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Friars Fall at Marquette

Riding a five game winning streak in the Big East, Providence came out flat at the Bradley Center and could never recover.

Bryce Cotton was hounded all night by a bevy of Marquette defenders and struggled throughout.
Bryce Cotton was hounded all night by a bevy of Marquette defenders and struggled throughout.
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports


From the opening tip, you could sense how much this game meant for Marquette. Buzz Williams made a statement by not starting Davante Gardner, but instead trusting freshman JaJuan Johnson and Deonte Burton in his starting lineup. From the first Marquette bucket, Buzz had his squad pick up Bryce Cotton under the basket. He was out of sorts all game long with the constant pressure being thrown his way. It came in waves as the Golden Eagles looked like a stacked AAU team subbing in and out five guys at a time every few minutes. The Golden Eagles were one player minute shy of playing 11 guys all at least ten minutes. Providence on the other hand, relies on just six guys to do Ed Cooley's work on the floor.

You can read a game recap here, but a second half fury from the Friars was not enough to make this thing interesting in the final few minutes. Not many teams can rotate in and out like Marquette did and trust all 11 guys to contribute but Providence fans are hoping other Big East teams and coaches accidentally delete their copy of the first half of this game, because the recipe was a perfect storm for Ed Cooley's Friars.


Bryce Cotton B Providence basketball runs on Bryce Cotton, and last night it was low on gas for the first time all season. He still put up 20-4-3 without sitting but the five turnovers could be an area of concern going forward. Their previous five games, all victories, he had just seven, but the pressure he faced last night will be sure to confront him again sooner rather than later. He was the only source of offense for most of the game and was effective when the Friars pressed in the second half. He took some uncharacteristically rushed shots last night, shots on other nights Cooley would live with but they didn't do them any good last night where points were more than at a premium. I think it will take another game or so of 40 minutes to finally get him to where he is averaging a normal two halves in conference play, but this kid is a warrior of the highest order and will never stop going.
LaDontae Henton B Without he and Cotton, the Friars would have scored 12 points last night. Well they may have put up more than that, but that is what the numbers tell us. He was the main reason Providence overcame a 19 point second half deficit and cut it to 3 on a number of occasions. Marquette had no one who could prevent him from getting to the hoop. He has an uncanny ability to finish around the rim and he showed that last night. He usually lets the game come to him but in the second half last night he had no choice but to try and impose himself. Save for a few errant threes, Henton played nearly a flawless second half on both ends of the floor and is someone most teams can't check. One can only assume Ed Cooley will be more vocal about getting things going earlier on next time around.

Kadeem Batts

Tyler Harris

Josh Fortune

D Since they all hit only one shot, they all get one spot together, (with exclamation points serving as ones). Batts (!-6), Fortune (!-6), and Harris (!-!0). I'm aware everyone has off nights, but instead of taking this night off, they felt the need to show up and all shoot their worst game of the year. There is no reasoning as to why these three should combine to shoot (3-22). If Harris wasn't stealing rebounds from his teammates or turning it over on fast breaks where he should have been breaking instead of going fast, Batts was pulling up short on every mid range jumper, save for a baseline prayer with the shot clock running down, and Fortune looked as though he couldn't wait to get out of the game after picking up his fifth foul, considering he looked lost all night on both ends of the floor. The most telling part of this game was in the midst of the Friars 16-0 second half surge when he had Henton and Cotton by him during a free throw and was both patting them on the backside and talking to them. Oh to know what he could have possibly been saying. One can only imagine it including some choice words and making sure they knew, if they didn't already, it would fall on their shoulders if the Friars were to win. Providence can not afford to be out executed, not when you play six guys on a nightly basis.
#BenchMob C Carson Desrosiers, Ted Bancroft, Lee Goldsbrough and Brice Kofane contributed just two points, coming on a, "what in the world just happened", put back dunk from Kofane. They #BenchMob is averaging the least amount of production not only in the Big East, but in the entire country. To be fair, they don't play much, in fact Desrosiers is the only one who usually sees quality minutes. Bancroft has shown he can be effective on defense, i.e. Creighton game. Desrosiers usually has more blocks, and fouls, than points and that may need to change if the Friars want to be dancing in March.
Ed Cooley C

His team came out flat and couldn't hit anything in the first half and quite frankly handled the Marquette pressure pretty poorly. However, he took a few notes from the Buzz Williams playbook and started pressing in the second half after made baskets and seemed to throw the Golden Eagles off. His jacket was also never thrown, but I can only imagine the thought crossed his mind a few times. His flex offense he relies on so much dating back to his assistant coaching days at Boston College was all out of sorts last night, due in large part to the pressure put on by Marquette but there were some sloppy displays of ball handling out there as well. His team has always resembled his personality, and knowing Coach Cooley, he will have his guys ready to play when the take the floor against DePaul on Saturday.