After failing to find someone to help with the Bulls Recon before our first matchup of the season, Kevin from Friar Basketball was nice enough to answer some questions before our return game in Providence. In this edition, we talked about Providence's recruiting class, Marshon Brooks, and Dunkin Donuts.
1. A lot has changed since the last time we met in Tampa. What did you all do differently to beat Louisville and Villanova?
Providence is a different team at home than on the road. They had a four point lead with a minute and a half left before blowing it late versus Pittsburgh and lost a lead in the final two minutes versus St. John's before beating Louisville and Nova at home.
USF caught them at the tail end of a horrific road trip in which they were dominated in the second half against Rutgers, lost by 30 to West Virginia, and then blew the 16 point first half lead against the Bulls. They looked just as bad on the road Sunday versus Seton Hall.
A mistake both Louisville and Villanova made was to pressure Vincent Council. He picks teams apart when pressured full court. This is a poor shooting Friar team and when teams allow Council to attack it makes them a different offensive team.
Defensively, Keno Davis has scrapped the soft 2-2-1 press that had been picked apart and simply trusted his guys to defend in the halfcourt in the wins over the ranked teams.
2. Marshon Brooks has been compared by some to Dominique Jones. Do you think that's a fair comparison?
They are different types of players, as Brooks is more of a herky jerky scorer who draws fouls on up-fakes and can shoot it from three, whereas Jones was better at taking it all the way to the rim, but they are similar in the sense that they both seemed to end up with 20+ points even on nights when they didn't have it going.
Providence fans still have nightmares of Jones' 46 point performance at the Dunk.
3. Who does Coach Davis have coming to Providence next season?
The Friars received a commitment from Ricardo Ledo, the 11th ranked junior in the country per ESPN, and there is a good deal of speculation that he could reclassify and come to Providence next year. Obviously, PC fans are hoping to get him on campus as soon as possible. (ed note: Ledo decommitted from Providence yesterday.)
The other two signings are under the radar types: Markus Crider, a small forward from Ohio and Kyan Anderson, a point guard out of Texas. Neither are top 100 types, but Friar fans are hoping that Crider is the next in a line of underrated forwards who developed here (Brooks, Gomes, etc).
Last week Providence welcomed Todd Mayo to campus. Mayo is a 2011 guard and the younger brother of OJ Mayo. He's blown up this year and his recruitment has taken off, as the likes of Marquette, Kansas, Baylor, and West Virginia are now involved. He's on a loaded Notre Dame Prep (MA) team with Ledo, Khem Birch (Pitt), Angel Nunez (Louisville), Myles Davis, Sam Cassell Jr. and Grandy Glaze (UNLV).
4. Since you guys play at the Dunkin' Donuts Center I have to ask, what do you get when you stop by DD?
I've only had one cup of coffee in my life and hated it, which is disappointing as they give away free samples outside of the arena on a regular basis. I'm more of a donut than bagel guy and help myself to a chocolate frosted every once in a while.
Sometimes these guys show up to games.
5. Any predictions for the game Wednesday?
Providence is 13-9, but 13-2 at home, with the aforementioned losses to Pitt and St. John's late being their only two home setbacks this season. As bad as they've looked at times, they are two last minute slip ups from being 15-0 at the Dunk.
The trip to Rhode Island is a long one and it won't be any easier this week as a big snowstorm (yes, another) is projected for when the Bulls travel up here.
Those two factors lead me to believe Providence should pull out a close one, but they were so bad Sunday against Seton Hall that it's hard to feel confident about predicting a W.
If PC can do a better job defending the paint they should pull this one out.