By Harry Dunne
Brown has been okay; Bryant, mediocre; and the Rams have been passable-at-best; and the Friars of Providence College have established themselves as the face of college basketball in the Ocean State.
Off to their second 4-0 start in three Ed Cooley seasons, the Friars have hit the ground running in 2013. After knocking off both Boston College and Brown, PC has won big in their most recent pair of games, albeit against Marist and Vermont, by margins of 45 and 31 respectively.
Providence's senior guard/forward combo of Bryce Cotton (20.0 Pts, 7.0 Ast) and Kadeem Batts (15.3, 8.5 Reb) have been the the core of both the offense and defense, with bountiful contributions from junior forward LaDontae Henton (17.3 Pts, 9.5 Reb) and impressive bench production from sophomore Kris Dunn (8.0 Ast, 3.0 Stl).
The Friars stand to do well within the newly reformed Big East Conference. The once mega conference has now split into the American Athletic and the "Catholic 8 (+2)," meaning no more battles with Louisville, UConn, and Cincinnati--and more rivalrous match ups with Villanova and Georgetown.
While PC looks to have a substantially successful 2013-14 season, their path is far from clear. They are currently en route to the U.S. Virgin Islands to face Vanderbilt in the first round of the Paradise Jam, an eight team tournament they could very well win. After that, they head to the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn for a huge test against the #4 Kentucky Wildcats.
All I know, is as a URI alum who bleeds Keaney Blue... I like this Friar team.
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