Saturday, January 31, 2009


January 31, 2009

Providence will look to earn their fifth straight win at UConn on Saturday afternoon, but the Huskies will look to treat their guests a little differently this time.

Providence improved to 6-2 in the Big East with their 100-94 win over Syracuse on Wednesday night. They will not be facing an team limping in like they did against the Orange, instead, they will be facing a UConn machine that has been humming along since opening conference play with a loss to Georgetown. The Huskies have run off eight consecutive wins and a ninth will likely propel them into the #1 spot in the polls come Monday.

Here are some pregame stories and previews:

Looking for a Big Basketball Game? Try Friars vs. UConn (Providence Journal)
Another Friar Roast (New Haven Register)
Providence Has Had UConn’s Number Past Several Years (Bristol Press)
Friars Visit UConn Today (Pawtucket Times)
Huskies-Friars Rivalry Always Intense (Norwich Bulletin)
First, There’s Providence (TheDay.com)

Things have fallen into place well for the Friars in the first half of conference play, but now is the time we will really see what they are made of. Not so much with a road trip to UConn, which is a tall order for any club, but this stretch of games ahead.

The win over Syracuse looks good on paper, but a deeper look shows that it was an Orange club not nearly at full strength, that is not the case with the Husky team they are seeing today.

“We’re looking forward to going on the road and trying to hang with them,” Keno Davis said this week during the conference call of coaches. “With UConn you’ve got a lot of guys that are going to be playing at the next level.”

The defensive ability and attention of a Jim Calhoun team will likely be much greater than what they saw against SU in their 100-94 win this week. While PC will have some confidence after their recent success against UConn, that will also provide plenty of incentive and motivation for the Huskies.

Hasheem Thabeet and Jeff Adrien will be very strong inside and the defense and quickness of the UConn guards should limit the PC backcourt. The Friars will look for the three-ball, but if it is not going in at a high rate, UConn will take this one going away and move into the No.1 spot in the polls on Monday.

NBE Blogger Prediction:

Connecticut 82
Providence 68



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