Game Recap: The Friars Crack Triple-Digits Against Stonehill, Winning 100-76

Providence Friars 100 (3-0)

Stonehill Skyhawks 76 (1-3)

This matchup was particularly special for Ed Cooley as a 1994 graduate from Stonehill, a 3-time team captain of the basketball team, and a 2019 inductee into the school’s Hall of Fame. Stonehill is in their inaugural season as a Division I basketball team but appear as if they won’t take much time to acclimate to the American East Conference and have already beaten Army this season.

The Friars offense was clicking on all cylinders with 6 players scoring in double-figures en route to reaching the century mark for the first time since their opening game against Sacred Heart in the 2019-2022 basketball season when they tallied 106 points. The defense continues to be a subject of concern as they once again let threes rain in against them and were kept in a relatively close game at the half (47-36). Someone also noted on Twitter that it feels like the Friars must give up the highest percentage of made threes at the close of the first half and I’ll have to say, if that statistic is out there somewhere, they absolutely have to be at the top of that list. Hell, remember that double-overtime game against Georgetown?

Providence has now let their three opponents shoot 9/14, 9/24, & 10/21 on three-point shooting, good for 47.5%…that’s not good and is most likely going to be worse again better teams unless they tighten things up around the perimeter. That three-point shooting defense ranks 350th out of 352 DI teams. Yikes.

The Friars will get some tough tests at Mohegan this upcoming weekend in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off as all 4 participating teams (Miami, St. Louis, & Maryland) come into the weekend without a loss.

Game Notes:

  • Every single player that saw time on the floor was able to get into the scoring column. That’s ten in total for those of you counting at home.
  • Let’s start with the player of the game who I was most impressed by, Jayden Pierre.
  • Pierre saw his first significant minutes of the season, playing 24 minutes, tied for the 3rd most on the team. It’s hard enough to get into the flow of a game initially as a Freshman but even more so in limited minutes. With Pierre finally seeing some continuity in the game for an extended amount of time, he looked so much more comfortable and was able to get into the flow of the everything.
  • Pierre notched the first double-digit scoring game of his career with 10 points on 4/5 shooting, including 2/2 from deep. So, he can hit from distance and do stuff like this…
  • Jayden was also tied for the team-lead with 4 assists to go along with a pair of steals. He has a lot of length for a guy who isn’t that tall and is able to disrupt the passing lanes, especially on the perimeter. Opposing guard better not throw any lazy passes at the top of the key because much like Kris Dunn used to do, Pierre is going to take it the other way for a flush before you even know he stole it.
  • Pierre has gotten better each game and I see that continuing as the year goes on and he gets more and more experience. Kid looks like a stud, just like Cooley was telling everyone.
  • Ed Croswell looked like he was involved in every single play on the court. Even when the Friars had a large lead nearing the end of the game, you could catch Big Ed diving for loose balls and crashing the glass as hard as he was during the first minutes of the game. Croswell recorded a game-high 9 rebounds, 8! of which were of the offensive variety.
  • Croswell was also able to show off some low post moves when he wasn’t cleaning up the scraps off the backboard.
  • Croswell scored a season-high 16 points on 8/14 shooting and also snatched another 2 steals. Ed has recorded a steal in each game this season and now has 6 steals on the year. He set his career-best in steals last year with 20 and at this pace looks like he’s going to surpass that before league play even starts.
  • Bryce Hopkins has his best all-around game of the season, making an impact in a variety of ways. Hopkins finished with 16 points and has still scored in double-digits in every game this season while also continuing to play the most minutes on the team (team-high 30 in this one).
  • He was efficient from the floor (5/8) and perfect from the line (6/6) but maybe the best statistic of his game was his 4 assists, tied for the most on the team with Pierre and Bynum, our two point guards.
  • Next up is Clifton Moore, the 3rd Friars player to finish with 16 points. Moore also had 8 rebounds (3 offensive), 3 blocks, and was 7/8 from the line, making the Skyhawks pay for not boxing him out.
  • Moore hit another three and is now 3/4 on the season, making a trey in each game this year.
  • I know it’s a small sample size, but Moore is now shooting 65% from the floor, 75% from three, and 83.3% from the line. H has been such a stellar addition so far this year.
  • Devin Carter came out of the gates with guns blazing, scoring the first 7 points for PC, including this little doozy to get things going early.
  • Carter finished with 14 points in just 24 minutes and has recorded at least 1 steal in each game this year. He also hasn’t finished with lower than 9 points in any game.
  • I wasn’t super psyched that he shot 5 threes in the game, going 1/5, but that’s more because he’s so insanely effective attacking the hoop.
  • We still aren’t done talking about our guys that finished in double-digits yet. Noah Locke added 14 and had easily his best shooting performance of the year. Locke was letting it fly off of the guards penetration and whenever the ball got kicked to the foul line in the middle of the zone. Young shooters should watch how ready Locke is to shoot, anticipating a potential pass to him within the offense.
  • Noah was 4/6 from three and has hit multiple 3’s in all three games so far.
  • If would have told you that 6 Friars scored in double-figures and that Jared Bynum wasn’t one of them, you probably wouldn’t have believed me. Yet here we are.
  • Bynum scored 7 points but like always, even when he has an off shooting night, he still positively affects the game and dished out 4 assists.
  • Corey Floyd Jr. hit another 3 and I think there will be games this year where he will play a big part.
  • Also, I didn’t know this but Cooley referred to him as CJ during the postgame interview on FS2. So I will now be calling him CJ too.
  • Both Rafael Castro and Alyn Breed added a bucket. Breed has only attempted 3 shots over 3 games, playing a total of 45 minutes. I like to see him get a little more aggressive on the offensive end but that’s just nitpicking at this point.
  • He did hit his first floater of the season. I want to see more of that because his floater looks oh so pretty.
  • Coach Cooley is the fucking best.
  • The crowd, even on a Tuesday night at 5 PM, was still awesome. Also, shoutout to J. Peterman who actually gave the commencement speech to my graduating class at PC.

Next Up, the Friars head to Mohegan Sun for the Hall of Fame Tip Off to take on Miami on Saturday at 4 PM on ESPNN (whatever that hell that second N stands for). I’ll be in attendance so I’ll see you there Friartown!

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