2021-22 Providence College Hoops: The Boys Are (Mostly) Back in Town

Deathofthebambino

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@RG33 Hey Rob, if they go to the west coast, I just talked to Marc D. and we officially named you the host of the party. See you in a couple weeks.

WE'RE THE FUCKING CHAMPIONS.

Thank you to @CouchsideSteve for these threads every year. I'm wrecked..
 

CouchsideSteve

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Incredible season. Can’t say enough about this group of kids and, of course, Ed Cooley.

But miles to go before we sleep, and miles to go before we sleep.
 

CouchsideSteve

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I’ll just add, the mental toughness to go from down 17 on the road against Butler in the second half to outlasting Xavier in a 3 OT battle to blowing out Creighton tonight… all in the course of 7 days.

Incredible.
 

RG33

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@RG33 Hey Rob, if they go to the west coast, I just talked to Marc D. and we officially named you the host of the party. See you in a couple weeks.

WE'RE THE FUCKING CHAMPIONS.

Thank you to @CouchsideSteve for these threads every year. I'm wrecked..
Done (although we’re still in a rental as our house is remodeled, but I will take care of accommodations either way).
 

PC Drunken Friar

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Another tough game vs. Nova. Thought they had a shot at the end.

I understand it's having confidence in your FT shooting, but I hate the intentional foul up 3 with less than 10 (or whatever) seconds left. Buzzer beaters are one of the most important plays in sports.
 

Mloaf71

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Jul 13, 2005
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Actually came away feeling pretty good. If AJ is hot in the post season that is huge.

With Durham tonight Cooley wouldn’t have had that lineup that gave the massive run at the end of the 1st. Might have been the difference.

These guys have proven they’ll be a tough out for anyone.
 

HomeRunBaker

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At least The Big East stopped with 6 players…..the SEC’s First Team consisted of NINE players!!!
 

moretsyndrome

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BET doesn't reseed, so it's the winner of Marquette/Creighton (which probably will end up being that).

This team will give me a stroke next week when they're down 1 to some Coppin St like team with 2 minutes left.
Damn, that's right. I always figured that since everyone's in the same building, they would reseed. Well, either way, this is definitely going to be a wild ride.
 

Mloaf71

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Durham might replace Aroyo as Saturn balls. Hadn’t hit a 3 since January, don’t think he’d made a FG since 2/26 and nails a clutch 3 to put them in front. The kid has ice in his veins.

I think tomorrows game the team comes out more relaxed and shoots much better. Hopefully a more relaxing win ahead of a stressful final
 

CouchsideSteve

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Stressful game yesterday. For as clutch as this team has been late, I thought Butler had us nailed.

New day, and a new opponent. I’ll be at MSG tonight. What a time to be a Friars fan. This group is special.

Edit: Have a bit of time on my commute, so adding some self-scouting…

Reasons to Be Bullish From Here
- The team is more *talented* than I think even our fans realize. Lucky at times, cohesive and well-coached almost always. But damn talented. Bynum is one of the 10-15 best guards in the country; Watson one of the 5-10 best bigs; I won’t put a number on it, but there aren’t many better wing defenders than Minaya; Croswell transformed his body in the off-season and chips in quality minutes; Durham is even better than expected; Horchler is every bit as good as we hoped; Breed wasn’t even a top 300 recruit in his class and is playing meaningful minutes for a top 10 team as a true Soph. Not to mention…
- Reeves has found his stroke and is as locked in as ever. It’s a completely different offense with him on top of his game. Playing solid D, too.
- The rest definitely appeared to help Al Durham
- This is a seasoned, battle tested group who doesn’t flinch. Xavier lost to Butler, because they made mental errors. St. John’s should have finished off Nova, but they had horrible shot selection in the last 6min. The Friars maximize possessions when it matters. Cool under pressure.

Reasons for Doubt
- When the 3s don’t fall, we’re extremely reliant on Durham slashing and Watson on the block. Zone defenses interrupt Cooley’s flex offense.
- Durham is rested but definitely not 100%. If he can’t go the team just isn’t as dynamic.
- Reeves and Minaya might be the ideal 3-and-D wing combo. The former is an A shooter and a B defender, while the latter is an A+ defender and a B shooter (despite what season %s say). But Reeves has been getting in foul trouble and Minaya’s style means an overzealous ref is always a risk. Those guys need to be playing 65+ min combined.
- We seem intent on forcing it in to Watson, even when teams decide to double him. This is my only minuscule critique of the coaching this year, but it might’ve cost us the last Nova game.
 
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CouchsideSteve

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We got demolished tonight. See first bullet under “Reasons for Doubt” — literally in control through 12 minutes, then run out of the gym over the last 28.

Better now than next week, but woof.
 

RG33

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We got demolished tonight. See first bullet under “Reasons for Doubt” — literally in control through 12 minutes, then run out of the gym over the last 28.

Better now than next week, but woof.
Yeah, that was not fun to watch and may cost them from a seeding standpoint. Hopefully this gets them pissed off and they come out strong next week. Disappointing either way as I reallyl wanted to see them play Nova again.
 

shawnrbu

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Lunardi has PC playing Vermont in a 4/13 matchup. Can that happen if they already played each other in the regular season?

Out of a potential matchup against South Dakota State, Chattanooga, UAB, Kent State or Princeton, anyone we would want to avoid?
 

HomeRunBaker

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Lunardi has PC playing Vermont in a 4/13 matchup. Can that happen if they already played each other in the regular season?

Out of a potential matchup against South Dakota State, Chattanooga, UAB, Kent State or Princeton, anyone we would want to avoid?
All of those 12/13 seed are going to be hungry and dangerous. My two favorites to get to the Sweet Sixteen out of those dozen or so teams are South Dakota St and Akron. I think the Jackrabbits could be an 11 so we’d dodge them. They are really good……swept through conference and was in a 1-pt game in the 2H at Alabama in December.
 

CouchsideSteve

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I don’t love playing a team that leads the nation in 3pt shooting, of course. But none of the 13 seeds are really pushovers:
  • Vermont: Ranked 59 in KenPom and clearly the best of the bunch, who we were ineligible to play Round 1 by virtue of our regular season matchup
  • S. Dakota St: Ranked 71 in KenPom -- fantastic offense, terrible defense. They haven't played a team inside the KenPom top 150 since Dec 15
  • Chattanooga: Ranked 72 in KenPom -- can't shoot 3s but pretty efficient on 2s, with size inside. They also played a much tougher schedule than S. Dakota St
  • Akron: Ranked 131 in KenPom and the weakest of the lot on paper, but top-heavy with a couple of really talented players
So overall, am I a bit nervous about S. Dakota St? Absolutely, yes. But the thin point spread is just a function of us dropping to the 40s in most of the metrics-based ranks. If this team is anywhere near as good as we think, Watson should feast in the post and Minaya will take away their best offensive player. If the coaches aren't able to fill in a game plan around those two competitive advantages, then we deserve to lose. I don't think we will, though.
 

HomeRunBaker

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All of those 12/13 seed are going to be hungry and dangerous. My two favorites to get to the Sweet Sixteen out of those dozen or so teams are South Dakota St and Akron. I think the Jackrabbits could be an 11 so we’d dodge them. They are really good……swept through conference and was in a 1-pt game in the 2H at Alabama in December.
Jesus. Why do I feel like we are 8-pt underdogs?
 

bsan34

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Vecenie in The Athletic summed up my feelings on the game pretty well. (So I at least don't feel like a complete bozo at the moment for the sentiment.)

https://theathletic.com/3183947/2022/03/15/ncaa-tournament-odds-and-expert-picks-in-a-tough-to-predict-first-round-sam-vecenie-has-four-games-to-target/

This is going to be one of the most popular upset picks of the year. Providence has been a metrics midget this season, and the lines tend to be built off of the metrics to start. Why have their metrics been so poor? Largely, it’s because despite going 25-5, their losses have been absolute disasters. They lost by 18 to a bad Virginia team early in the season, by 32 to Marquette midseason and by 27 to Creighton in the Big East tournament. On top of that, most of their wins have been close. They had 10 wins within five points.
Along with Providence’s struggles, South Dakota State has been on fire of late and one of the most impressive offensive mid-majors in a long time. Honestly, they probably should have been a 12-seed instead of Richmond. Led by Baylor Scheierman, a 6-foot-6 point wing who often runs a lot of their offense, the Jackrabbits are a top-15 offense nationally according to KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency metric. They hit 44 percent from 3, had the highest effective field goal percentage in college basketball, and do not turn the ball over. The team hasn’t lost since Dec. 15, but they also haven’t played a single top-140 opponent in that time, either. In total, most advanced metrics only have this as about a 20-to-30 slot ranking difference in terms of the two teams, a very close difference for a 4-13 matchup.
So yeah, it’s easy to see why the Jackrabbits are going to be a team to watch this week. But every year, I seem to make money zagging while everyone is on a popular 12-5 or 13-4 upset pick. And this seems to be the one this year where I’m against consensus, despite the obvious analytical warning signs that are absolutely real, and should be acknowledged. I think the analytics on Providence have been a bit off this year in large part due to their average margin of loss. I see them more as a solid top-25 team as opposed to a top-50 team. Their guards are really tough, and reliable — particularly in late game situations. Jared Bynum has really improved as a shooter and loves having the ball in his hands late. But there are two specific ways that I like this for Providence.
First, Providence has one of the best wing defenders in the country in Justin Minaya, the Big East Defensive Player of the Year and an egregious snub for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year watchlist. Scheierman is going to have his hands full dealing with Minaya, and my bet here is that we see Scheierman struggle a bit more than we’ve seen recently. Minaya’s length and toughness has a real chance to bother him. I’d bet that’s a matchup South Dakota State hunts to avoid, but I’m not sure they will.
Second, South Dakota State has actually been kind of a nightmare on defense this year. The offense is great, the defense is not. They are currently ranked outside of the top 200 in adjusted defensive efficiency according to KenPom, and the number of teams to have achieved upsets with a defense that poor are pretty low. Really, it’s just Oral Roberts beating Ohio State last year. In fact, the last team prior to Oral Roberts even ranked outside of the top 150 in adjusted defensive efficiency to pull off a 12-5 upset or greater was Norfolk State back in 2012. This game is going to have to look a lot like that one for South Dakota State to have a chance, as Norfolk made 52 percent of its 3s and averaged 1.33 points per possession. But also, led by longtime NBA big man Kyle O’Quinn that year, Norfolk was able to grab 13 offensive rebounds in that game. South Dakota State does not really hit the glass like that, and actually has a significant mismatch issue inside. Nate Watson is a 6-foot-10 monster on the interior, and I don’t really believe South Dakota State has anyone who can manage him.
This Jackrabbits team is super fun, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them come out fearless and give Providence a real run early. But I’m betting on one of the most experienced teams in the country in Providence — one with a proven track record of coming through in late game situations — to come out with a win. On top of that, anyone who has seen how excited the Providence community is about this team knows that this thing is likely going to feel like. The Pick: Providence -2.

tl;dr: PC's analytics are dragged down by getting blown out when they lose, Son of Omar is a weapon, SDSU's defense is worse than any typical upset candidate in this range, and they can't make up for that by rebounding because they have no answer for Watson.

I think this comes down to Watson and Minaya not getting in early foul trouble and SDSU not completely Pittsnogling PC out of the arena.
 

CouchsideSteve

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Vecenie in The Athletic summed up my feelings on the game pretty well. (So I at least don't feel like a complete bozo at the moment for the sentiment.)
Thanks for sharing. This made me feel a little better. Oddly, I have zero doubt that the newer guys — Minaya, Durham & Bynum — are going to show up strong. I’m more worried about Reeves being banged up again, and that Watson will refuse to pass out of double-teams and get frustrated/stifled.

LFG.
 

Mloaf71

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Jul 13, 2005
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Beyond pumped for this game even though I won't be able to watch until I get home on DVR.

I saw a tweet last night that Providence is the largest Liability in the NCAA tourney for the PointsBetUSA sportsbook. They have taken 84% of the money bet on the points spread on SDSU.

Crazy to think with that kind of disparity the line hasn't really moved since it was set.
 

DukeSox

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I have Prov in elite 8 so let’s get it going here guys cmon
 

CouchsideSteve

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It wasn’t pretty, but per ESPN we were never below 70% win probability in the second half.

Watson doesn’t look 100%, but Croswell stepped in with 9 rebounds — a few coming in big spots. Minaya held SDSU’s leading scorer mostly in check, and Durham-Bynum-Horchler made enough baskets to pull it out.

Flying up to Buffalo tomorrow night, hoping they can pull it out over Richmond. If anyone deserves some luck in basketball, it’s us.
 

CouchsideSteve

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Flew from Hartford to Buffalo with a connection at DCA. Outbound flight was delayed, so we juuuuuuuust made it onto the second leg. Luck of the Friars indeed.

Both of my Lyft drivers have mentioned seeing a lot of Friars in town this weekend. Small school, big heart.

LFG.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Really happy for this team, for Cooley, and SoSH’s Friar contingent. Super likable team. On to Chicago!
 

pdaj

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It’s been such a fun season. I wanted the Sweet 16 really, really badly; now it’s all gravy from here. I’m so happy for this group of young men!

I’m definitely flying to Chicago.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Dropping in here simply to say…..

F’IN YEAH!!!!!!!

Now let’s make the Jayhawks regret their first meeting with the Friars! Someone is winning this whole thing…..one of 16 teams….dare I say……

Why Not Us? WHY…NOT…US????
 

Mloaf71

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This time is unreal. Debating cashing in a babysitting card to make the trip to Chicago next weekend. Gotta make the call tomorrow.

There’s a part of me that says save it incase this team keeps winning.

Wish this season lasted another 3 months!
 

HomeRunBaker

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This time is unreal. Debating cashing in a babysitting card to make the trip to Chicago next weekend. Gotta make the call tomorrow.

There’s a part of me that says save it incase this team keeps winning.

Wish this season lasted another 3 months!
This Kansas team is far from a juggernaut. We wouldn’t be the first 7-pt underdog to win in March. Not to look too far ahead but hey why not……Miami (FL) is beating Auburn by 7 in the 1H for the PC/Kansas winner.
 

RG33

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I had thoughts about going to Chicago for the KU game — but we’re leaving the following day for our wedding anniversary trip to SF/Napa.

I’m still having thoughts. . . .
 

moondog80

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I had thoughts about going to Chicago for the KU game — but we’re leaving the following day for our wedding anniversary trip to SF/Napa.

I’m still having thoughts. . . .
If you can make it work, strongly consider that those who passed it up in 1997 had a 25 year wait before the next sweet 16 trip.
 

RG33

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If you can make it work, strongly consider that those who passed it up in 1997 had a 25 year wait before the next sweet 16 trip.
Oh I’m aware, I watched the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 game from London in 1997 on Spring Break our junior year with friends. My roommate was a walk-on on that team and we often had players at our place on Pembroke at parties etc.