Friars at Pirates: Building their case
Friday, February 28, 2014
Game time: 7:00 pm
Location: Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
Television: CBS Sports Network
Radio: WEEI 103.7 FM
The Last Time
Providence lost a heartbreaker to Seton Hall in double overtime on New Year's Eve at the Dunk 81-80. The key point of the game was when the Friars threw away an inbounds pass with 15 seconds left in the second overtime. Bryce Cotton led the Friars in scoring with 25 points and Tyler Harris added 22. The Pirates had a balanced scoring attack with Sterling Gibbs, Brandon Mobley, Brian Oliver and Patrik Auda all scoring in double figures.
Teague is Back
Seton Hall's Gene Teague did not play in the first matchup against the Friars. He will be in the lineup for Seton Hall on Friday and is currently averaging 10 points and 7.5 rebounds for the Pirates. One of the keys for the Friars will be to keep the 6'9 270 pound center off of the boards and out of the low post. While Seton Hall is not a strong overall rebounding team, Teague is 2nd in the Big East off of the offensive glass, 4th on the defensive glass.
Other Keys to the Game
It is very important for the Friars to get off to an early lead on the road, or at least keep the game close. With the Friars thin roster the team uses up too much energy trying to come back from behind in the second half of games. The Friars expend a lot less energy when they are in control of a game from the start. Kadeem Batts and Carson Desrosiers have to avoid the unnecessary fouls and stay out of foul trouble.
A player with Teague’s size can create foul problems for both of them if they are not careful. PC cannot afford to have multiple players foul out of this game. In the first matchup the Friars outrebounded the Pirates 41 -28. Despite the added presence of Teague for this game the Friars will once again need to control the boards in order to win the game.
PC has been shooting very well from three point range of late, making greater than 40% of their shots from the beyond the arc in each of the last three games, including a season high 65% in the road win at Butler. Hopefully, the hot shooting will continue against Seton Hall. In their first matchup PC shot only 29% from the three point stripe with Cotton going only 1-for-8. The Friars will need to make their share threes on Friday in order to win.
What it Means
This is another huge game for the Friars. In order to be in decent shape for an at-large spot in the NCAA tournament, PC will most likely need to reach 21 wins - which means they will need to win three of the next four games, including a game in the first round of the Big East Tournament. If the Friars lose to Seton Hall it would mean they would need to win three straight. This would be an extremely difficult task as their last regular season game is at Creighton, a tough place to play...on Senior Night for Doug McDermott, no less.