Where: Dunkin’ Donuts Center – Providence, RI
- Providence and Stony Brook will meet for the first time ever on Saturday. The Seawolves have only been playing at the Division I level since the 1999-00 season. Current Providence assistant coach Brian Blaney was a member of the staff that led the Seawolves transition from Division II to Division I. Blaney was on staff at Stony Brook from 1999-2004.
- Stony Brook comes to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Saturday with a 5-4 record on the season. Their last game was on December 6th at Princeton where the Seawolves fell, 77-64. The Seawolves are led in scoring and rebounding by junior forward Jameel Warney. Warney is averaging 15.4 points/game and 12.3 rebounds/game.
- Providence is 35-3 against the America East conference all time including a 2-0 record this season. The wins this season were against Albany in the season opener and against Binghamton as part of the Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic. Both games were played at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
- Providence’s win over Rhode Island on Wednesday night starts a new streak of home non-conference victories as the Friars had their 39 game home non-conference win streak snapped on Monday against the Brown Bears.
- I have yet to see a line for this game.
Note: Stats include games through December 11th vs D-1 teams only
Providence finally got back to their winning ways after a 3 game skid that included a 10 point home loss to crosstown rival Brown. The last game came against the state rival Rhode Island Rams and with Providence taking the game by 8 points and resembling the team that started 6-0 it appears the confidence is growing, if not back. The next step for this Friars squad is to take care of business against a team they should beat, especially in their own building.
Stony Brook is 5-4 on the season with losses to Georgia, Hofstra, Cincinnati and, most recently, Princeton. Their 5 wins came against Columbia, Merchant Marine Academy (Division III), Western Kentucky, LIU Brooklyn and St. Thomas Aquinas (Division II). While the losses may not look too bad the wins are not exactly impressive with 2 coming against teams that are not Division I. The Seawolves best player is junior forward Jameel Warney who is averaging a team high 15.4 points/game and an impressive 12.3 rebounds/game. At 6’8 Warney is the Seawolves’ tallest player besides junior Scott King (6’10) and freshman Jakub Petras (6’11) though King and Petras have only combined to play 136 total minutes in the 9 games this season. I expect Cooley and his staff to defend Warney like they did Yale’s 6’8 junior forward Justin Sears. Sears got into foul trouble most of the night and was held in check by the Friars’ defense to the tune of 7 points in 29 minutes.
Providence should also be able to force turnovers as Stony Brook has an offensive turnover % of 22.6% which ranks 290th nationally. Another big strength for this Friar team is blocks. They rank 49th in the nation in block % at 13.6%. Stony Brook’s offense relies on 2 point scoring very heavily to generate points to the tune of 2 pointers accounting for 60.6% of their offense. I look for the Friars to pack in the lane and force Stony Brook to settle for jumpers.
The Friars will look to build on last game’s offensive flow that was better but not great. Kris Dunn continued to score and do so efficiently but he was able to limit his turnovers against Rhode Island which was a big key to victory. Providence should be able to limit turnovers against this Seawolves team that has a defensive turnover % of only 17.6% which ranks them 286th nationally. The other big team to victory for Providence in that rivalry game was free throw shooting. Providence should be able to force their will inside against Stony Brook which will likely result in 20+ trips to the free throw line. Converting at a high percentage like the 80.8% of Wednesday night will go a long way towards keeping Stony Brook at arm’s length.
Prediction: Providence 75 Stony Brook 65
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