Game Recap: AJ Reeves is the Hero in OT Against Seton Hall as Watson Joins the 1,000 Point Club

Providence Friars 80 (5-2; 1-0)

Seton Hall Pirates 77 (5-4; 0-1) OT

Photo via Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, the Providence Friars were able to open up their Big East conference schedule, traveling to Seton Hall after games with Xavier, UConn, and DePaul were cancelled due to COVID-19 surfacing within each their respective basketball programs.

A.J. Reeves was the hero of the game, drilling a sideline three-pointer with just over three seconds left in overtime to give the Friars the victory, but it was once again the two-headed monster of Nate Watson and David Duke that did the heavy lifting for Providence.

Watson and Duke combined for 41 of the team’s 80 points for the game, while both recorded a double-double along the way. More importantly, Nate Watson joined the 1,000 point club for the Providence Friars and got the better of pre-season 1st Team All-Big East selection Sandro Mamukelashvili. Also, that will officially be the last time I type out Sandro’s last name in its completion. He will henceforth be known as Mamu going forward. That is all.

Game Notes:

  • Let’s start off with some kudos for Big Nate.
  • Watson officially became the 51st member of the 1,000 point club for the Providence Friars.
  • Nate was dominate down low, making 10-16 shots, tying his career-high 23 points that he previously set in the season opener against Fairfield.
  • Speaking of career-highs, Watson also snagged a career-high 11 rebounds to notch his second double-double of the season and third of his collegiate career. That makes it two games in a row with 7 offensive rebounds for the big man.
  • Big Nate is currently averaging career-high averages across the board and looking damn good while doing it. The Big Dog is averaging 19.3 ppg and 6.4 rpg on 62.7% from the field and 75.6% from the line.

“Nate is a totally different player this year. He’s in incredible shape, he’s a weapon out there.”

– Coach Ed Cooley
  • The best part is that even though Nate is playing 11.1 more minutes per game, he is still averaging less fouls per game than last year (2.6 vs. 2.7). Keeping Nate on the floor is priority number one and he is crushing it so far this year.
  • David Duke was the other Friar to finish the game with a double-double, scoring 18 points and securing 10 rebounds.
  • Duke is narrowly edging out Nate for the team lead in scoring, averaging 19.4 points per game to Watson’s 19.3.
  • After going 8 for 8 from the line against Seton Hall, Duke is now shooting 83.7% from the free throw line.
  • Per Richard Coren, the last time two PC teammates notched double-doubles in the same game was December 28, 2017 against St. John’s with Kyron Cartwright (21p/15a) and Alpha Diallo (16p/12r).
  • A.J. Reeves…heroics.
  • This was nice…
  • This was a lot nicer…
  • It looks like A.J. might be turning a corner and his success lifts this team’s overall potential exponentially. Reeves went 2-4 from three, marking just the second time this year he has hit multiple three-pointers in a single game and the first time he has connected on more than 33.3% in a game as well.
  • Jared Bynum hit his first three-pointer of the season. I repeat, JARED BYNUM HIT HIS FIRST THREE-POINTER OF THE SEASON!!! And it was in overtime nonetheless. Hopefully this take a little bit of the pressure off of the point guard going forward. It is very similar to a batter having a hitless streak in baseball. After a while it becomes more about the streak than about any single at bat. Bynum is now 1-20 from three on the season but shot 34.3% from three in his Freshman season at St. Joe’s while taking more three-point attempts per game as well (3.1).
  • Bynum dropped 8 helpers for the second game in a row and the third time this season, with just 2 turnover to go along with it. One the season, Bynum is averaging an insanely good 4.9 assists for every 1 turnover. Point Guard U is right.
  • Some shades of Pipkins here (via @DDuclos89).
  • The Bench Mob Trio (BMT) of Greg Gantt, Ed Croswell, and Jimmy Nichols Jr. were once again fantastic off the bench.
    • 18 points
    • 7-11 FGs
    • 3-6 from three
    • 8 rebounds
    • 5 assists
    • 3 blocks
    • 2 steals
  • Jimmy Nichols looked smooth as hell and he has an effortlessness to his game.
  • Ed Croswell only had one bucket, but boy was it an emphatic bucket.
  • Mamu was the one player on Hall that I was looking forward to get a good look at.
  • The Pirates big guy is really good but ran up against a frontcourt that was able to match his combination and speed. That most likely won’t be the case with most teams.
  • Two thing that really stood out to me about Mamu were his three-point plays down the stretch, especially the one at the rim that Nichols tried to block. The second was his passing ability. That might be the more impressive part of his game and reminded me a lot of watching Nikola Jokić in the playoffs last year for the Denver Nuggest.
  • As much as a think Shavar Reynolds’ shot looks bad, it sure as hell is effective and works for him.
  • Apparently Myles Cale only plays this well against Providence which is probably why he was on my pre-season 3rd Team All-Big East squad last year.
  • Ed Cooley with another nod to John Thompson is exactly what I would expect from Big Ed.

Next Up, the Friars stay on the road and face the Butler Bulldogs on Wednesday at 6 PM.

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