The Providence Friars return home from a trip to California over the Thanksgiving weekend after competing in the 2015 Wooden Legacy Tournament that saw Ed Cooley's group go 2-1 with wins over Evansville and then 11th-ranked Arizona. They lost to then 3rd-ranked Michigan State in the tournament's championship game on Sunday. The Friars welcome the Hartford Hawks to the Dunkin' Donuts Center for a Wednesday night affair that will be the kickoff to the final few weeks of non-conference play in December. Providence is already 7 games into their 13 game non-conference schedule and the countdown to the beginning of Big East play is at 29 days. This will be the first meeting all-time between Providence and Hartford. The Friars are 53-6 all-time against teams from the America East conference, while Hartford is 0-14 against the Big East all-time.
How to Watch or Listen
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
TV: Fox Sports Network || Channel Finder
Radio: WEEI 103.7 FM/Friars.com (Providence) || WDRC AM 1360 (Hartford)
No live stream is available for this telecast.
3 Things to Watch
1. Possible Trap Game: Coming off a very successful trip out West and with a rivalry game looming on Saturday, Providence will have to maintain their focus on Hartford to avoid any letdown. There is a very real trap game vibe to this game. If Providence gets off to a slow start and allows Hartford to hang around it could make for a more interesting finish than Ed Cooley wants.
2. 3-Point Defense: Hartford is 3-4 this season and one of the common themes throughout their 3 wins that isn't always seen in their 4 losses is a high 3-point shooting percentage. In their 3 wins the Hawks have shot a combined 45.0% from beyond the arc. In their 4 losses they are shooting a combined 27.5% from downtown. Hartford getting off to a hot start from 3-point range could be a problem for the Friars. Look for Cooley's group to play tight man-to-man defense against the smaller Hawks.
3. Dunn Takeover: Kris Dunn scored a career-high 32 points in the season opener against Harvard. The Crimson had a young and small backcourt that Dunn was able to feast on. Harford's backcourt is similarly young and undersized and that lends to Dunn putting up a big scoring night. I expect Dunn to try to catch some passes in the post like he did against Harvard and also to be pressuring Hartford's guards looking for steals and deflections that could lead to easy fastbreak points.