How will Ed Cooley handle his substitutions?
Through the first 2 games of the season Providence fans have been seeing the substitutions go back and forth like spectators at a tennis match. In the first half of Providence's first game against Albany Cooley used 8 different lineups from the tip to the under 12 media timeout at the 11:49 mark. That kind of quick shuffling has led to a lack of offensive rhythm being developed early in games. Of those 8 lineups the longest time a single lineup was on the floor consecutively was 3 minutes and 9 seconds. Cooley acknowledged that he may need to adjust his substitution patterns to allow guys to get in a rhythm and gain chemistry. This will be an interesting storyline to follow against Navy but also the rest of the non-conference as Cooley is trying to get his arms around having a bench for the first time at Providence.
One worry heading into the first season without Bryce Cotton was whether or not this 2014-15 version of the Friars could shoot the ball well enough to keep teams from packing a zone into the lane and clogging up the rim area. The loss of Josh Fortune can't be overlooked from a 3 point shooting perspective either. Freshman Jalen Lindsey may ultimately slide into Fortune's role from a year ago but he isn't ready at the moment, still recovering from a dislocated finger a few weeks before Providence's season opener. Over the course of the first two games Providence has shot just 18% (4/22) from beyond the arc including an 0/9 game against Binghamton their last time out. If Providence doesn't score in transition they may struggle in the halfcourt and hitting 3's would go a long way towards helping open things up inside for their talented frontline.
Kris Dunn continuing to knock off the rust?
Kris Dunn did not have a great game to open the season. He failed to convert any of his five field goal attempts including three layups. While the layups were contested they are shots he will need to convert on more often than not. One positive to take from that first game is that Dunn went to the line with 32 seconds left in the game with Providence up by 2 and he calmly knocked down both free throws. In game 2 against Binghamton Dunn looked more comfortable and confident and put up a stat line that is what many expect of him as the season goes on. He finished the game with 10 points (4/9 FG) 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 5 steals. That stat stuffing line was a welcome sight for Providence fans but there was one other number that still needs to be cleaned up: 5 turnovers. Dunn told Brendan McGair of the Woonsocket Call "I don't think about my shoulder or anything. I don’t have jitters. I’m just excited to play once again because it’s been a while. I want to play well for everybody. I’ve just got to let everything come." Cooley added "when you’ve been out for a period of time and away from the game, it takes a while. Your timing and conditioning and your rhythm and synergy with your team are all off. It’s not automatic. What’s needed is time and games and minutes played."