As noted by the illustrious blog Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician, we here in snowy upstate NY are having some spare time. In the greatest rendition of Europe's classic (?) song, our 'Cuse faithful seem to know how to rock out in time for the stretch run.
Coming into this game against Providence, the boys are 19-8 (8-5) and looking to hit the 20 win plateau. Whether the number is quite as magic now as it used to be will remain to be seen come Selection Sunday. Ironically enough this match up seems to showcase two of the most prolific scoring teams and also the most horrific defensive teams in the conference. Providence comes in at #2 in scoring offense at 72.7ppg, while #14 on "D" giving up 70.2ppg. The Cuse contrarily is #3 on "O" at 71.7ppg, and gives up 69.2(#12). Rationally it should be a high flying affair.
We need some huge play from our big men this week, as Herbert Hill has shown himself as a force to be reckoned with in the post, and is 0.1ppg ahead of Nichols for the season scoring lead during BE play. The Friars are 2nd in the BE in rebounding margin (+5.4) and have shown that they can both shoot (Curry 1.9 3's/game) and work the ball in the post.
On top of this PC only has 2 home losses this season, the only conference home loss being to Nova. So the Dunkin' Donuts Center is a tough place to play. At the same time it is both "Black Out the Dunk" day (trying to get the crowd to wear black friars shirts) and Herbert Hill's Senior Day... It will be some strong opposition we are up against. At the same time, seems as though Mookie performs better against stronger big men (Gray, Mattis, Padgett), so if history stands, this will be a solid day from him. We seem to be synching a bit more on the perimeter and will need to to beat the 2-3 they're likely to throw at us. It isn't a bad match up on paper, so hopefully the intangibles will play out in our favor.