Will the Providence Friars Have Momentum Heading into the Big East Tournament?
The Friars are currently 10-11 overall and 2-7 in Big East play. However, the Friars have lost seven games that could have gone either way and would dramatically change their record. They lost three games to the Pittsburgh Panthers, Syracuse Orangemen and Massachusetts Minutemen by a combined score of 12 points.
Unfortunately, the Friars also lost games to the Penn State Nittany Lions (by three points in overtime), to the Boston College Eagles (three points), the Brown Bears (one point) and the DePaul Blue Demons (by 10 points). Clearly if the Friars could have pulled out even half of these games, their record and season would be looking much different.
Nevertheless, head coach Ed Cooley is very optimistic about what he is building with his Friars. Cooley, a Providence native, has tons of pride in the program and knows it will be a building process to get the Friars back to their winning ways.
Cooley wasted no time in the recruiting process as he landed highly-touted Providence native Ricardo Ledo his past season, but he was deemed as a partial qualifier so he is not playing this year. Ledo was ranked No. 22 in the ESPNU Class of 2012. Kris Dunn, another solid 2012 recruit, is starting this season for the Friars averaging 6.4 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game, shooting 35% for the season.
As the season continues, the Friars will continue to gel and may just find a way to win some close games that have eluded them for the most part this season.
The Friars remaining Big East schedule is relatively mild by Big East standards. The Friars toughest games are the No. 24 ranked Cincinnati Bearcats and the No. 6 ranked Orangemen again before heading to Madison Square Garden.
Providence should be able to rally off some wins again equal or lesser talent that will give them some much needed momentum heading into Championship Week. With some momentum, no team in the conference will want to play this upset-minded team in the Big East Tournament.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo