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Men’s Basketball Preview: Providence Friars @ Boston College Eagles

Is this a basketball rivalry yet?

NCAA Basketball: Providence at Boston College Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Providence Friars (6-2) travel up to Conte Forum to take on a surging Boston College (6-1) for what will be the toughest test so far. It’s a classic Northeast pseudo-rivalry “would-be-big-if-the-Northeast-cared-more-about-college-sports.” The Friars have made the past 5 NCAA Tournaments from a tough Big East, and return with a talented led by Alpha Diallo, who’s nearly averaging a double-double with 17-9 on the season.

Keys to the Game

The Eagles have played really well in the past few games when they run their offense through half court and transition. The defense hasn’t been bad either, though keeping near Reeves and Diallo (both 40%+ 3-point shooters) is essential. Where they struggle? The press. If the Eagles get out to a lead, Ed Cooley will dial up the pressure to gain possessions.

Providence’s Strengths

Providence is a solid all around team. They’re 35% three-point shooters. They average 71 ppg on an incredibly balanced rotation. They blend youth and experience (both AJ Reeves and David Duke are true freshmen). At the end of the day, Ed Cooley is a great coach who will always have his teams ready to play.

They’re great on the offensive glass. A third of their rebounds are on offense, and they average nearly 12 per game. Rebounds were a major factor when the Eagles game lost their only game of the year against IUPUI, and a similar lethargy will absolutely be punished by the Friars.

Friar Player To Watch

I’m gonna cheat here and say two players (call it hedging my bets).

The obvious player to keep an eye on is Diallo. He’s preseason All-Big East and a crazy talented player on both ends of the floor. He averages 17-9-4 on the year and can score in a variety of ways.

The second player that scares me is Emmitt Holt. The 6-7 Senior from Rochester has been really slow to come back from injury two years ago and has been held out the past few games. But when he gets going he gets going. BC has a trend of being the breakout game for certain players (at least during my tenure here).

Food of the Game

Fried anything. Fried Chicken, buffalo wings, chicken fried steak, chicken tenders, fried okra, fried fish, man I don’t care. Just fire up the friar (badum tsssss) and grab a seat on the couch.


Matt: 76-70 PC

Toppin: 75-71 BC

Katie: 78-72 BC

Hoff: 74-73 BC

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