Game Notes & Preview: Providence (14-10, 4-7) at Seton Hall (14-8, 4-6) 2/8/17

Where: Prudential Center – Newark, NJ

When: 8:30pm EST

How: FS1 (Brian Custer & Vin Parise)/Fox Sports GO (Where Available)/WEEI 103.7 FM and Friars.com (John Rooke and Joe Hassett)/FriarTV

Game Notes

  • Providence and Seton Hall will meet for the 101st time ever on Wednesday. The Friars lead the all-time series, 52-48. Providence is 21-27 all-time at Seton Hall. The Friars defeated the Pirates, 65-61, earlier this season in Providence at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on January 14th. Seton Hall defeated Providence, 70-52, last time the two teams met at the Prudential Center on February 25, 2016.
  • Providence is 2-6 this season on the road against an 11-3 record at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The Friars are also 1-1 on neutral courts. Providence’s most recent road win came on January 28th at Marquette. It marked Providence’s first ever win against the Golden Eagles in Milwaukee after being 0-10 coming into that game.
  • Seton Hall is 14-8 this season, including a 4-6 Big East record. The Pirates went 1-1 last week. Their loss was at Xavier last Wednesday and they beat Georgetown in overtime on Saturday at the Verizon Center. Seton Hall was picked to finish t-4th in the preseason Big East Coaches’ Poll. The Pirates are led by Kevin Willard, who is in his 7th season at the helm of the Seton Hall program. Junior Khadeen Carrington leads the Pirates in scoring at 16.6 points/game, which ranks him eighth in the Big East. Junior Angel Delgado leads the team in rebounding,  averaging 13.1 rebounds/game, which ranks him tops in the Big East.
  • Opening Line: Providence +6 at Seton Hall 2/8/17

Game Preview

Providence is coming off their first of two week-long breaks that each team in the Big East if afforded along the way of the brutal conference season. The Friars are the last of the 10 schools to get their initial breather, a fact not unmentioned by Ed Cooley. Last time out for Providence was a valiant effort against then 4th-ranked Villanova at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on February 1st that resulted in a, 66-57, win by the Wildcats. Prior to that the Friars knocked a big monkey of their collective backs by defeating Marquette in Milwaukee for the first time in their 11th try. The Friars will be looking for some road revenge when they travel to the Prudential Center for this late Wednesday night tip after the Pirates steamrolled Providence last February behind a huge game by Isaiah Whitehead. Providence held home court against the Pirates almost a month ago behind 22 points from Rodney Bullock, 20 points from Emmitt Holt and 20 points and 8 assists by Kyron Cartwright. Those 3 Friars accounted for 62 of Providence’s 65 points in that win. That game was also the first one that freshman Alpha Diallo started on merit alone after starting the prior game at DePaul because of Jalen Lindsey‘s hand injury forcing the junior to miss that game in Chicago.

Seton Hall returns home from a two-game road trip where they split contests with the loss being at Xavier last Wednesday and the win being in overtime at Georgetown on Saturday. Angel Delgado was largely contained the last time these two teams met at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center but he still managed 12 points and 16 rebounds. Part of Providence’s success was only allowing the Big East’s leading rebounder to grab 2 offensive boards that night, though they did allow Seton Hall to pull down 13 of their own misses for the game. The key is that the Pirates only turned those 13 offensive rebounds into 10 points. Desi Rodriguez created some problems for Providence’s defenders last month and led the way for Seton Hall with 20 points. Keep an eye on the status of Ish Sanogo who turned his ankle near the end of regulation in Seton Hall’s win on Saturday against Georgetown. Sanogo is one of the Big East’ best defenders.

UPDATE: Sanogo is out, per Kevin Willard.

The probable starters according to the game notes are:

Providence
Seton Hall

The keys to victory for Providence are to keep Seton Hall from getting too many second chances and get points in transition. As I mentioned above, Providence managed to give up 13 offensive rebounds the last time these teams played about 3 weeks ago, but the Friars were able to ensure that Seton Hall only turned those second chances into 10 points. Seton Hall is a very inefficient offensive team. The have the highest Turnover % in league play among all Big East teams, the worst 3P%, FT% and second-worst Effective FG%. Securing second chances is a great way to help out their inefficient shooting. Providence needs to avoid that. Delgado will get his rebounding numbers because he averages 8.5 defensive rebounds/game but keeping him away from the offensive boards will be critical.

When Providence pushes the tempo they have been a better offensive team and certainly more fun to watch. The Friars average 1.123 points per possession in transition, ranks 70th nationally. On the flip side, Seton Hall has struggled in transition defense, allowing 1.038 points per possession which ranks 216th nationally. Kyron Cartwright needs to push the pace and get Providence some easy baskets on the road. Easy baskets in transition has been a recipe for improved defense at the other end for the Friars much of this season.

Prediction: Providence 69 Seton Hall 73

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