Game Recap: PC Friars Fall in Gavitt Tip-Off to Visiting No. 14 Minnesota 86-74

Providence Friars 74 (1-1)

#14 Minnesota Gophers 86 (2-0)

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The Minnesota Gophers traveled to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in downtown Providence, Rhode Island on Monday to take on the Providence Friars in the Gavitt Tip Off.  This is the third year of the annual Gavitt Tip Off games between the Big East and the Big Ten in honor of the Big East Conference architect and former Friar coach, David Gavitt.

The game was a homecoming of sorts for Minnesota coach Richard Pitino, an alum of PC who was there as a student-assistant the same time I was on campus in Friartown.  Obviously, Richard’s father Rick also coached the Friars to a Final Four in his tenure as the head coach of the Men’s Basketball team.

The Gophers came in ranked 14th in the Nation and showed that their national ranking is warranted.  Jordan Murphy as an unstoppable force for the Gophers, ending the game with 23 points and 14 rebounds.  The Minnesota forward followed up a monster first game against USC Upstate (35 pts, 15 rebs) and showed an excellent combination of size, speed, and effort.  The Friars desperately missed Emmitt Holt who would have most likely have matched up with Murphy and mitigated at least some of the damage that he inflicted on the Friars frontcourt.

After starting the game slow out of the gates (let me know if that sounds reminiscent of last year) down 12-2, the Friars stormed back at the end of the first half and took a 3 point lead into the half.  The Gophers were in control around the basket, outscoring the Friars 40-26 in the paint and out-rebounding Providence 38-31.

Game Notes:

  • It was so great to have Bill Raftery back in my life.  He’s so awesome to listen to during a college basketball game.
  • We’ll start with the Friars.
  • The Friars assisted on 14 of their 25 baskets compared to Minnesota only recording 6 assists on the night.  The difference was in the points in the paint for the Gophers.
  • Leading the way with 9 assists was obviously Kyron Cartwright.  He followed up the 10 dimes in the first game and almost matched it in this one.  Through 2 games, Cartwright has 19 assists and just 5 turnovers.
  • Cartwright also led the team with 3 steals and tied for the team-high in points with 12.
  • Nate Watson was the guy who matched Cartwright in points in the game.
  • Watson has looked college ready so far this season and completely unafraid of the moment.
  • Nate was 5-7 from the floor and there was one thing about his game that I realized.  He is amazing at keeping the ball high whenever he gets a rebound or receives a pass around the rim.  That’s usually a part of the game that you have to engrain into young guys but he never, ever bring the ball down when it’s high.  That makes his putbacks and shots incredibly hard to block and so damn quick.  I love it.
  • There is zero wasted movement in this finish on a really nice pass from Makai.
  • I think I’m going to start calling those two the “Good Hair Pair” and see how it goes.
  • Makai Ashton-Langford also looked good off of the bench and continues to attack and be aggressive on offense.  In just 16 minutes, MAL had 6 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound, and 1 block.  He does a little bit of everything.
  • Continuing with the bench of the Friars, Jalen Lindsey saw his first action of the season and will hopefully have his legs fully back under him for the upcoming 2K Classic at MSG.
  • Lindsey connected on 2 three-pointers and had 5 rebounds.  I would have liked to see what he could have done against Murphy if they were matched up but with him just getting back on the floor, Cooley might not have wanted to run him down too much during the game.
  • The bench for the Friars outscored Minnesota 29-10.
  • Compared to the starters, the Friars bench shot 11-21 (52.4%) vs. 14-32 (43.8%).
  • Let’s start with the two additional starters who played well for PC.
  • Isaiah Jackson was perfect on the day, going 2-2 from the floor (both 3s) and 4-4 from the line for 10 points in 20 minutes of action.  He also took down 5 rebounds.  In my opinion, based on how Rodney and Alpha were playing in the game and the fact that they were in foul trouble, Jackson probably should have seen some more run.
  • Kalif Young was a mad man down low and continued to fly down the court to put himself in great positions for fastbreak baskets.
  • Young had some difficulties on the defensive side of things based on the speed and power of Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy but he played well on the offensive side of the ball, finishing with 11 points in 15 minutes.  However, he only pulled down 2 boards on the night.  On the bright side, his foul shoot looks miles better than last year and he made 5-7 from the charity stripe.  He shot 37% from the line last year.
  • Rodney Bullock looked completely out of the flow of the game, never really getting into any sort of rhythm at all.
  • Alpha, also dealing with the foul trouble like Bullock, combined with Rodney to shoot 5-15 from the floor as a pair.
  • Minnesota relies heavily on their starters, each playing 26 minutes or more in the game.
  • Although guard Nate Mason is the pre-season Big Ten First Team selection, Jordan Murphy is far and away the best player on that team.  He’s too fast for big guys and too big for quick guys.  Murphy is going to be a nightmare matchup for teams this season and a double-double machine.
  • As for Reggie Lynch…one, your hair stinks.

TY1_cSlU

  • And two, this…
  • The Gophers are definitely going to need to have guys share the ball better because 6 assists is not going to cut it against teams who can match up size-wise with these guys in the paint.
  • Oh, Minnesota fans seem like a bunch of tool bags…at least the ones that were in attendance.
  • This lose by the Friars won’t hurt them at the end of the season because I expect Minnesota to be ranked for the whole year.  Plus, there will be a couple of other winnable out of conference matchups right around the corner that the Friars could help their eventual NCAA resume out with.

Next Up, the Friars travel to the World’s Most Famous Arena for the 2K Classic to take on Washington on Thursday at 9:30 PM and then one of St. Louis/Virginia Tech on Friday.

One thought on “Game Recap: PC Friars Fall in Gavitt Tip-Off to Visiting No. 14 Minnesota 86-74

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

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