Game Recap: Friars Start Off Big East Play 4-0, Taking Down DePaul on the Road 74-59

Providence Friars 74 (12-3)

DePaul Blue Demons 59 (7-8)

The Providence Friars swept their 2 game road trip by manhandling both Butler and DePaul back-to-back. With the two wins in the past week, the Friars improved to 4-0 in Big East conference play for the first time in program history. The team has gelled together and the players have seemed to have comfortably slid into their respective roles on this new-look PC squad. DePaul and Butler may not be juggernauts in the Big East, but winning on the road against anyone requires you to show up ready to play, and the Friars did that and then some.

Devin Carter has officially taken his Sophomore leap and has looked amazing over the last couple of games. Carter was already superb on the defensive end of the court, but he has since matched that level of output on the offensive end. Carter tied his career-high with 22 points and dominated any Blue Demon who came near him to the tune of 5 steals and 4 blocks. Jared Bynum added 18 points of his own, while Bryce Hopkins filled in the stat sheet with 12 points and 8 rebounds.

Game Notes:

  • Devin Carter is one bad mamma jamma.
  • Since the start of conference play, Carter has shifted into another gear entirely. Just take a look at his statistics from the out of conference slate compared to those against Big East opponents so far.
  • Out of Conference Stats (11 gms): 11.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.5 spg, 0.6 bpg – 45.8% FG (38/83); 30% 3pt FG (9/30); 73.1% FT (38/52)
  • In Conference Stats (4 gms): 17.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.3 apg, 3.8 spg, 1.8 bpg – 52.2% FG (24/46); 45.5% 3pt FG (5/11); 64.3% FT (18/28)
  • His free throw shooting percentage is down but his overall usage is up across the board. He now getting to the line 7 times a game compared to the 4.7 times he was before conference play started. If he can cash in on the extra shots at the line, he could easily be averaging 20 points per game.
  • His line for the DePaul game was an all-around impressive performance. He tied his career-high with 22 points on 8/13 shooting to go alone with 5 steals, 4 rebounds, 4 blocks, and an assist.
  • He was going full-steam for the entirety of the game that he was on the floor. No matter the score or the situation, Carter was busting his ass. This play on the defensive end sums up his effort on D to a T.
  • The look on Carter’s face after he snatches the ball following is second block is almost like he’s disgusted that the guy even tried to shot the ball while he was guarding him.
  • Jared Bynum continues to be back in a big way.
  • Bynum scored 18 points on 5/12 shooting including 3/5 from deep. After hitting a three in only 5 of the first 12 games, Bynum has now connected from distance in each of the last three games. His 7 made threes in the last three games equaled his total number of makes in those first 12 games as well.
  • The emergence of Carter as another productive scorer in the backcourt has freed up Bynum to play off the ball more to get his shot going. Cooley even had both Pierre and Bynum in the game together at times against DePaul.
  • The third Friar to finished with double-digits was Bryce Hopkins with 12 points. He has now scored in double-figures in all but 2 games on the season.
  • Hopkins is averaging 23.8 ppg & 12.3 rpg in conference play. He may be having the biggest individual impact of any player from the transfer portal this season.
  • And there was this…
  • Ed Croswell was getting a pretty shitty whistle from the refs all game including a tech and almost an ejection with a second one. On one play, the DePaul player literally ran Croswell over and a double foul was called. Side note, double foul calls are so damn stupid.
  • Croswell was held to just 5 points on 1/5 shooting as he just couldn’t seem to get his putback to start falling. He still managed grab 10 rebounds, his 4th double-digit rebound game of the season.
  • I just want to stop for a second to give Big Ed some kudos on his free throw shooting thus far. He’s currently hitting a career-best 65% from the line and 70.4% since the beginning of conference play. Since Ed is currently making everything around the hoop when he touches the ball, as shown by having the 11th best mark in the country with a 64.1% field goal percentage, opposing teams aren’t going to be able to just hack him whenever he crashes the offensive boards.
  • Noah Locke’s three-point shot continues to look more fluid and he’s catching it in opportune spots and is ready to let it fly when it comes his way.
  • Locke has made a three-point basket in 13 of the Friars 15 games this season and multiple threes in 10 of those games. His make percentage isn’t where I’d like it to be yet but it feels like he’s finding his spots a bit better recently.
  • Alyn Breed played solid in relief as always with 4 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal. I would normally point out his 4 turnovers but he was actually third on the team in turnovers committed as the Friars coughed the ball up way, way, way too many times (19 total). That mostly had to do with some sloppy play with a large lead in the second half so I won’t harp too much on it during a 15-point road win.
  • Jayden Pierre hit yet another open three and is now 9/13 on the season (69.2%).
  • Most of the game tape I saw on Pierre before he got to Providence highlighted more of his ability to get to the rim and floaters but I am psyched to see such a smooth three-point shot this early in his time at PC. Guards in the first year with the team have historically been atrocious from deep during Cooley’s tenure.
    • Jared Bynum (20-21) – 11.9%
    • Alyn Breed (20-21) – 26.5%
    • Maliek White (19-20) – 27.0%
    • David Duke (18-19) – 29.7%
    • Makai Ashton-Langford (17-18) – 12.0%
    • Drew Edwards (15-16) – 27.8%
    • Kyron Cartwright (14-15) – 12.1%
    • Kris Dunn (12-13) – 28.6%
    • Josh Fortune (12-13) – 28.9%
  • I was hoping that Clifton Moore was going to pull the trigger on some of the swing passes he got at the top of the key but he’s probably right to wait for kick out threes on second opportunities from offensive boards.
  • Rafael Castro’s free throw stroke looked really nice on his attempts. It seems like Cooley and the staff aren’t ready for him to extend his range out to the three-point line quite yet but his High School clips showed him to be a pretty decent deep threat so I hope they accentuate that skill next season for him.
  • Not only that but look at these passing skills from Slim.
  • Ed Cooley’s is just the best isn’t he?
  • Not only is Cooley awesome, but so is the rest of the coaching staff…
  • These offensive statistics from FriarBasketball are so awesome that I just had to share them here:
  • Providence had a 119.9 offensive rating (points per 100 possessions) which ranks in the 99th percentile nationally
  • The Friars’ 40.5% offensive rebounding rate was in the 100th percentile. They were in the 91st percentile in fast break points per game (15.3), in the 100th percentile in points in the paint (44.7) per game, in the 94th percentile in assists per game (17.0), and in the 87th in steals per game (8.8). They also ranked in the 97th percentile in free throw attempt rate (44.8%)
  • If anyone else is still looking to make a New Year’s resolution, I think Devin has you covered.
  • I’m going to go with every single player with dreadlocks for the winners of the post-game celebration pic.

Up Next, the #4 ranked UConn Huskies visit Providence for the first time since 2013. I will be in attendance but for those of you at home, the game is Wednesday 1/4 at 8:30 PM and will be shown on FS1. Get the Tall Boys ready…Giddy up.

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