Game Preview: Providence College vs. Brown University

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Friars and the Bears face off for their 120th meeting. Providence is looking to recover from last season's 69-68 loss, and Brown is looking for their first back-to-back wins against the Friars since 1954. Smith Hill and College Hill will take the court Wednesday night; get everything you need to know right here.

Six details about the game:

  • Date: Wednesday, November 11th, 2013
  • Time: 7:00 PM
  • Location: Dunkin’ Donuts Center
  • Broadcast (TV): Fox Sports Net/Cox Sports
  • Broadcast (Audio): WEEI 103.7 FM
  • Last Meeting: BU69, PC 68

Five fast facts about Brown University and Providence College’s history:

  • Wednesday night marks the 120th matchup between these two schools. The series dates back to 1921.
  • Brown is the second-most played opponent of Providence College. The first is the University of Rhode Island.
  • Providence leads the series against Brown 92-27, winning the first 11 games in the history of the series. The 92 wins marks the most wins against any team.
  • Since 1973 the game has always been played at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center (or Providence Civic Center depending on the year) with the two teams alternating "home court" in the arena. The teams stopped alternating in 1986, making Providence the permanent home team, and last season the two teams played their first game in 26 years on a court other than the Dunkin’ Donuts Center - at Brown’s Pizzitola Sports Center.
  • Brown won their first game against the Friars in seven years last season. The last time Brown won consecutive games against Providence College was during the 1954 basketball season - the first win came on January 12th, the second on March 3rd.

Four key players for Providence against Brown University:

Bryce Cotton - Last season Bryce Cotton was benched against Brown University because of a knee injury, hurting an already-limited Friar team from getting over their offensive hump against the Bears. Cotton proved with his 28 points against Boston College that he can find creative and effective ways to score, even when his shots don’t fall (despite shooting 9-for-20 from the field Cotton went 9-for-10 from the free throw line). This will be needed against Brown to send an early punch.

Cotton leads Friars to victory in opener (via FOX Sports)

Josh Fortune - The Eagles proved that Fortune’s offseason training was put to good use, as he contributed 15 points on 4-for-7 shooting (including 3-for-6 from beyond the arc). However, one game doesn’t make a season and Fortune will have a chance to demonstrate more of his offseason development against this Ivy League opponent.

LaDontae Henton - Last season LaDontae Henton went off with his offensive game, contributing 37 points on 13-for-20 shooting. His offense was critical down the stretch but his matchup Tucker Halpern was equally effective and answered every one of Henton’s offensive shots. After the game Cooley ripped Henton for his abysmal defense. This game will be a chance for Henton to get redemption on defense.

Kadeem Batts - Batts struggled against the Eagles but was playing with a hip injury. Additionally, foul trouble kept the senior forward from truly getting in the flow of the game. Batts will be needed in the paint when Brown guard Sean McGonagill attacks the rim.

Three story lines for the game:

Redemption - Last season the Friars finished .500 for the season and went 7-2 to close out the Big East. The team that did that didn’t resemble the team that took the floor against Brown at all. A lack of depth, offensive droughts, and defensive lapses costed the Friars their first game to their rivals on College Hill in seven years. Cooley will be looking to have his team redeem themselves from that game.

New Season, Same Situations - Although there is no current updates on either Kris Dunn’s injury or Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock’s suspensions, this is nothing new to the Friars. While the loss of some of their best underclassmen stings the Friars have learned to prevail despite limitations on their depth chart. Boston College was a hard, early test, but don’t expect these Friars to ease up because the name on the jersey is different. This is not new territory, and the Friars will adjust accordingly.

Comfortable and Confident - Tyler Harris, having played his first official college game since he transferred from NC State, looked unnerved on Friday when the Friars played the Eagles. His nervousness showed and the sophomore forward finished with only five points and going 1-for-6 from the field. With the level of opponent decreased from the Eagles expect this game to be an opportunity for Harris to get comfortable with his game on the court.

Two questions surrounding the Friars:

How deep does the medical chart go? - By now it’s known information that Kris Dunn is out until further notice, Bryce Cotton has been playing with a knee injury, and Kadeem Batts is playing with a hip injury. Reports are Cotton is doing much better, but the question on everyone’s mind is how is Dunn and Batts feeling? Is Batts’ hip going to hamper him down, or is he on a quick road to recovery? Likewise, will Dunn be back soon? Out indefinitely? Redshirted? It’s hard not to wonder.

What will "the rest" contribute? - Last game it was Bryce Cotton’s 28 points that kept Providence College competitive, but it was Lee Goldsbrough’s free throws that made sure Providence came out on top. The front of the depth chart is strong, but the back of the bench is just as essential. If the Friars come out strong there will be more minutes given to the backups, but how will they perform?

One Prediction:

The Friars come out strong and pack a strong punch early on. The starters get some rest, the depth gets some in-game minutes, and the Friars win handedly by double digits.

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