Thursday, January 22, 2009


January 22, 2009

The Prudential Center in Newark (NJ) is the site to an interesting Big East contest tipping off at 7 PM. The Providence Friars, who were victorious on their home court over Cincinnati on Monday, return to action to meet the Seton Hall Pirates, who are getting desperate for a win.

The Friars completed a two-game sweep of Cincinnati this season as the rebounded from a disappointing loss at home Saturday night against Marquette, where they squandered a 13-point lead.

The Friars bounced back on an extremely short turn-around to get a win over Cincinnati to keep their conference record above .500. A road win tonight would give PC a little cushion ahead of a demanding three game stretch with games against Syracuse, Connecticut and their first of two with Villanova.

For the Pirates, they have lost seven of eight games after a surprising 8-1 start to their season. The losses were not limited to the Big East either as IUPUI came into the Prudential Center and won and they dropped a road game to James Madison. With a winnable stretch of games ahead, finding confidence in being able to win in the Big East will be a must.

Here are some pregame stories and previews on tonight’s game:

Xavier’s Toughness no Lost on SHU’s Gonzalez (Providence Journal)
PC at Seton Hall Preview (Providence Journal)

Here are two teams that are probably a little bit glad to see each other. Neither team tends to match-up very well with the brute force of many of the Big East’s top teams and both would rather get out and push the pedal to the medal a bit offensively and score some points.

With that, defense and rebounding will likely decide the winner and which team accepts the call to dictate the game in those areas will likely come out on top.

I actually believe that Providence does put their effort in on the defensive side of the ball. It will be challenged as Seton Hall will look to outscore them, but players like Geoff McDermott, Weyinmi Efejuku and Sharaud Curry have the potential to make life tough for Robert Mitchell, Jeremy Hazell and Eugene Harvey to get their points. No doubt they will get their points, but making them work a little harder for it will make Providence find it easier to get their own points.

PC will also find a little more consistency with their inside game as Randall Hanke and Jonathan Kale, while nothing exciting or special, will play consistent roles in this game. Mike Davis, John Garcia and Brandon Walters certainly could produce and play key roles, but nobody has an idea from game to game what the SHU plan is with the trio.

The linesmakers have the Friars as a slight 1 ½ point favorite. They have more depth and have shown the ability to rise defensively and on the boards to win this year in Big East play. Seton Hall, although they have played tougher teams, have yet to do so. So, until they show it…we will go with the Friars.

NBE Blogger Prediction:

Providence 80
Seton Hall 74



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