Providence will open their 2017-18 season against Houston Baptist on November 10th as part of the campus site portion of the 2017 2K Classic, per a release. The Friars will also face Belmont on November 22nd at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center as part of this event that will benefit Wounded Warrior Project. Providence is joined by Saint Louis, Virginia Tech and Washington as the four headline teams that will face-off at Madison Square Garden on November 16th and 17th in the Championship Round. Those matchups have yet to be announced.
In getting Houston Baptist and Belmont, Providence is getting two teams coming off postseason bids. Houston Baptist went 17-14 in 2016-17 and played in the CIT. Their final RPI was 185. The Huskies return their 3rd and 4th top scorers from that team. The 4th top returning scorer is Jalen Lindsey’s high school teammate Braxton Bonds. Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal noted that this game on November 10th could end up being played on Providence’s campus in Alumni Hall due to a potential conflict with the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Rhode Island Comic Con is scheduled to begin on November 10th at 3pm. The Friars have had to contend with this conflict and were forced to open their 2016-17 season 3 days later than most schools. It appears Ed Cooley is intent on getting started with the rest of college basketball for 2017-18. It’s unclear how seating would work with the number of season tickets sold for games at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center being greater than the total number of seats available at Alumni Hall.
Game could be played at Alumni Hall due to Dunk conflict https://t.co/A7LHdX6Osc
— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) May 18, 2017
Belmont went 23-7 and beat Georgia in the first round of the NIT before falling to Georgia Tech. Their final RPI was 58. The Bruins, who won the Ohio Valley Conference regular season title in 2016-17, lose their top two scorers from last season to graduation. However, returning to Belmont for his senior season is Austin Luke who led the team in assists at 7.1 per game. That was good enough for second in the nation last season. The Bruins leading returning scorer is Amanze Egekeze, who averaged 11.3 points/game while shooting 38.4% from beyond the arc.
Providence opening their season on November 10th, which is the first official day the 2017-18 season can begin, opens up the next week to possibly play in a Gavitt Tipoff game. The rumor has long been that Providence will play either Indiana or Minnesota in the Gavitt Tipoff Games this upcoming season, though no official announcement has been made as of yet. Here’s what is known so far for Providence’s 2017-18 schedule:
- Houston Baptist at home – November 10th
- Two of Saint Louis/Virginia Tech/Washington at MSG – November 16th and 17th
- Belmont at home – November 22nd
- Houston at Mohegan Sun Arena – December 20th
- Rhode Island at the Ryan Center
- Brown at home
- Massachusetts at the Mullins Center
- Boston College at home
That leaves up to 4 other open games that aren’t known yet, including the one that has been rumored to be part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games the week of November 13th. An announcement on the Gavitt Tipoff Games matchups is expected soon.
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