Most Important Player: Geoff McDermott.
McDermott carved out an interesting role for himself in four years at Providence College. The point forward makes innovative, exceptional passes from the top of the key or within the closer confines of the painted area.
If PC needs a play made, McDermott is the man to facilitate said play.
Truthfully McD contributes more to the cause when coupled with a legitimate big man like graduated Herbert Hill. Currently PC is bogged down by predominantly ineffectual post players.
Defensive Principles: The Friars play a 2-3 matchup zone quite often. By matching up with offensive players the zone actually loses its form very quickly causing both the defense to scramble and the offense to fluster. Recovering and sliding side to side are critical to PC success on D.
The scrambling defense inadvertently encourages PC to break out and run the floor. Constantly moving on defense gets the feet moving.
X-Factor: Randall Hanke.
Returning from a redshirt year, Mr. Hanke displays startling production in marginal minutes. On the strength of 69% shooting, Hanke dumps in 7 ppg and 3 rpg. Proportionally expanded this Friars’ numbers would be a lofty 17 points and 7 rebounds a game.
Supreme footwork and end elevated determination enables Hanke to challenge everything on the offensive boards when he plays. Oddly he played fewer than ten minutes on nine occasions and over 25 minutes three different times.
How They Crumble or Stumble: The 2-3 zone Welsh implemented simply fails to challenge good shooters. The zone encourages opponents to shoot from the outside, which unfortunately they are doing exceptionally well. South Carolina, West Virginia, and Marquette easily broke down the zone. Even more than three teams made PC look like men plodding through the mire in goulashes.
Last season Tim Welsh took Providence to the post season for the first time in three years. Admittedly it was the NIT and they did lose in the first round to Bradley University.
When you are a lower tier Big East team, the NIT is not a complete joke. The players might not brag to their friends about a NIT appearance, but rest assured mom knows you have a game.
From He Who Knows Them Best: “When you build for your season you try to gameplan around your leading returning scorer. Sharaud Curry led us in minutes. He is our assist guy, plays defense at the top of the zone for us.” Head Coach Tim Welsh
Know This: Providence does not have the horses.
Replacing Hill would have been a tall task alone. The continued unanticipated absence of Sharaud Curry obliterated Friar hopes.