Providence Friars (2-1) 70
Holy Cross Crusaders (1-2) 61
The Providence Friars returned home to the friendly confines of The Dunk to take on the Holy Cross Crusaders, a team that they haven’t faced since 2012 after playing them routinely prior to this little break in matchups.
After a little bit of a tumultuous start to the game by the Friars, they were able to pick things up in the second half and showed the type of resiliency that Friartown has become accustomed to with Ed Cooley’s teams. The effort, defense, and turnovers in the first half were reminiscent of the Wichita State game and for a while, there didn’t seem to any sight of the team turning their fortunes around.
Alpha Diallo took matters into his own hands, scoring a team-high 18 points and snagging 10 rebounds for the Friars when they desperately needed someone to lead them out of the darkness. Diallo may not be the typical vocal leader but he is absolutely a leader by example. Always calm, cool, and collected, Diallo never shows any sign that he believes the Friars are out of any game.
Another player that I believe deserves a lot of credit for the turnaround in the Friars’ play is Maliek White. White came into the came and immediately turned the energy of this team around. Cooley rode the hot lineup and let White carry the guard duties for basically the entire second half.
Big Nate was also a force down low whenever the Frairs went his way, scoring 15 points on 6-7 shooting.
- Alpha Diallo notched his third double-double in as many games this season, scoring a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds. This marks 9 double-doubles in Diallo’s career, with 6 coming last season.
- Quick check in on my prediction that Diallo will lead the team in points, rebounds, and assists this season.
- 20.3 ppg (1st)
- 10.3 rpg (1st)
- 4.3apg (1st)
- Diallo went into takeover mode early in the 2nd half of the game and did what the best player on your team should do when a winnable game is there for the taking…he took it.
- I wish the Friars could have fed the post more, especially when Holy Cross big man Jehyve Floyd was out of the game with foul trouble. When the Friars did go down low, they were rewarded with great results.
- Nate Watson was 6-7 from the field for 15 points and had 7 rebounds to boot. Whenever Watson got the ball in any position, he was looking to score and rightfully so. Not only did he have a size advantage against Holy Cross but he had a big skill advantage from a footwork perspective.
- Even when plays broke down, Nate was there to finish the job…
- David Duke played his best game as a Friar so far. More so in the second half than in the first half as he tried to push the ball more and was much, much, much more aggressive on defense. In the first half, there was a couple time were a Holy Cross player was going to the rim and Dunk just did a little matador move to give them a wide open finish. In the second half however…
- Duke took it to the hole in the 2nd half and you could tell he was playing with a little swagger that has been missing from the first couple of games.
- Duke finished with a career-high 10 points with pushing the pace and attacking the rim.
- Maliek White led the team with 5 assists and was a difference-maker in the game. This should lead to more playing time in the near future for White as he also chipped in 8 points.
Maliek White has completely energized this team in the second half. Filthy little dish to Big Nate #pcbb #MaliekWhite #NateWatson pic.twitter.com/m3hgRSRde6— The Morning Hangover (@TheMorningHang) November 14, 2018
- Senior Isaiah Jackson was his usual Elmer’s Glue self, finishing with 8 points, 8 rebounds, and a career-high 5 steals. Through 3 games, Jackson is averaging 2.7 steals per game.
- Jackson is such a big part of this team. If he’s not doing all the little things for this team, then I think they’re going to struggle.
- He can also dunk ever-so-lightly…
- A.J. Reeves had a “come back down to earth” game in the third game of his collegiate career. After dropping 29 against Siena and 19 against Wichita State in his first two game, Reeves scored just 5 points on 2-7 shooting from the floor (1-4 from three). Of course I feel like Reeves’ game trends more to the first two contests than to the the third here, there will be definitely be games like this throughout the year.
- But boy, oh boy, is his game smooooooth…
- Kalif Young also has his best game of the young season against a susceptible opponent.
- Young tied Diallo for a team-high 10 rebounds and had 6 points including this acrobatic finish…
- Ed Cooley tightened up the rotation in this game after questioning whether he played too many guys in the Wichita State loss. That might leave Drew Edwards as the odd guy out but it also looks like it might cut Jimmy Nichols Jr.’s minutes back too. Overall I just want Emmitt Holt’s conditioning to keep getting better because he is a factor in every game, even if it’s just quick minutes.
- How about one more David Duke Jr. highlight to get us all ready for the good things to come from the young gun.
Next Up, the Friars head to “Friartown South” at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday at 2:30 PM to take on South Carolina in the Hall of Fame Tip Off. I will be in attendance in Section 26 and I’ll see all you crazies there…