Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Previewing Providence

Foe: Providence Friars (14-7)(6-3)

Recent History: Villanova has had recent success against the Friars. Nova is 48-34 all-time, winning the last five, including three straight at the Dunkin Donuts Center. Last season Nova won 73-63 at Providence in a balanced effort with four Wildcats in double figures. Dwayne Anderson led the way with 17 points and 11 rebounds. The Friars were led by Randall Hanke (18 pts), Jeff Xavier (14 pts), and Weyinmi Efejuju (14 pts). Efejuku and Marshon Brooks are the leading scorers this year at around 13 a game, but Providence has five other players avergaing right around 10 points. They have a balanced team with any of those seven capable of leading the team on any given night.

Best Win: 100-94 vs. #15 Syracuse

Worst Loss: 70-66 vs. Northeastern

Famous Alumni: Peter Farrelly, Billy Donovan, Ryan Gomes, God Shammgod, John Thompson, Lenny Wilkens

Fun Facts:
  • Providence is the only college in North American administered by the Dominican Order of Friars; hence the nickname.
  • Providence went to Final Four in 1973 and 1987.
  • Providence's only athletic national championship came in 1996 cross country.

Complimentary Youtube Video: WARNING: Don't foul Jeff Xavier, or you'll have to answer to his brother...

Final Verdict: Providence is a surprising 6-3 in the Big East. Most of their wins have come against the bottom dwellers, but they are still a dangerous team, especially at home. Nova has played well at the Dunkin Donuts Center and is riding a hot 3-game winning streak. I think Nova wins in a close game, with Scottie Reynolds having a big scoring night.

TV: 8:00 ESPN Full Court

Links: VUHoops, AP, IBBW, VBTN, LGN

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