Game Notes & Preview: PC vs. St. John’s 2/4/14 #pcbb

Where: Dunkin’ Donuts Center – Providence, RI

When: 7:00pm

How: Fox Sports 1/WEEI 103.7 FM

Game Notes

Stat Review

In conference games this season, St. John’s is last in the Big East in FT Rate on offense (29.0) , likely because they seem to shoot so many jumpshots and “tough 2’s”. Also, the Johnnies give up the highest % of offensive rebounds in the conference (33.8%). They are the best at Turnover rate (20.2%), Block % (17.6% – nearly double the national avg), and Steal % (10.8%) though.

On the flipside, in conference games this season, Providence is leading the Big East in FT Rate on offense (47.3). The Friar offense pulls down the highest % of offensive rebounds in the conference (34.8%) and has the best Block rate (6.4%) and FT % (74.9%) in the Big East.

Game Preview

In the last matchup between these two teams on January 16th in Queens, PC got out to a fast start and then let St. John’s back into the game as the first half wore on. Ultimately, this would be a gutty performance by the entire squad but especially the man, the myth, the legend – Bryce Cotton. Cotton played all 50 minutes of that game including sinking the game winner in the 2nd overtime. Kadeem Batts played one of his better games of the year. He and Cotton worked the pick and roll nicely. Batts did most of his work on offense from the free throw line where he went 11/12. Hopefully Batts gets back to being aggressive and taking it hard to the rim because if he has another rough game, PC could very easily let this crucial home win slip away. There isn’t a ton of margin for error at this point in the season. The Friars need to take care of business at home, especially when they are nearly 5 point favorites.

Last game the group of Cotton, Batts, Henton and Harris accounted for 73 of PC’s 84 points or 87% of the scoring. Fortune and Desrosiers were the only other Friars to even score. Fortune’s only bucket, despite playing all 50 minutes, came just over 1 minute into the 1st overtime to tie the game at 72 and Desrosiers scored his 8 points in the first 35 minutes of the game but didn’t play much at all in either overtime session. It will be critical for the Friars to get production from at least 4 guys again tomorrow. I expect Cotton to put up around 20 points and Henton to put up around 15 points. After that, it’s kind of a mystery game to game. Harris played very well against DePaul on Saturday to rebound from a brutal game at Marquette on Thursday night. I think Harris will have another good game tomorrow and put up around 16 points. That gets PC to 51 points between those 3 players. Can Batts deliver 12-15 points? I believe he can and will. Fortune will try to do his best to slow down D’Angelo Harrison again but Harrison is playing much better lately as is the entire SJU team. Harrison led all scorers on Saturday with 27 points against Marquette. Chris Obekpa had 7 blocks against the Golden Eagles as well. This will be a different team than Providence saw less than 3 weeks ago. But it’s still a team coached by Steve Lavin and they haven’t really seemed to be able to get into any kind of rhythm on offense. They dribble the ball way too much and rely on guys like Harrison to create and hit tough shots. Many SJU fans complained about Lavin’s coaching during and after our game at Carnesseca and they had nothing but high praise for Ed Cooley.

The key to this game for the Friars will be to get Kadeem Batts involved early. In Providence’s 6 losses, Batts has averaged 7.5 ppg and only reached double digits once – the blowout loss against Villanova – when he scored 10 points in 27 minutes. In Providence’s 16 wins, Batts has averaged 13.8 ppg.

Prediction: St. John’s 65 Providence 67

#pcbb Opening Line: PC -4.5 vs. St. John’s

The line opened at PC -4.5 in Vegas. My numbers have this game as PC -2 (numbers don’t include home court and similar intangibles).

St. John’s 7-13 ATS 2-3 ATS Away
Providence 10-10-1 ATS 7-4 ATS Home

Betting Trends

  • St. John’s is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games
  • St. John’s is 1-6 SU in their last 7 road games
  • Providence is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games at home
  • Providence is 6-1 SU in their last 7 games at home
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of last 5 games these teams have played in Providence

Bracketology Update: Jerry Palm’s Updated Bracket #pcbb

CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm just came out with his new bracket and he has PC as a 10 seed in the South bracket (Raleigh) playing old Big East foe Pittsburgh who just dropped back to back ACC games against Duke and Virginia. I’ll have a full Bracketology update on Thursday at noon as I do every week.

Jerry Palm’s Latest Bracket Update

FriarBasketball.com’s Latest Provcast: Episode 6 featuring ESPN’s Jeff Goodman @pcbb

Excellent episode as usual from the guys over at FriarBasketball.com. Here is the breakdown of the episode:

http://friarbasketball.com/2014/02/01/provcast-episode-6/

http://friarbasketball.podomatic.com/entry/2014-02-01T11_14_20-08_00

Chapters:

Intro – 00:00-26:20
Discussion on the current state of the Friars and recruiting updates on Tarin Smith as well as the National Prep School Invitational

Campus Pulse Segment with Thomas Abbood – 26:41-51:49
Student attendance discussion

Jeff Goodman – 52:24-End
Bryce Cotton’s play, Ed Cooley’s Big East Coach of the Year chances, Ricky Ledo, his move from CBS to ESPN and PC’s NCAA Tournament chances

How #pcbb Can Boost Their RPI Today 2/3/14

There were no games of significance for the Friars yesterday but the weekend was a success overall with the road win at DePaul and Georgetown taking down #7 Michigan State at MSG. PC’s RPI is now at 37 (was 37).

Only one opportunity tonight for PC to make some RPI moves.

Per Jerry Palm’s “Palm Reader”:

Here’s how PC can boost their RPI today:

Game Info: 7:00 PM Fairfield is 9.5 underdog

#pcbb Links of the Day 2/3/14

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Poll: Will the students show up for the St. John’s game?

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