One thought on “Game Recap: PC Friars Easily Put Away Houston Baptist 84-55 for First Win

  1. Pingback: 2017-2018 Men’s Basketball Schedule | The Morning Hangover

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