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2017-18 Providence College Hoops: Great Expectations?

Discussion in 'College Sports' started by CouchsideSteve, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. CouchsideSteve

    CouchsideSteve Member SoSH Member

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    Man, this team — assertive win over #5 Xavier, perhaps the most impressive under Cooley so far. More thoughts later!
     
  2. Mloaf71

    Mloaf71 lurker

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    This is going to be one of those roller coasters where PC can beat anyone and lose to anyone.

    Shocked they won getting out rebounded by ~20, out scored on second chance points by ~20, and shooting essentially the same FG.

    Gutsy performance and will help if PC ends up on the bubble at the end of the year.
     
  3. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    Taped the game today, and just got a chance to watch it, and I have to say, the job they did defensively on Bluett and the rest of the "stars" for Xavier, particularly in the second half was incredible. If not for Kanter having the game of his life, and basically making everything he threw at the rim, the Friars would have run them out of the building. Some sloppy turnovers late, but they made up for it on the other end, and IMO, Jackson was super impressive. He was 8/8 from the line (team went 20/22), which made it nearly impossible for Xavier to maintain any sort of run. Fun game. Hopefully, they build off of it.
     
  4. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    Markus Howard is shooting 100% from the free throw line this year. Yep, he's 51/51. He had 37 against Villanova yesterday, on the heels of his 52 against PC. Wow.
     
  5. CouchsideSteve

    CouchsideSteve Member SoSH Member

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    Some observations from last Saturday's upset over then-#5 Xavier:
    • Isaiah Jackson, while perhaps not in their "best five," is absolutely one of their five best players (they just happen to be stacked with 6'7" wings) and Cooley needs to ride with him through his cold streaks -- versatile scorer (inside/outside) and capable defender at multiple positions
    • Related to the above, when the opponent shades to a smaller lineup, the Friars should always respond in kind by playing Bullock at the 5. They lose very little rebounding swapping in Jackson for Young/Watson and become significantly better on offense. (Chris Mack called this out specifically in his post game comments.)
    • So far in Big East play, PC has the longest avg possession length, which makes sense given Cooley runs a pretty structured offense. The flip side is they have more than their share of heaves to beat the shot clock. Dating back to last year, Bullock was the de facto guy for these improv shots, and it isn't his game. Lately, Cartwright has stepped up to take those lower % looks and he's just a lot better at it... hit a couple of huge ones against Xavier
    KenPom now projects an 8-10 conference finish, which won't be enough to make the tournament given the weak OOC showing. 10 is the number, and here's what I see as the most viable path: Swept by Nova (let's be honest with ourselves); swept by Marquette (already suffered a gut punch loss at home); split with Xaiver (one in the bank), Seton Hall, Creighton and Butler; go out and sweep St. John's (one in the bank), DePaul and Georgetown.

    Granted there are many paths, but I think any serious one starts with a win over an improved DePaul team (Friars favored by 2pts on the road) and taking at least one of two at home against Butler and Creighton, before hitting the road for a brutal stretch in late-Jan.

    Final word on DePaul: We should see a highly motivated Friars team tomorrow night. DePaul has won only 5 conference games the past two season combined, two of which were against PC in games they squandered leads -- last year's being particularly awful.
     
  6. CouchsideSteve

    CouchsideSteve Member SoSH Member

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    Almost forgot: Cooley shortened the bench against Xavier for the first time all season, playing MAL sparingly and Edwards not at all. I think that’s going to be the formula versus the class of the Big East, though I’d expect tonight to be a broader rotation — Cooley’s always (rightly) coaching with a partial eye to the next season.

    Unique broadcast on FS1 if you’re around tonight: Both coaches mic’ed for the entirety of the game, no commercials. 8:30pm ET tip-off.
     
  7. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    This is amazing to watch with the coaches mic'ed up and no commercials. New world of access we've never seen before. Watching Cooley work the refs, timeouts, etc. Awesome.
     
  8. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    Diallo just got a cut, no foul call. Cooley yells at the ref "You don't just start bleeding on purpose. You don't bleed like that unless your a vampire.." Awesome.
     
  9. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    This is truly incredible to watch. I'm glued to it.
     
  10. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    I'm so enthralled with the coverage of this thing, that I've barely noticed how bad PC is playing to end the first half. I think they've scored 3 points in about 10 minutes, but still have a 1 point lead.
     
  11. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    PC hasn't scored a field goal in 8 minutes, and I think they've had about 7 point blank shots at the rim in which they've either gotten blocked, they just plain missed, or in one case, a PC player tapped a ball in that was halfway down anyway and got called for offensive goaltending.
     
  12. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    I think we're over 10 minutes of game time since PC scored a field goal. Disaster. Their offense literally cannot score.
     
  13. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    25-5 run for Depaul. PC doesn't have a field goal during that time.
     
  14. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    Watson is useless on both ends, IMO.

    Finally, a bucket for PC. Down 10 now.
     
  15. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    PC on a 13-0 run gets the lead back, after the 28-5 run by Depaul. Doing their damage on the defensive end.
     
  16. Mloaf71

    Mloaf71 lurker

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    17-0 run however the star of the night is Cooley with the mic
     
  17. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    Absolutely. I'm just glad someone else is watching this. This might be one of the most enjoyable sporting events I've seen in years, regardless of the outcome. Just fantastic to watch these coaches work, and even the little stuff we catch from the players is great.
     
  18. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    Diallo has been a monster during this run. He made some plays early on the offensive boards to get things going, and he's been awesome on the defensive end. And another offensive board leads to two foul shots, which he makes.
     
  19. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    PC is 13/20 from the line, but it's cost them even more than that, because I think at least 4 of the misses have come on the front end of the 1 and 1. They're up 9, but if they were making their free throws like they did against Xavier, this one would be over.
     
  20. CouchsideSteve

    CouchsideSteve Member SoSH Member

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    Truly captivating TV.

    Up 12 with 4:00 to play.
     
  21. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    Lead down to 8. Depaul trying to make a little run. PC ball coming out of the timeout. I think this is a big possession. PC scores here, and it's pretty comfortable. If not, and Depaul gets one on the other end, the sphincters get real tight.
     
  22. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    Jesus fucking Christ, 2 offensive rebounds, and Depaul finally makes a 3. 6 pint game, and now Depaul is coming back down again.
     
  23. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    And the sphincters are officially tight. 3 point game.
     
  24. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    PC getting killed on the boards. 15 offensive rebounds for Depaul, 44-32 overall. 14 more shots from the floor for them.
     
  25. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    Wow, crazy down the stretch, but PC at the line with a 6 point lead..7 seconds left.
     
  26. CouchsideSteve

    CouchsideSteve Member SoSH Member

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    Friars need to play better than that to beat Butler on Monday, but it will do — and it sure was fun.
     
  27. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    And PC gets the win. What a fun, entertaining way to watch a game. That was awesome.
     
  28. CouchsideSteve

    CouchsideSteve Member SoSH Member

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    I took notes of some of the more interesting quotes (more to follow), but a high level observation: DePaul’s coach (Leitao) spoke in the most generic and boring platitudes, while Cooley came off as really incisive and entertaining. Quite a contrast.
     
  29. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    I thought Leitao did way less coaching in-game than Cooley. Long stretches of complete silence from him.
     
  30. CouchsideSteve

    CouchsideSteve Member SoSH Member

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    Some more interesting quotes/observations from last night:
    • Both coaches jawed at the refs a ton, though I actually didn't think the game was called all that poorly by Big East standards
    • In an age of position-less basketball, Cooley still uses 1 through 5 to identify where his guys should be in his system (e.g., subs in Jackson, tells him to play the 4 and keep Lindsey at the 3)
    • Cooley in exasperation: "Why doesn't Nate rebound?" (same thing asked earlier in this thread!)
    • Cooley notes multiple times to his top assistant Battle that the big guys are playing lazy (i.e., Nate & Kalif)
    • Bullock asked back into the game with two fouls in the first half, Cooley responds that he's nervous, but does so shortly after
    • Cooley had them switching man and zone in the first half, but Lindsey asked to play more man in the 2nd half... and they did
    • Cooley proactively told Diallo to leave the refs alone; I had actually noticed he gabs a lot for a second year player
    • Cooley wasn't shy in critiquing the young players ("bad shot" after Diallo missed a 3; "sometime today" when he called Edwards from the bench and Edwards was slow to the scorer's table)
    • I did not hear a single negative word about the seniors Cartwright, Bullock and Lindsey -- granted they each played pretty well, but I thought it was interesting... a lot goes unspoken, I guess
    • Leitao had one funny quote: Asked one of the officials if he was feeling fatigued ("how much you reffin' this week, Wally?)
    Few more thoughts about the actual game:
    1. They played 18min with Bullock at the 5, which I think is the most so far this year
    2. All but two points came from Cartwright, Bullock, Lindsey, Diallo, & Jackson (i.e., Jackson is the de facto 5th guy, even though Watson starts -- and Jackson was great again)
    3. Jalen Lindsey has quietly been a force: Through 5 Big East games, he's 4th in Min%, 9th in ORtg, 4th in eFG% and 16th in TO% (granted he doesn't put the ball on the floor much)
    Expecting the Friars to open as a 1pt home underdog on Monday against Butler. If they can pull it out, I will officially be buying their NCAA tournament chances again (up to 31% today according to TeamRankings.com).
     
  31. CouchsideSteve

    CouchsideSteve Member SoSH Member

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    Cooley giving MAL and Edwards run early, and it has proved costly with awful turnovers on consecutive possessions. Butler has opened up a 9pt lead with 9min to play in the first half.
     
  32. CouchsideSteve

    CouchsideSteve Member SoSH Member

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    Friars cut it to 4 at the half, thanks to a pair of Lindsey threes. I generally refrain from criticizing Cooley, because he is an outstanding coach, but there’s no margin to develop MAL or help Edwards out of his funk in the second half of this game.
     
  33. CouchsideSteve

    CouchsideSteve Member SoSH Member

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    Cooley, clearly an SoSH lurker, plays his starters the first 8min of the second half, and now a 4pt deficit is an 8pt lead.
     
  34. CouchsideSteve

    CouchsideSteve Member SoSH Member

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    Wow, some hot shooting and impressive defense down the stretch — notably, a two-block possession by Kalif — produces a key win.

    4-2 through six Big East games is right where they want to be, though the next four are going to be tough: If they can steal two between: Home vs Creighton; @ Nova; @ Seton Hall and @ Marquette, they’ll be in great shape.
     
  35. moretsyndrome

    moretsyndrome Member SoSH Member

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    Solid victory, first half shooting and second half turnovers notwithstanding. Was excited until I heard at the end that they’d dedicated the game to Pop Lewis, who died suddenly last week. Now I’m sad...
     
  36. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    Wow, I hadn’t heard that. We’ll always have the Georgetown game.
     
  37. DukeSox

    DukeSox Rick Derris SoSH Member

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  38. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    Friars up 5 with less than 2 minutes to go, and the ball. Given up a couple easy looks on the defensive end down the stretch, but they've been answering on the other end, and maintaining this lead. Put this one away boys.
     
  39. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    Diallo takes it to the hoop, gets the blocking foul, makes the layup, and one...
     
  40. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    Great win. 12 point lead now with 40 seconds left. PC is 17/18 from the free throw line, and 12/12 in the 2nd half. Makes it almost impossible for teams to come from behind when you do that, and stay aggressive. Great games for both Diallo and Cartwright, especially Diallo with 21 points and 10 boards. They are running good right now.
     
  41. Mloaf71

    Mloaf71 lurker

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    When this team is healthy they live up to the high preseason expectations we all had. Today was very encouraging. Take 1 of the next 2 and we’re feeling real good about March.
     
  42. pdaj

    pdaj Member SoSH Member

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    Yesterday's game was a real enjoyable watch. During certain stretches, this team plays some of the best team basketball defensively that I've seen at Providence in a while. The interior defense is still an issue at times -- largely due to the inexperience of Young and Watson and Bullock's size when the Friars go small -- but, together, they're active, fast, and physical.

    Additionally, this team's offensive is a sum-greater-than-its-parts sort of thing. Aside from KC, I'm not sure there's another Friar that can take over a game, but everyone on the floor is a capable scorer. Bullock only had 10 yesterday and Lindsey added 9, yet the Friars still totaled 85 points, thanks to big contributions from Alpha and Cartwright. On any given night, those results may be flipped.

    It's been great to see Jackson continue to play well, also. If he can keep it going, the Friars are a helluva lot tougher. Getting White back yesterday was nice. I'm hoping he can get acclimated quickly and spell KC when needed, as well provide another offensive punch, when needed. Langford just doesn't seem ready quite yet.

    Alpha's going to be a stud in his final 2 years.
     
  43. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    Just tuned in, but sounds like the Friars have been leading for most of the first half. Nova just made 6 straight shots to take a 2 point lead. Hopefully, PC can keep it close and pull one out in the end.
     
  44. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    I should probably tune back out. Nova on a 10-0 run since I tuned in, and they now have a 9 point lead. Most of that damage done when Cooley tried to get Cartwright a rest.
     
  45. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    PC is +7 with Cartwright on the floor and -14 when he's on the bench. Kid needs to play the whole second half if they have a chance.
     
  46. CouchsideSteve

    CouchsideSteve Member SoSH Member

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    Been away, but wanted to check in with some more thoughts...

    I was at last Saturday's Creighton game, and while my memory of specific plays is a tad hazy due to a pre-game meet-up with some friends and a few beers during, suffice it to say that's exactly the style Cooley needs to play going forward. Short bench, smaller lineups (i.e., Bullock at the 5), switches on offense that generate mismatches on Bullock-Diallo-Jackson, each of whom who can post up a smaller guy or take a big off the dribble. Healthy Cartwright doing his thing; healthy Lindsey playing his ass off on D for nearly 40min, and nailing 3s at a higher % clip (and not putting the ball on the floor).

    Missed most of last night's game against Nova, but the stat line is familiar from losses earlier in the season. Less than 40% shooting from the field and more turnovers than the opponent -- in what is a pretty slow tempo offense by Big Easter standards to begin with -- just doesn't get it done, particularly not on the road against the #1 team in the country. As to be expected.

    So what's next? Well, both Lunardi and NBC Sports' brackets have the Friars back on the right side of the bubble. And more, both KenPom and TeamRankings.com project PC to finish 10-8 in conference play, which would all but assure those tournament projections. As for the path that leads there, it's likely going to require finishing the clean sweep of the conference's bottom-3 (i.e., Georgetown, DePaul & St. John's), plus either: A) Splitting the home-and-home with Seton Hall; or B) Stealing a road win against Butler or Marquette.

    A full 7 days off before the Friars take on an extremely talented but reeling Seton Hall team in Newark on Jan 31, followed by a Feb 3 matinee in Milwaukee against Marquette. Take one of those next two games (KenPom sets each as a 31% win prob) and PC will be in really solid shape.
     
  47. CouchsideSteve

    CouchsideSteve Member SoSH Member

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    Friars are back in action tonight after a 7 day layoff, visiting Seton Hall. I’ll be making the trek from Manhattan to Newark with a coworker as I have the past two years, hoping this time for a different result.

    The Pirates are really talented, albeit a bit underachieving so far in league play. They’ve opened as 6.5pt favorites, which feels right. Angel Delgado, their dominant big man — and now the Big East’s all-time leafing rebounder — all but forces Cooley to keep either Young or Watson on the floor at all times. Not ideal.

    Keys to victory? Play fast and spread the floor — the Friars have winnable perimeter matchups in terms of both size and athleticism. Also, even more so than usual, Cartwright needs to score and Bullock needs to stay out of foul trouble.
     
  48. Deathofthebambino

    Deathofthebambino Drive Carefully SoSH Member

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    Welp, that didn't go well. One of your keys, Cartwright scoring, couldn't have gone worse. He scored zero points, on 0-9 from the field. Not be outdone, Lindsey matched him with zero. Young/Watson played a combined 31 minutes and had 5 rebounds. Delgado had 14 in 37 minutes.

    That said, Diallo had a great night, scoring 25, and grabbing 10 boards. Not much else to cheer about though.
     
  49. CouchsideSteve

    CouchsideSteve Member SoSH Member

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    A big part of the no-show at Seton Hall was plain poor shooting. The defense was OK and they took good care of the ball, but the offense simply doesn’t work when the 3s aren’t falling — it’s the only offensive strength they have.

    So from an Xs and Os standpoint, I give them a pass. What concerned me, however, taking in the game from the 4th row, is how early Cartwright checked out. As Seton Hall was in the midst of a 19-0 first half run, he was having an animated conversation with Cooley while the ball was being inbounded; then early in the second half, he excused himself from a FT huddle, which the other four guys on the floor almost forcibly roped him back into. I think reading too much into the body language of college kids is silly, but something isn’t right with the chemistry — you could sense it going back to the OOC rut, when Cooley publicly called them soft (uncharacteristic of him).

    Tomorrow is a huge road game against what will assuredly be a very hungry Marquette team, and I have to say I’m not terribly optimistic.
     
  50. shawnrbu

    shawnrbu Member SoSH Member

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    Gottleib? Can we get Cooley mic'ed up again?
     

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