I was reading a recent article from The Providence Crier that went through some statistics so far this season for the Friars and how some of them related to the early seasons success of the team. There were a couple more interesting stats that I was thinking about after reading the post that I thought should get some shine on them as well. They kind of go off of a few of the overall metrics that were already put together and some may be things I’ve mentioned in my game recaps before but I thought they were compelling enough to share again. All of the below are as of today, 1/4/21.
Defensive Field Goal Percentage = 38.72% (33rd Nationally)
Scoring Defense (Points Allowed Per Game) = 61.1 points (43rd Nationally)
These two stats clearly show how well defensively Ed Cooley’s team has been playing thus far in the season. A year after finishing 144th in the country in scoring defense, allowing 69.7 points per game, the Friars are back to what has been the staple of Cooley’s best teams during his time at PC. Even with those prior teams, there was a consistent tendency for the Friars to start games flat at times before getting their feet underneath them. That, however, is the complete opposite case this year.
Opponent 1st Half Points Per Game – 27.1 points (15th Nationally)
The Friars have gotten off to scorching hot starts to their games and if anything have made them look closer than they actually were if you just looked at the box score after the game. Not only that, but they have been even better on the road during the 1st half of games.
Opponent 1st Half Points Per Game (AWAY) – 23.8 points (1st Nationally)
This is a small sample size but their true away games have been Wisconsin, UConn, and DePaul. Three very good teams. You know what they say…defense travels. Just to get a feel for how good that number is, the 2nd team in the nation is USC at 25.2 points per game in the 1st half.
As one of the oldest teams in college basketball this year, experience does come into play with this group. Getting to the foul line for easy buckets is essential to dictating the pace of the game that best suits your team.
Team Free Throw Attempts Per Game – 21.5 (T-25th Nationally)
Team Free Throws Made Per Game – 15.4 (27th Nationally)
Al Durham FTA Per Game – 6.92 (10th Nationally)
Al Durham FTM Per Game – 5.43 (5th Nationally)
With Al being the best free throw shooter on the team and 5th in the Big East at an 80% clip, those free throws are a HUGE part of the Friars winning close games with a closer down the stretch. Durham is averaging 13.1 ppg this season, so 41.5% of his points are coming from the line. Compare this to the next highest volume free throw shooter in the Big East, Javon Freeman-Liberty of DePaul. He takes 5.83 Free Throws per Game and makes 4.25 Free Throws Per Game (75%). Only 20.9% of his points come from the foul line each game. Just an FYI, he was only 2/4 from the line against the Friars.
The Friars have swayed in tonight’s game from being favored to getting 1.5 points at Marquette somehow. Based on how they have played on the road, especially their defense, that’s free money for whoever wants in.