Game Recap: David Duke Officially Begins His Emergence as the Friars Beat NJIT 76-47

Providence Friars (2-0) 76

NJIT Highlanders (0-2) 47

NJIT_PC02.jpg

David Duke Jr. was everything the Friars needed at the exact time that they needed it during their 76-47 win over a visiting NJIT Highlanders team.  Duke scored a career-high 21 points, displaying all facets of his game during stretches where Providence needed a bucket, needed a stop, or needed someone to take over.

The Highlanders cut the Friars lead to single-digits with 15:55 left in the second half and looked to be making their move to get within reaching distance of the hometown team.  However, over the next 5 minutes and 14 seconds, the Friars would stretch their lead to 26, behind David Duke and made three-pointers from just about everyone (Holt, White, Diallo).

Duke showed off his growth as an all around player and answered the call from Ed Cooley, proving why he was one of the most coveted players in New England coming into last year.  After he turned it on, the game was never again in doubt.

Game Notes:

  • Let’s stick with Duke here, shall we?
  • David played his best game in a Friar uniform, finishing with a career-high 21 points (15 in the 2nd half) on an impressive 8-13 from the field, including going 3-5 from three.  Duke was also tied for the most assists on the team for the game with 5.
  • Showing off his always reliable defensive skills on the other side of the ball, Duke took down 5 rebounds and had a pair of blocks.
  • And, as if Friartown wasn’t already aware of this, Coach Cooley made sure everyone else was as well…
  • Also, if you’re into +/- Duke also had a team high +32.
  • Alpha Diallo, a walking double-double, recorded his 2nd double-double in as many games to start the season, tallying 15 points and 10 rebounds.  That makes 18 career double-doubles for Diallo (2 this year, 10 last year, and 6 the year before).
  • Diallo struggled from deep, going just 1-6, following a promising 3-7 in the first game against Sacred Heart.  He’s still hovering just about the 30% mark at 30.8% (yeah, yeah, I know it’s a small sample) but he’ll need to improve that against better teams to open up the rest of his game.
  • Diallo turned the ball over 4 times for the second game in a row.  I know I’m nitpicking over two blowout wins, but everything can’t be 100% rainbows and butterflies.
  • But back to the good stuff, he lead the team in steals (3) and blocks (2).
  • The third Friar who scored in double-digits was Maliek White off the bench.  In just 21 minutes of action, White was able to chip in 11 points on 4-6 shooting (2-4 from three).  He is never afraid to let it fly out there and the Friars are going to need to ride his hot hand on multiple occasions this year when shots aren’t falling for other guys.
  • Jimmy Nichols Jr. saw his first action of the season after sitting out the first game against Sacred Heart with a sickness.  Nichols has noticeably put on some muscle from last year but wasn’t quite able to get into the flow of the game with his initial minutes.  With Nichols back, it looks like Kris Monroe was the odd man out of the rotation.
  • Kalif Young was back to gobbling up rebounds at a high rate, snatching 8 boards in 24 minutes.
  • A.J. Reeves was slapped with some ticky-tack fouls that limited his time on the floor and always seem to come at a time to disrupt his rhythm in the game.
  • Emmitt Holt looked solid again off the bench and I’m more and more confident that he is going to be one of the keys for the Friars throughout the season.  Over 15 minutes, Holt recorded 5 points, 6 rebounds, a block, and a steal.  He’s been doing a little bit of everything and his outside shooting looks much improved as well.
  • Luwane Pipkins had a really rough night shooting the rock.  Pipkins finished 1-10 from the field and it looked like every shot was coming up short and off the front of the rim.
  • Even though he wasn’t filling it up, Pipkins was still tied for the team lead in assists (5) and steals (3).  Pip has yet to turn the ball over in 45 minutes of game time, while racking up 12 assists.  I’d say that’s the point guard distributing factor that the Friars were missing last season.
  • The 2nd win of the season for Providence also saw the 2nd appearance of The Death Lineup of Drew & Tommy.  Fonts hit them with that patented step-back three again and teams might have to start game-planning for him now.
  • It was awesome to have Andy Katz and John Fanta on the call for the game as both guys are intimately knowledgeable about everything to do with PC.
  • 19 assists on 28 made field goals is another good sign.  The 17 turnovers weren’t so pretty though.
  • Junior guard Zach Cooks of NJIT was the main reason that NJIT stayed close to Providence at the beginning of the game.  Cooks was toasty from the field and was hitting tough shots en route to 22 points on 8-14 shooting.  Unfortunately for the Highlanders, Cooks was hit with his 3rd and 4th fouls on back to back possessions early in the 2nd half that coincided with the big run from PC to break the game open.
  • Cooks was a unanimous pre-season 1st Team selection for the ASUN Conference after averaging 17.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.5 SPG, 2.1 APG during his Sophomore year.

Next Up, the Friars travel to Chicago to take on Northwestern in the Gavitt Games on Wednesday at 9 PM.  The game will be on the Big Ten Network, which sucks. 

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