2017-18 Providence College Hoops: Great Expectations?

CouchsideSteve

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Apr 16, 2013
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Expanding on the Marquette game: Cooley did an outstanding job designing plays that isolated our big/physical wings like Diallo and Jackson on the Eagles’ smaller guards. It was the difference.

Tonight’s matchup against Georgetown is a potential trap game (PC favored by 7 at home). The Friars have had their way with the Hoyas the last three years, as JT3 ran an outmoded offense and never recruited quality backcourt players. While the latter is still true of Patrick Ewing’s 2017-18 squad, he can clearly coach and his kids are overachieving, despite the record.

Georgetown has size but lacks depth. Great opportunity to play small ball with Bullock at the 5, and run the Hoyas into the ground. A plodding, low-scoring game is not to PC’s advantage tonight, as it normally is against other Big East opponents.
 

CouchsideSteve

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There is no such thing as a bad Big East win, but the Hoyas had PC dead to rights (up 5 with 90s to play), thanks to another awful shooting night.

Isaiah Jackson was huge down the stretch, and though uneven, Cartwright made a couple of big plays when they were needed. Gotta feel good about the development of Alpha Diallo, too.

Survive and advance.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Apr 12, 2005
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Jackson has really impressed me since the Xavier game. 7/8 from the line again, clutch when they matter. Shooting 79.2% from the line this year, which isn't otherworldly, but he's made a lot of big ones in big spots (at least in the games I've been able to see).
 

CouchsideSteve

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Losing this game at home would be an enormous blight on the Friars’ NCAA resume. Cannot believe how bad they look in front of a sold out crowd on Family & Alumni Weekend.
 

CouchsideSteve

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Lindsey being out sucks, but I cannot believe the lineups Cooley is playing tonight, including the insertion of walk-on Tom Planek — which has served as a wake up call in the past — but backfired in a big way today.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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I remain pessimistic of this team's tournament chances if they lose today. They will need to now win four vs Villanova, Butler, Georgetown, Xavier, Seton Hall and St John's. I can see them losing 4 of those, easily.
 

CouchsideSteve

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Jon Rothstein, who despite being hyperbolic and easy to parody is as plugged in to the committee's thinking as anyone, called yesterday's loss "as surprising a league result" as he's seen covering college basketball. Yes, you can cite St. John's upsetting Villanova as a larger underdog as recently as last week, but when you consider the necessity of the win, the home-court advantage PC typically enjoys, and the sheer magnitude of the defeat (DePaul was >98% win probability by the U16 timeout), it's not a crazy statement.

Zooming out a bit, the loss dropped the Friar's NCAA tournament odds to 48% from 76% according to TeamRankings.com. Here's the remaining schedule with KenPom win %s:
  • vs. Nova (18%)
  • @ Butler (21%)
  • vs. Seton Hall (48%)
  • @ G'Town (46%)
  • @ Xavier (15%)
  • vs. St. John's (62%)
At 7-5 in conference, PC needs to go 3-3 to even be in tournament conversation, given the softness of their OOC resume and the blight of this DePaul loss. It's going to be tough: Seton Hall is a bad match-up and both Georgetown and St. John's are trending up. Even at 10-8, the Friars might need a Big East tournament win to lock in their 5th straight March Madness trip.

Ken Farrahar had a really good take on the state of Friartown basketball: Nonchalant Effort Puts Friars in Tough Spot. The tl;dr, reading between the lines, is that these seniors have had a pretty charmed career so far, yet there doesn't seem to be quite the sense of urgency we might expect from a team that's on the brink. You can only want the team to succeed as much as the players want it, but I would have to think a strong senior class doesn't want an otherwise extremely successful chapter in Providence basketball to end this way.
 

CouchsideSteve

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Every time this group of seniors has had their backs truly up against the wall, they’ve come through regardless of opponent. Whole team effort tonight. Wow.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Totally forgot they were playing tonight, until I just saw the box score, and umm, like, holy shit. Get crushed by DePaul, beat Villanova. Just like they drew it up, I guess.
 

CouchsideSteve

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The upset of Nova pushed PC’s tournament odds back up to 78% according to TeamRankings.com

The Friars opened as an 8.5pt underdog visiting Butler tomorrow. One of my season-long hot takes is that Butler is overrated by the advanced metrics (KenPom, Sagarin) because they’ve consistently blown out inferior opponents. I’m not sure I’d go quite so far as to pick the Friars to win, given the hostile atmosphere and desperation of a Butler team who has lost 3 straight, but they should keep it close. PC’s wings are plenty athletic enough to stay in front of Butler’s two star scorers (Baldwin & Martin), and the defense has generally been a strength in conference play. It’s going to be a question of staying out of foul trouble and making 3s. Game tips at noon on Fox.
 

NickEsasky

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It’s so frustrating just watching the Friar’s offense seemingly always disappear in the second half of games.
 

CouchsideSteve

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Same thing happened with the floor at the Dunk on a warm day last February against Marquette, and they decided to play through while forgiving travels attributed to the slick conditions. It was reckless and a bit surreal. Glad they suspended play today. It’s a horrible look for the program and can’t help in recruiting, despite being somewhat outside the school’s control.

Resuming play at noon tomorrow in Alumni Hall, with the Friars down 9. They played awful tonight, so maybe it gives them a boost, but I really doubt it. 4 of their last 7 halves of basketball (spanning tonight, Butler, Nova & DePaul) have been pitiful.
 

shawnrbu

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Not liking this team's chances to go into Georgetown and win with a noon tipoff on a Saturday. Feels like they absolutely need to win 2 out of 3 to finish the regular season.
 

CouchsideSteve

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Really disappointing finish yesterday. Friars cut the lead to 1, had momentum on their side, then let it slip away through a combination of missed FTs, turnovers and lazy fouls.

Guaranteed 4 more games: @ Georgetown (44% per KenPom); @ Xavier (15%); vs St. John’s (62%); then the Big East Tournament. TeamRankings.com, who I think is a pretty reliable source, has them with a 62% chance of making the tournament with two more wins, 93% with three more. That assumes, however, a quality BET opponent. Lose tomorrow and the odds could shift dramatically in the wrong direction.
 

CouchsideSteve

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Some reasons to feel optimistic, assuming a win today: Andy Katz has the Friars “locked in” despite the Seton Hall loss, and Bracket Matrix puts them on 72 of 80 brackets averaging out as a 10-seed.

Georgetown is talented and playing well. In the first matchup, Cartwright was a non-factor. The Hoyas’ weakness is in the backcourt, so the early play of Cartwright and Maliek White will be an important bellwether. I prefer that Cooley leans on a small lineup today: Let Govan and Derrickson get their 2s inside, but make them guard Bullock, Jackson & Diallo on the other end. Ewing has no depth if those guys are fatigued or in foul trouble.
 

CouchsideSteve

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Not surprising that the Friars fell at Xavier on senior night Wednesday. In fact, I’m impressed they hung as closely as they did with our seniors playing so poorly. Really encouraging performances out of MAL, Maliek & Nate Watson in particular. (To say nothing of Diallo who I’m convinced is the team’s best player now.)

Big one tomorrow at the Dunk hosting St. John’s. A win has them finishing no worse than 5th in the Big East regular season, and I think ensures a trip to Dayton at least. Add to that a W over Butler or Seton Hall in the Big East tournament, and I think PC earns a 9 or 10 seed.

Lose tomorrow? Hello, NIT. But I can’t see that happening on senior day, with Ponds questionable for the Johnnies.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Not surprising that the Friars fell at Xavier on senior night Wednesday. In fact, I’m impressed they hung as closely as they did with our seniors playing so poorly. Really encouraging performances out of MAL, Maliek & Nate Watson in particular. (To say nothing of Diallo who I’m convinced is the team’s best player now.)

Big one tomorrow at the Dunk hosting St. John’s. A win has them finishing no worse than 5th in the Big East regular season, and I think ensures a trip to Dayton at least. Add to that a W over Butler or Seton Hall in the Big East tournament, and I think PC earns a 9 or 10 seed.

Lose tomorrow? Hello, NIT. But I can’t see that happening on senior day, with Ponds questionable for the Johnnies.
Ponds is out today as well as Yakwe, a backup wing and the Johnnies are coming off a 2OT win on Wed night. There are no excuses for us in this game.
 

shawnrbu

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A win is a win.

PC will be the 3 seed if Creighton and Seton Hall lose today. In that scenario, would play the late game on Thursday against Marquette.

If Creighton wins, then PC is locked into the 4/5 game on Thursday afternoon playing the winner of Seton Hall/Butler later today.
 

shawnrbu

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For the 4th time in 5 years, PC plays in the 4/5 game in the second game of the day on Thursday afternoon. It is a vital opportunity to pick up another good win on the resume. A win and might be able to avoid the First Four if there are a normal number of bid stealers. A loss and I feel like Dayton is best case scenario.

Which teams should I be rooting to win their conference tourney to avoid the bubble shrinking?
 

moretsyndrome

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For the 4th time in 5 years, PC plays in the 4/5 game in the second game of the day on Thursday afternoon. It is a vital opportunity to pick up another good win on the resume. A win and might be able to avoid the First Four if there are a normal number of bid stealers. A loss and I feel like Dayton is best case scenario.

Which teams should I be rooting to win their conference tourney to avoid the bubble shrinking?
Basically, any regular season conference champs winning their tourneys on top of that helps. Rhody or the Bonnies taking the A-10 tourney and not letting a VCU or St. Joe's sneak in would be a good start.