Providence Friars (4-4) 55
College of Charleston Cougars (4-3) 63
So I guess this is the kind of a season this is going to be, huh? Halfway through the first half, the Friars had a 13-point lead and had held Charleston a measly 6 points. However, the opposite happened in the 2nd half where the Friars scored just 1 point over 7+ minutes of action, ultimately sealing their fate against a team that just appeared to want the win more than they did.
That’s really the most disappointing part of the loss to Charleston. Teams can lose games in a million different ways, but to do so by getting outplayed and out-hustled by the other team is the worst way to do so. Charleston’s Senior point guard and leader, Grant Riller, did whatever he wanted to against Providence, en route to 29 points on 9-15 shooting, to go along with 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Not only that, but he was talking shit and strutting up and down the court in the second half after every bucket down the stretch. The Friars did exactly zilch about it. There was no amping up of defensive intensity or anybody stepping up to own the responsibility of putting the clamps on him or a hard foul to make him a little more hesitant to get to the basket.
Ultimately, displaying a second game of feeble defense and allowing the Cougars to shoot 50% for the game, Providence lost another game that will go a long way in tarnishing their record this year.
- I think it’s undeniable now that David Duke is the guy for this year’s Friars team. After assuming that Alpha Diallo would fall into the lead dog role in his Senior campaign, it became clear that he doesn’t quite have the make up to be the go-to-guy as much as some may have anticipated, myself included. That’s totally well and good, as long as he plays as the second fiddle to David Duke going forward. There are two big factors that are holding Diallo back from completely being able to adopt that lead role. One, is his propensity to turn the ball over, most of the time while the ball is in his hands. The second, is his ineffectiveness to create his own shot off the dribble or consistently knock down threes. His handle has been shaky, so when guys try and get him to shoot threes, that works to their benefit. And when they try and make him drive one-on-one when starting beyond the three-point line, that works for them too.
- Duke poured in a career-high 22 points on 7-8 shooting. That is some economical scoring if I ever did see it. David also chipped in a team-high 5 assists, a team-high 3 steals, and a pair of rebounds. It’s time to officially make this David Duke’s team and adjust some of the play-calling for him specifically. His jump from his Freshman to Sophomore season has been the highlight of an otherwise gloomy start to the year for PC.
- Thank God Duke was firing on all cylinders because the other two guards, Luwane Pipkins and Maliek White, were non-existent in this game. They combined to go 0-13 from the floor for 0 points in 47 minutes with 4 turnovers and 1 assist. Ouch. There’s really no way to sugar coat it, they were just plain awful.
- Pipkins apparently undeterred by going 3-10 from three in the last game, followed it up with an 0-5 performance in this one. He usually somewhat makes up for a poor shooting display by racking up the assists but with just 1 dime, he notched his lowest assist total in a game this season. This was also his first game with the Friar where he recorded more turnovers (2) than assists (1).
- Alpha got a hold on his turnover problem in this game, turning it over just once while gathering 5 assists in the process. Unfortunately, his improved protection of the ball didn’t quite translate over to the rest of his offensive game. Diallo shot just 4-15 from the floor and matched Pipkins by going 0-5 from three. After starting off the season going 3-7 from deep against Sacred Heart and showing some promise of an improved outside shot, Diallo has managed to go 4-26 (15.4%) of the last 7 games. That makes his season three-point average 21.2%…yikes.
- Nate continues to be effective in limited minutes. The Friars are in desperate need for him to be able to play more minutes for them and provide some much needed consistent inside presence. Watson finished with 7 points, 3 steals (hey now!), and 3 rebounds in 21 minutes of action. And guess what? My dude went 100% from the line in the game. I mean, yeah it was 1 for 1, but still…I’ll take it. Little by little my good man. Hopefully this eases him back in to recovering his free throw stroke.
- Kalif Young had his second straight game playing limited minutes with not too much to show for it.
- Emmitt Holt was the only other Friar to show up at all for Providence, playing well to the tune of 11 points on 4-7 shooting in 24 minutes with 3 rebounds.
- Charleston? Charleston?
Next Up, hopefully the Friars can beat Pepperdine and not come in last place in the Wooden Legacy.