Saturday, January 12, 2008


January 12, 2008

Providence College will welcome the South Florida Bulls to the Dunkin' Donuts Center for a Big East match-up. Both the Bulls and Friars have identical 1-2 conference records. After losing two on the road, the Friars returned home to wax Rutgers. South Florida's lone conference victory was also a blowout against the Scarlet Knights.

Here is the Providence Journal Preview on the game:

Friars Wont Take Bulls Lightly (Providence Journal)

This is a game the Friars must have. it is tough to call such an early conference match-up a 'must-win', but Providence game into the season with high hopes and losing at home to USF would really make a successful conference season much more difficult.

One thing going in PC's favor is they should have Dwain Williams back in the line-up. With Sharaud Curry missing virtually the entire season to date, Williams has been thrust into the point guard role for the Friars. Although not a true point guard, Williams has been solid, but an ankle injury has kept him out of all Big East action and the Friar offense has struggled.

With Williams limited and Curry out, a guard-heavy attack has been hit pretty hard. Brian McKenzie, Jeff Xavier and Weyinmi Efejuku have continued to be productive, but their inexperience as playmakers and floor generals have made it tough on the offense as a whole to get going.

Rugged and versatile forward Geoff McDermott will be a very tough match-up for the Bulls. Pitt's Sam Young had his way with the USF forwards on Wednesday night, scoring 22 points, and McDermott should be able to get his share of points and rebounds.

In the middle, Randal Hanke will have his hands full with the bullish Kentrell Gransberry. The 6'8, 270 lb USF center is averaging a double-double and will look to lean on the much slighter Hanke. The Bulls must get the ball inside to Gransberry on nearly every posession and then work their way outside with Dominique Jones, one of the top freshman scorers in the country.

This promises to be a pretty good game. USF has a very solid set of athletes on the perimeter and they will be tested against PC. Gransberry is a definite match-up issue for the Friars, who tend to play small line-ups often. I think the wildcard is Geoff McDermott and USF has no answer at the forward position for him.

NBE Blogger Prediction: Providence 77 South Florida 73



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