Editor, Dave Klinger (Photo: Marquette Athletics)
College basketball season is quickly approaching. In an effort to preview it, we spoke with ten bloggers or writers, each covering a different Big East men’s basketball team. Today, we have a conversation with pcbb1917.com, a blog by Mike Hopkins covering Providence hoops. Get to know your enemy by reading their answers below. Lastly, we asked them to rank the Big East.
2015-16 Record: 23-10 overall, 10-8 conference
Postseason: 9-seed in NCAA Tournament, lost to North Carolina in Round of 32
Why will Providence win?
PCBB: Providence will win because they have a core of experienced returning players–Rodney Bullock, Kyron Cartwright, Jalen Lindsey, Ryan Fazekas and Drew Edwards–combined with experienced transfers Isaiah Jackson and Emmitt Holt. Bullock has the potential to be a player who leads the Big East in scoring and Cartwright appears poised to take over as the team’s leader, both as the point guard and in the locker room.
Why will Providence lose?
PCBB: Providence will lose because, though they have some experienced players, they won’t be able to fully replace what they lost when Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil left for the NBA last spring. Bullock will be a pretty good scorer, but beyond him there is no one else that has proven they can score the ball consistently in the Big East. The Friars had the worst 3-point shooting percentage in the Big East last season during conference play at just 31.2%. Shooting will likely continue to be an issue for the 2016-17 squad. The other weakness will be rebounding where Providence also finished last in conference play a season ago at giving up the highest Offensive Rebound % in the Big East at 31.3%. (Stats are per kenpom.com)
What’s Providence’s ceiling and floor?
PCBB: Providence has been pretty good at outperforming preseason expectations of the league’s coaches. My best guess at their floor is 9th in the Big East if they don’t have a player or two take a step forward and/or if their young players don’t contribute as expected. Their ceiling is probably 4th and to get there would require Bullock to up his game, Cartwright to expand his role as a scorer and for at least one of the newcomers to make a significant impact.
Who should I be afraid of…and why?
PCBB: Rodney Bullock will be Providence’s best player. He’s the guy teams will focus on in the scouting report. He has a chance to up his scoring into the 15-18 PPG range and will get plenty of shots on a team without Dunn, Bentil or really any other big-time shot taker/scorer. Bullock will only be in his second season of college basketball despite this being his 4th year at Providence, so inconsistency will be something he has to avoid, but he should be able to carry Providence for stretches, certainly in the non-conference.
Rank the Big East.
4. Seton Hall
9. St. John’s
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