2015-16 Friars' Mens Basketball Thread: Dunn Guns for 3rd-straight NCAA Run

pdaj

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I didn't want to do this (again), but I'm not smart enough to figure out how to change last year's thread title following the recent forum upgrade. Mod(s), any chance we could have the couple of recent posts in the old thread moved here? If so, it'd be much appreciated. Thanks!

The 2015 Roster Breakdown:

Who's departed:

F LaDontae Henton (19.7 PPG, 6.5 RPG) -- Graduated
F Carson Desrosiers (6.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG) -- Graduated
F Tyler Harris (9.9 PPG, 4.0 RPG) -- Transferred *Auburn
C Paschal Chukwu (2.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG) -- Transferred *Syracuse

Who's returned (key players):


G Kris Dunn (15.6 PPG, 7.5 APG) -- Jr. *NBA bound
F Ben Bentil (6.4 PPG, 4.9 RPG) -- So.
F Rodney Bullock (No stats) -- RS So.
F Jalen Lindsey (3.8 PPG, 1.5 RPG) -- So.
G Kyron Cartwright (3.5 PPG, 2.6 APG) -- So.
G Junior Lombada (1.7 PPG, 1.4 APG) -- Jr.
G Tyree Chambers (No stats) -- RS Fr.

New additions:

F Quadree Smith -- 6'8", 285, Temple Hills, MD -- Fr.
F Ryan Fazekas -- 6'8", 205, Chesterton, IN -- Fr.
F/G Isaiah Jackson (8.7 PPG, 3.9 RPG) -- Transfer from George Mason; RS So. available next season
G Ricky Council, Jr. -- 6'5", 200, Durham, NC -- Fr.
G Drew Edwards -- 6'3", 185, Perry Hall, MD -- Fr.

Projected Starting Lineup to start the year:

PG Kris Dunn
SG Jalen Lindsey -- Will also see time at SF; *Suspended 1st 4 games?
SF Ryan Fazekas
PF Rodney Bullock
C Ben Bentil

Bench:

F Quadree Smith
G Junior Lombada
G Kyron Cartwright
________________
G Ricky Council, Jr.
G Drew Edwards
G Tyree Chambers

2015-16 Schedule:

Sat. Nov. 14 Harvard Providence, RI
Wed. Nov. 18 Illinois Providence, RI
Sat. Nov. 21 Brown Providence, RI
Thurs. Nov. 23 NJIT Providence, RI
Thurs. Nov. 26 Evansville Titan Gym
Fri. Nov. 27 Arizona/Santa Clara Titan Gym
Fri. Nov. 29 TBD Honda Center TBD
Wed. Dec. 2 Hartford Providence, RI
Sat. Dec. 5 Rhode Island Kingston, RI
Wed. Dec. 9 Boston College Providence, RI
Sat. Dec. 12 Bryant Providence, RI
Sat. Dec. 19 Rider Providence, RI
Mon. Dec. 21 Massachusetts Amherst, MA
Thurs. Dec. 31 Butler Indianapolis, IN
Sat. Jan. 2 St. John’s Providence, RI
Tues. Jan. 12 Creighton Omaha, NE
Sat. Jan 16 Seton Hall Providence, RI
Tues. Jan. 19 Butler Providence, RI
Sat. Jan. 23 Villanova Philadelphia, PA
Tues. Jan. 26 Xavier Providence, RI
Sat. Jan. 30 Georgetown Washington D.C.
Tues. Feb. 2 DePaul Chicago, IL
Sat. Feb. 6 Villanova Providence, RI
Wed. Feb. 10 Marquette Madison, WI
Sat. Feb. 13 Georgetown Providence, RI
Wed. Feb. 17 Xavier Cincinnati, OH
Thurs. Feb. 25 Seton Hall Newark, NJ
Sat. Feb. 27 DePaul Providence, RI
Wed. Mar. 2 Creighton Providence, RI
Sat. Mar. 5 St. John’s New York, NY

What I'm Excited About?:

Kris Dunn:
There's really not much to say here; the kid's a stud in every way imaginable. He's gotten plenty of POY hype, which is well-deserved. The lone concerns are 1) Health and 2) His tendency try and to do too much. Which leads me to ...

Rodney Bullock: This kid has gotten a lot of local hype early on, but some "party trouble" his first year and a knee injury last year delayed his Friar start. Last night's Harvard game marked the first of his college year, and he didn't disappoint -- 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks. He's quick, athletic, and has a scorer's skill set. I think he's this year's #2 scorer alongside Dunn.

Ryan Fazekas: I wasn't able to watch last night's game live, but I'm watching the replay now. Fazekas doesn't look like a freshman. Unlike a lot of tall, first-year wings, he's got a So./Jr. build already; and he didn't look overwhelmed at all playing in his first game. Additionally, he moves laterally better than I expected. He could be an average defender as early as this year. Not sure if he'll get out-muscled by stronger teams; I'm hoping he's got some toughness to him.

The Newcomers: Quadree, Council, and Edwards are logged some minutes last night and looked like they belonged. Smith's got to play, but it'll be interesting to see who emerges among the Edwards/Council/Chambers group. They'll have a chance early on with Lindsey unavailable the next few games.

What I'm Concerned About?

Size and Front Court Depth: This is a no-brainer. The Chukwu transfer (fuck you, 'Cuse) and the Alex Owens debacle has left this team relatively small and absolutely shallow up front. Any foul trouble or injury to Bentil or Bullock, and the Friars are fucked.

The #2 Spot: I now expect Fazekas to log a good # of minutes at SF. That being said, who's going to emerge as the man at the 2? Lindsey came to PC with a rep' as a scorer, but last season he couldn't put the ball on the floor and he shot just 36% from the floor and 33% from 3. Meanwhile, Lombada's supposed to be a "lock down" defender; and he's going to have to be to log serious minutes. He shot 32% from the floor and 18% from beyond the arch last year. I'm hoping one of the freshmen can emerge later in the year and serve as a pleasant surprise as a scorer.

The Early Going: To have a chance at an at-large bid, the Friars can't afford to stumble in the early going while they build chemistry and figure out player roles. Dunn and Bullock look ready to roll, so if Bentil and Fazekas can be decent, I think the wins will come.
 

HomeRunBaker

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To put in perspective how dominant Dunn was vs Harvard. He put up a 32/6/5/8 line......last season not a single D-1 player put up a 30/5/5/5 line all year. The beauty is that he missed 12 of his first 15 shots many in the paint so you can surmise that he left a lot out there yet still put up that line. Crazy.
 

CouchsideSteve

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It's going to be an absolute treat watching Dunn play this year. So for that reason alone, I'm very excited about the season.

That said, I'm obviously less bullish on the team's prospects than the day Dunn announced he was returning. The Harris transfer was expected, but it was a real gut punch to lose Chukwu so late in the spring. The preseason reports on Bullock have been glowing, and both Bentil & Lindsey are candidates to take big leaps this season... but they're going to be relying on major contributions from the Freshman in this bid for a 3rd straight NCAA Tournament appearance. I think they will do it, because Dunn is just that good, but the lack of front court depth stated above is a huge flaw.

I have a pair of season tickets and won't be making it up to PVD from NYC very often early in the year -- particularly with so many weeknight games. If anyone is interested in going to the NJIT, Hartford or BC games, shoot me a PM (no charge; just want to make sure they go to good use). I'll post other dates as they get closer.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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Decent home game OOC Gane tonight on FS1 VS Illinois... At least it's a power 5 conference team. So far, down one, 6-5 and seem to be rushing every shot.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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PC playing much of the game without Dunn, foul trouble. Went out of the game with 5:30 left with 2, and just picked up his 3rd 3:30 into the 2nd half. We will see what this team is made of. Up 6 now.
 

shawnrbu

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Eeked out a 1 point win against Illinois. I take it this is a relatively down year for Illinois considering they already lost to North Florida (trailing the whole game) and 4 of their 5 starters tonight combined for a total of 6 points?

Good to get a win against a Big 10 team when Dunn doesn't have to carry the load. I hope this isn't the second year in a row where the team can't shoot free throws. The teams the few years prior really spoiled me as they were at the top or near the top of the nation in free throw shooting.
 

CouchsideSteve

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Ugly win, but those types of swings in luck are ultimately huge for the tournament resume. Very important game.

Goes without saying that Dunn wasn't himself tonight, and Bullock's play was uneven. But on the plus side, Bentil was fantastic and I saw some good flashes from Fazekas & Lindsey.

They're obviously all in on this season with Dunn, but I'd love to see them hold together this core of Freshman and Sophomores. Could make for a very interesting team in another couple of years, too.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Dunn nearly singlehandedly put the clamps on the entire Illinois offense over the final 5 minutes. He took the game over defensively in a way that you simply do not see dunn in a basketball game.

This was a good game to see Cartwright step up which is very necessary because Lindsey sucks balls and there is only so many Junior Lomomba shot puts from the perimeter my remote control can withstand. I really like the frontcourt quickness of Bentil and Bullock along with their offensive versatility being able to step out and hit threes but Quadree is not yet a D-1 player much less a Big East one and Fazekas is soft as hell. One injury to The Killer B's and our season is shot. I hate you Paschal Chukwu.
 
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pdaj

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For me, it's Dunn's defensive effort and ability that really what makes him special and fun to watch. You just don't see that enough in today's game.

I don't think Lindsey/Fazekas are going to be on the floor together at the same time as much as I initially thought. I was down on Lindsey last year, and I don't think he'll have be a plus scorer for PC, but I do think he can be an above average defender who can excel offensively in transition. Dunn should help him out in that department.

Anyone else surprised at Cartwright's play thus far? He looks stronger and more confident, and it's looks as though his offensive game has improved. Also, he plays with toughness -- I love it. He may be a year ahead of the expectations I had for him.

Bullock's super smooth. Please, please let him stay healthy. If so, he's going to be a good one.

Lastly, with Bentil, when he flashes, my imagination goes crazy. With improved touch around the rim and a more consistent outside shot, he could easily become a top player in the next year or two. Similarly to Dunn and Cartwright, I love his energy. He plays hard.
 

HomeRunBaker

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A player generally makes his greatest improvement following his first year whether it be his freshman season of college to his sophomore year or in the NBA from ones rookie season to his second. So in this regard I'm not surprised to see Cartwright begin strong but we'll see if that can continue as the level of competition improves. If Lomomba can hit that open 3 consistently (man, I cringe watching those shot puts) he gives us as strong a defensive backcourt with Dunn as there is in the country and the best in The Big East.

Overall I like how this team is responding. They completely shut down the Illini offense down the stretch when they picked up their intensity when they had to then came back and waxed a Brown team that has beaten us two of the past three years. Granted this should be a down year for the Bears but we came out and took care of business......that is always a good sign of a well coached and focused team.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Tough spot tonight for the Friars against a fairly solid NJIT team as their bags are packed ready to fly out West in the morning for a holiday tournament.

No letdown for Dunn with 13/6/5/4......AT THE HALF!!! I'm pretty sure the only D-1 player with a quadruple double is former Celtic Lester Hudson.

Friar up double digits.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Providence 83
New Jersey Institute of Technology 76

Kris Dunn line:
22 Points
10 Rebounds
9 Assists
7 Steals
 
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NickEsasky

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Ice Cube ain't got shit on Kris Dunn. When he messes around he almost gets a quadruple double.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Impressive win over a real good Evansville team last night. They are coming off a 24-win season and NCAA tournament appearance while returning all five starters.......after a slow start we methodically dismantled them over the last 30 minutes. 11:30pm EST tonight is the semis vs. #11 Arizona who are tall and experienced but did not execute well at all in winning a one-possession game over previously 0-5 Santa Clara last night. It will be crucial for Bentil and Bullock to remain out of foul trouble early with the first 5-8 of this game dictating the tempo. We are going to need some quality minutes out of Quadray as well which is probably a stretch to expect much.
 

shawnrbu

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Evansville won the CIT last season.

Huge resume building game tonight against Arizona. Did anyone here attend the game at the Civic Center in 92 or 93 when PC routed Zona?
 

HomeRunBaker

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Nice win! It looks to me that Arizona is ranked based on reputation than actual ability after losing their starting backcourt. Sunday night is the big test because we know that Michigan State is legit.

Kris is a flat out killer when he smells blood with the game on the line!
 

pdaj

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No question -- I could see Arizona being a Top 25 team eventually, but they're not top 10-15.

Like far too many college hoops games, the refs practically ruined this one with their hair-trigger whistle. If Ryan Anderson wasn't such an out-of-shape, fat fuck, he would have been unstoppable. You couldn't put a body on him without a foul being called.

Big props to the "supporting cast" in this one. Bullock played 7 minutes in the 1st half, while Dunn played 9. In the second half, #3 got his 4th foul called with 10:44 to play.

HUGE 3 by Fazekas after the Wildcats went up 6-7, keeping the Friars in the game.

I love Ben Bentil. With him, Dunn, and Bullock, this team's taken on a tough, hungry mentality.
 

NoLastCall125

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Big game tonight for the Friars against #3 Michigan State. They have nothing to lose and although Michigan State is deep, PC might actually have slight size advantage so they hopefully won't be out rebounded as badly as they were against Arizona. State is deep though, so PC's biggest battle may be themselves - they need Bentil, Dunn and Bullock to stay out of foul trouble. This should be a fun game and I wouldn't be surprised to see PC ranked in the polls toward the back of the top 25 even if they lose, but make a game of it. If they win, I'd assume they'd be in the 15-20 range tomorrow, but that's a huge "if".
 

pdaj

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Despite the loss vs. MSU, I was really encouraged with how the team played for 35 minutes. They belonged.

Over the course of the season, Dunn's going to have to improve upon limiting the silly fouls. That 4th foul, in particular, was a poor decision. Additionally, Dunn needs to "let the game come to him", i.e. not force his offense. His ability to do these two things will be absolutely essential in big games.

12-1 going into conference play would be awesome, but it's likely the Friars will sill up at least once, but hopefully not more than that.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Whenever you have the best player in college basketball you have a chance to win a National Championship.....I truly believe this as we have history as a reference. Kris has a chance to lead The Big East in Scoring (currently 2nd), Assists (a lock), and Steals (also a lock).....while finishing in the Top-10 in Rebounding (currently 12th) and Blocked Shots (currently 10th).

It's rare to see one player dominate a college game like this and it's happening in our own backyard......and I get to hear daily updates from his insanely intense father!! Frickin awesome!!!

Btw, there is a non-zero chance of his Dad jumping the bench and strangling Jalen Lindsey at some point during the season.
 

NickEsasky

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Whenever you have the best player in college basketball you have a chance to win a National Championship.....I truly believe this as we have history as a reference. Kris has a chance to lead The Big East in Scoring (currently 2nd), Assists (a lock), and Steals (also a lock).....while finishing in the Top-10 in Rebounding (currently 12th) and Blocked Shots (currently 10th).

It's rare to see one player dominate a college game like this and it's happening in our own backyard......and I get to hear daily updates from his insanely intense father!! Frickin awesome!!!

Btw, there is a non-zero chance of his Dad jumping the bench and strangling Jalen Lindsey at some point during the season.
This is all true and I am obviously overjoyed he came back and I get to watch him lead this team and put up huge numbers. I just hope his knack for getting into foul trouble doesn't kill us in March.
 

NickEsasky

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Close call against URI but a win is a win. Huge game for Bentil.
 

pdaj

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Not sure what Cooley was thinking sitting Dunn, Bentil, and Bullock at the same time in the 1st half. 11-point lead quickly got erased, the place got loud, and URI carried the momentum into a 36-32 halftime lead. Between the bank shots, missed dunks, and 3-point makes from unlikely contributors, I was certain we had the recipe for an "upset" (the Rams were actually favored).

Awesome tip in by Bentil for the win. A "shove" was mentioned, but when a 6'8"-ish bulldozer boxes out a 6'0 guard, that's what happens.

I think URI's got a tough, athletic team. It'll be interesting to see how they do in conference play this season.
 

HomeRunBaker

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That was as idiotic coaching move as you will see by a D-1 Head Coach. You have inexperienced, limited-skilled players whose primary job is to spell "The Big 3" for a couple minutes at a time in a lineup where they can easily be hidden for a few possessions. Wtf is he doing throwing them to the wolves asking them to execute as a unit on both ends of the floor in what figures to be a tight game??? You can do that shit against Hartford last week or when Bryant visits next week......you don't do it in a hotly contested game that does nothing but put them in a position to fail.

Anyway, we escaped a great shooting night by some Ram players I'll be having nightmares of Jarvis Garrett banking in shots from the top of the key all night! The Bentil non-call was exactly that.....a non-call. That doesn't get a whistle during the course of the game when going over a guy a foot shorter......it certainly isn't a foul on a final possession when whistles get put away.

On to BC.
 

yeahlunchbox

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Anyway, we escaped a great shooting night by some Ram players I'll be having nightmares of Jarvis Garrett banking in shots from the top of the key all night! The Bentil non-call was exactly that.....a non-call. That doesn't get a whistle during the course of the game when going over a guy a foot shorter......it certainly isn't a foul on a final possession when whistles get put away.
This is the play in question. Bentil didn't "go over" Garrett and the shove was excessive for boxing out. Probably should have been called, but not surprised it wasn't.

 

NoLastCall125

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PC jumps from 23 to 15 in the AP poll. I know it's unlikely they don't lose another game in non-conference play (I'm assuming there will be an upset), but if so - that's three weeks without a defeat. A lot can happen with the other 14 teams and there's a chance they could be top 10 by the start of conference play. Crazy.
 

HomeRunBaker

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It's not crazy this is our reality this year once these guys came out of the gate showing how improved of a supporting cast we have. I'll say this repeatedly all year (maybe not here cuz that would get boring) but when you have the best player in college basketball on your team you have a chance to win 6 games in March/April. Providence College doesn't get many chances to win National Championships.......last year Hockey, this year Basketball? Why Not Us?
 
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Bleedred

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This is the play in question. Bentil didn't "go over" Garrett and the shove was excessive for boxing out. Probably should have been called, but not surprised it wasn't.

No dog in this hunt (Bates Grad, live in Needham, no Providence or URI ties). That push was a foul, in that it gave the offensive rebounder a clearer path to the ball coming off the rim. It wasn't an egregious push, but it very clearly gave the rebounder a decided advantage and should have been called.

Edit: spelling fix
 

Mloaf71

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Gutsy win! Dunn puking on the bench in the locker room, Bentil going down, no Fazekas and still a 14 point win.

Good experience for the young guys. This team is good!
 

HomeRunBaker

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Gutsy win! Dunn puking on the bench in the locker room, Bentil going down, no Fazekas and still a 14 point win.

Good experience for the young guys. This team is good!
Fazekas out indefinitely with mono and from my experiences this could be for the year or at least most of it.....Wtf!! Bentil is out for awhile now with an ankle and Dunn is still locked in his dorm room with a stomach virus.

The good news is that we play a horrific Bryant team on Saturday, possibly an even worse Rider team following the exam break with only UMass on the slate prior to the Dec 31th conference opener.
 

HomeRunBaker

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New SI has a feature on Dunn. HRB, you seem to be close with his father, who comes across as very a very like-ale and truly awesome person.

http://www.si.com/college-basketball/2015/12/11/kris-dunn-providence-friars-player-year-ed-cooley
It's a truly unique match for me on the outside as I grew up playing ball with Cooley in Sunday pickup games in Fox Point before the afternoon cookout at the Britto's house (there were like 17 Britto brothers and cousins who balled back then) and in the NP Summer League. Eddie's game was kinda like Sullinger in a way including his girth back then. He always had a strong head on his shoulders, always a leader, and when I moved away wasn't surprised to watch him climb the coaching ranks.

Big John told me that story of driving down to Virginia with his buddy to find Kris about 3-4 years ago. He's a big, passionate guy in great shape who looks like he could still play linebacker today. When he told me the story the passion came through......it was amazing to hear all the little details of that trip and the transition once he came back to CT. We'll hear this story nationally more and more as the year goes on I'm sure.

One thing this story doesn't say that John told me a long time ago......Louisville was after Kris the hardest but Cooley was the ONLY coach who discussed Education with John and Kris at length during the recruiting process. What the other coaches didn't know was that John was a disciplinarian who stressed education to his kids and that is THE reason he ended up at Providence. Also, John wanted Kris to enter the draft last year but left the final decision to Kris who was the one who made the final decision to return because he LOVES his teammates and working with God Shammgod. If God didn't return this year, Kris would have entered the draft last year.
 

pdaj

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Had Bentil not been able to suit up late in this one, today's game vs. Bryant would have ended in a loss. Thank goodness he was able to go. Meanwhile, Edwards had himself a bit of a coming out party, showing that he can shoot the rock a bit, while also being active defensively. I think he could be a 8-15 minute guy going forward, more so, of course, as long as Fazekas isn't available.

The mono thing is impossible to predict. For some, it passes quickly; and for others, it can linger for a while. I'm hoping Fazekas can return in time for conference play, but in the meantime, it presents an opportunity for Lindsey to play and improve.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Took care of business against Rider without Dunn who is still physically a mess from his virus. Word is that he may not play tomorrow vs. UMass either.
 

pdaj

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It's been hinted by some that the entire team was stricken with the virus at some point. Is it probable that the team got sick from playing the Eagles? If you can't beat e'm, infect e'm!

It's going to be a tough go on the road vs. UMass without Dunn. If "we" can somehow pull it out, however, there'll be 10 days of rest ahead before conference play begins.
 

HomeRunBaker

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It's been hinted by some that the entire team was stricken with the virus at some point. Is it probable that the team got sick from playing the Eagles? If you can't beat e'm, infect e'm!

It's going to be a tough go on the road vs. UMass without Dunn. If "we" can somehow pull it out, however, there'll be 10 days of rest ahead before conference play begins.
Dunn Update: He participated in a light practice today and will play tomorrow coming off the bench.
 

Mloaf71

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Top 10 in the AP Poll. Get Kris in the lineup tonight and finish the OOC schedule 12-1 with a huge NYE Top 10 match vs Butler to kickoff the BE slate.
 

shawnrbu

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24 point road win on the road at UMass. Outscored the Minutemen 45-33 in each Half. Bentil poured in a career high 32 to lead the scoring.

Next up is the aforementioned Top 10 clash at Butler on New Year's Eve. Great timing on this game as we can watch it as an appetizer to the College Football Playoff.
 

Mloaf71

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Boys looked sharp tonight. Dunn makes a huge difference. Him and Bentil have to be one of the best combos around and give the Friars a shot against anyone. Good to see Lindsay string together a few good games too.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Boys looked sharp tonight. Dunn makes a huge difference. Him and Bentil have to be one of the best combos around and give the Friars a shot against anyone. Good to see Lindsay string together a few good games too.
This has the looks of the best Friar team of All-Time. It's Dunn and Bentil playing as Ernie and Marvin as we'll have to two best players on the floor in virtually every game throughout the season. Yes and New Years Eve is set up to be an amazing family sports day.
 

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Big game today -- good test for the Friars. Tough venue to play at, playing a Butler team that has been equally as hot. Butler takes care of the ball and is very efficient on offense. Gonna be a tough matchup.