Providence Friars 99 (7-3)
Manhattan Jaspers 59 (3-5)
A win is still a win, but this Manhattan team has been in a pretty rough spot this year. Just two weeks before the season started, their head coach was fired and their best player, the conference pre-season player of the year, subsequently transferred to West Virginia. They are now being coach by a 31 year old first time head coach without their returning star player and they’ve had a rough go of it so far this season as a result.
The Friars came out at home and did what they should be expected to do, which is beat down a lesser opponent and keep the game out of reach as soon as possible. The Friars had 5 players score in double figures en route to a convincing victory that I’m appreciative for because I didn’t have to have a near heart attack down the stretch like I usually do.
- Bryce Hopkins was unstoppable every single moment he was on the floor.
- Hopkins scored a career-high 22 points on 8/12 shooting, hit 2 of his 3 three-point attempts, and went 4/5 from the line.
- Every single time Bryce touched the ball, you could tell that he thought that whoever was in front of him could not guard him. Sometimes blowout wins like this can have positive effects on players in terms of the confidence they can gain from just abusing an opponent seemingly whenever they please.
- You can see Hopkins’ confidence growing over these last couple games but during this one, he expected to score every single time he touched the ball. I mean, he scored 22 points in 26 minutes, the first time he’s played under 30 minutes in a game all season.
- He also snatched a game-high 11 rebounds, making it two games in a row with a double-double and three double-doubles on the season. Hopkins is averaging 15.3 points and 8.8 rebounds on the season but as he’s gotten into a groove over the last three games, he’s been averaging 17.7 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. His assertiveness and aggressiveness has reached a new level and he is actively looking to take games over at this point.
- 9 Friars made a field goal in the game and somehow Jared Bynum wasn’t one of them.
- He had a few bunnies that didn’t fall during the game but that’s just the way it has been going so far this year. Despite his early season shooting woes, Bynum is averaging a career-high 5.5 assists and up until this game, a career-low 1.3 turnovers per game. He is currently sits as having the 8th best assist to turnover ratio in the country at 4.23: 1, the best mark in the Big East.
- Big Ed Croswell was Mr. Efficieny per usual.
- In just 17 minutes he scored 15 points (6/8), grabbed 6 rebounds, 3 steals, and a block.
- Devin Carter can’t stop, won’t stop.
- That dude seriously never stops hustling. 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists, and a block. Not to mention 2/2 from three on the type of threes that I want my man taking during this season. Wide open corner threes are his bread and butter, please no more contested pull-ups.
- Noah Locke’s shooting struggles continue as he went 0/2 from three in this one. Over the last three games, Locke is only 3/12 from distance (25%) and he is shooting 32.2% from three on the season. If he’s not hitting from outside, it’s hard to make the argument to keep Locke on the floor with the number of other capable guards that this team has on its roster. He might be a game flow type of player for the foreseeable future until he starts hitting consistently from three again.
- He did have this nice drive though…
- Clifton Moore was choice playing against the middle of the zone with his midrange jumper. and soft touch. Moore scored 12 pints with 6 rebounds and a pair of blocks.
- The last player in double-figures for the Friars was Alyn Breed who may have turned a corner with his assertiveness on the offensive end. Breed only took 9 shots (3.6 ppg) over the first 5 games in 76 minutes of action but 18 over his last 4 games (7.5 ppg).
- Rafael Castro continues to look like he belongs on the floor. The Freshman big guy was a perfect 3/3 from the floor and snatched 7 boards on his way to a career-high 6 points.
- Cliff Floyd Jr. played his first minutes since Columbia and immediately put his stamp on the game. He looked like a guy who wanted his play to show the coach that he deserves more opportunities.
- Despite only playing 9 minutes, he looked like one of, if not the best, player on the floor when he was in the game. He scored 7 points in his limited 9 minutes and did so in a variety of ways. It was easily the best that he’s looked all season and I have a feeling he’s going to do the same thing the next time he sees the floor.
- Even though he turned the ball over 4 times, Jayden Pierre still looked great and I love him. That’s all I need to say about him. But P.S., that picture of him trying to slam it over the Manhattan defender is pretty sick.
- I see you Kieren with that board. That makes it 1 reo. nd, 1 assist, and 1 steal on the season. I’m going to go nuts when you get that first career point my friend.
Next Up, Providence will play their last out-of-conference game of the season against Albany on Saturday at 2:30 PM on FS1.