Game Recap: Friars Rout DePaul 70-53 for Their 8th Win in a Row

#21 Providence Friars 70 (13-1)

DePaul Blue Demons 53 (9-3)

DePaul is gonna DePaul. After coming into Big East Conference play with a 9-1 record and a win against Louisville (who may not be that great this year but for DePaul, that’s still a name for a win), it turns out that DePaul is the same old DePaul that they’ve been for the best 20 some-odd seasons. Following a loss to Butler which saw DePaul score their lowest total on the season, the Blue Demons turned around and got smashed by Providence, setting a new low total for the season already.

Providence has now held 5 of their last 6 opponents under 60 points. I could spend forever listing out all the ways that they’ve come together on the defensive side of the ball, but this tweet should suffice for the incredible performance in the first half from the Friars.

This team has a chance to be something really special this season. This was their 6th Quad 1 win of the year but it should turn into at best a Quad 2 win with how DePaul is looking right now. I’ll still take a road win in the Big East every single time we can get it because we have lost to much worse DePaul teams on the road in the past.

Al Durham has the bounce back offensive game that has alluded him over the past couple of contests, scoring a team-high 17 points, and Justin Minaya did just about everything a basketball player could physically do to give Providence their 8th consecutive win and a sure fire higher ranking in the next poll. Unrelated, our KenPom ranking will most likely decrease 100 spots.

Game Notes:

  • Justin Minaya was tremendous, putting together easily his best game in his short Friars career this far. Check out this awesome article from FriarBasketball if you don’t believe all this praise I’m heaping on Minaya.
  • Minaya recorded his first double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds. He also added 2 blocks and an assist to his game totals. It felt like there were three of him on the court at times with how active he was on both ends of the floor. Every shot I saw miss, I just expected Minaya to fly in from somewhere for the rebound. He gives so much effort on every single play during the game that you can’t help but love how the dude plays.
  • Just for fun, he also went 2/4 from three and 2/2 from the line. His two triples were set up by perfect passes from Jared Bynum that saw him catch the ball in rhythm while stepping directly into his shooting motion.
  • Speaking of Bynum, wow has he been playing on another level since coming back from injury. He’s still coming off the bench at this point but he has been absolutely crushing it these past three games.
  • Bynum was finding guys from all spots on the floor and putting them each in great positions to score once the ball got to them. He was flinging cross court passes, threading the needed on drives, running pick and rolls, and delivering dimes like he was giving out free samples at Costco. Bynum scored 12 points on 4/9 shooting, handed out 7 assists with just a single turnover, snatched 3 boards and had 2 steals.
  • Since returning from his ankle injury, Jared is averaging 11.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.0 apg, & 1.7 spg while shooting 40% from three and 83% from the line. He’s sporting a 3:1 assist to turnover ratio and doing a tremendous job of finishing at the rim and whenever he has to create his own shot in a 1-on-1 situation with an expiring shot clock.
  • Al Durham reminded everyone that early season Al is still in there on his way to a team-high 17 points. Durham started off the season with 9 straight games in double-figure scoring before dipping under 10 for the next three. In the win against Seton Hall, Al scored 8 of his 12 points from the line, but in this one, he scored from all over the court.
  • He was also 5/6 from the line because that’s his bread and butter and that’s what he does.
  • Noah Horchler: 11 points, 8 rebounds, 2/3 from three. A classic Noah Horchler stat line.
  • In a game that Providence led by around 20 for the majority of the contest, Nate Watson scored a season-low 3 points and A.J. Reeves played only 9 minutes with a finger injury to his non-shooting hand. I wouldn’t have expected such a comfortable lead for the entire game with those two things factored into the equation.
  • Big Nate did have my very favorite play of the game though…
  • The bench looks like they’re ready to go to war after that play.
  • Alert! Alert! There’s been an Andrew Fonts sighting!
  • Ed played the starters deep into the second half so there weren’t a lot of opportunities for The Death Lineup that I thought were going to be there. I’m still waiting on the mythical Double-Fonts lineup that may create a new Multiverse.
  • Ed Croswell is such a dog man. I mean that in the most complimentary sense, just so everybody is clear. That guy just motors and attacks the glass non-stop.
  • Despite the score, I can safely say that Javon Freeman-Liberty is a legit guy. He scored 22 points on 8/16 shooting, including 4/6 from three. With how good PC played defensively, those numbers jump off the stat sheet. Freeman-Liberty shot 50.0% from the floor and 66.6% from three. The rest of the team shot 9/41 (22.0%) from the floor and 3/15 (20.0%) from three. The rest of his team made 1 more field goal than he did alone and made less three-pointers.
  • Brandon Johnson had a bit of a rough time getting the ball to go in the hoop (2/8) but I really like how hard he plays.
  • Just a friendly reminder that Teddy Bancroft is still the man.
  • I’m giving Brycen Goodine the player of the post-game pic just for his amazing hair.

Next Up, the most likely higher ranked Friars travel to Marquette to see if they can make it 9 in a row on Tuesday at 9 PM on FS1.

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