Game Notes & Preview: Providence (1-1, 0-0) vs Grambling St (1-1, 0-0) 11/19/16


Where: Dunkin’ Donuts Center – Providence, RI

When: 12:00pm EST

How: FS2 (Brian Custer & Tarik Turner)/WEEI 103.7 FM and Friars.com (John Rooke and Joe Hassett)/FriarTV

Game Notes

  • Providence and Grambling St will meet for the 1st time ever on Saturday. This game is part of the campus site portion of the 2016 Emerald Coast Classic.
  • Providence is 5-0 all-time against teams from the SWAC conference. The last time the Friars played a SWAC opponent was November 22, 2011 when Providence beat Southern, 59-53, as part of the South Padre Island Invitational. That game was played at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, as have all 5 games against SWAC teams.
  • Grambling St is 1-1 this season. They lost their opener on the road at East Carolina, 72-57, and then defeated North Carolina A&T, 59-55, in their home opener on Thursday. The Tigers are led by Shawn Walker, who is in his 3rd season at the helm of the Grambling St program. Senior Ervin Mitchell leads the Tigers in scoring at 13.5 points/game and junior Averyl Ugba grabs the most rebounds, averaging 6.5 rebounds/game.
  • Opening Line: Providence -27 vs Grambling St 11/19/16

Game Preview

Grambling St is one of the worst basketball programs in America. That’s actually a fact. They are currently ranked 342nd out of 351 by Kenpom.com and they finished the 2015-16 season ranked 345th. They have been ranked in the 300’s in Kenpom’s rankings every single year since he started in 2001-02, except for 2002-03 when they finished 298th. They’re bad and they have been for a while. This is a team Providence probably never would have scheduled, evidenced by the fact that the Friars have never played Grambling St before and this will be only the 6th time Providence has played a team from the SWAC conference, currently ranked 30th out of 31 conferences (I excluded Independents since that really isn’t a conference and Independents are ranked 32nd by Kenpom).

If you’re looking for some on-court knowledge ahead of this game that is part of the campus site portion of the 2016 Emerald Coast Classic, here’s something: Grambling St is vulnerable on the defensive glass. Providence hasn’t been an offensive rebounding juggernaut this season and they aren’t a very big frontline, but the Tigers have only secured 58.82% of defensive rebounds in their first two games. Compare that to Providence who has grabbed 78.95% of their defensive rebounds in their first two games (stats courtesy of Synergy Sports) and you can see why Kenpom ranks Grambling St 316th nationally in keeping opponent’s away from offensive rebounds.

The probable starters according to the game notes are:

Providence
Grambling St
  • Chase Cormier – #10 – Senior
  • Ervin Mitchell – #0 – Senior
  • Remond Brown – #4 – Senior
  • Deonte Hearns – #3 – Senior
  • Averyl Ugba – #11 – Junior

The keys to victory for Providence are to control the tempo and keep Grambling St away from offensive rebounds. The Tigers don’t run very often but they are very good at converting in transition, to the tune of 1.222 points/possession. Despite having a hard time keeping opponent’s from grabbing offensive rebounds, the Tigers have pulled down 35.29% of available offensive rebounds in their two games this season and converted those into 1.231 points/possession. In other words, Providence needs to play their normal style on offense and make sure the smaller Tigers don’t outrebound them.

Prediction: Providence 75 Grambling St 54

Follow me on Twitter @pcbb1917

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