PROVIDENCE FRIARS VS. HOUSTON BAPTIST HUSKIES
RANKINGS: Providence (KenPom: 25) | Houston Baptist (KenPom: 289)
TIME: 7 p.m. ET
TV: FSN/YurView (Ch. 4, 1004)
COMMENTATORS: Bob Picozzi, Tarik Turner
RADIO: WEEI 103.7 FM
WATCH ONLINE: FOX Sports Go (Where Available)
SERIES HISTORY: Providence and Houston Baptist have never met.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
PROVIDENCE FRIARS - KYRON CARTWRIGHT
The Providence Friars have had a knack recently for dishing out quality point guards. Kyron Cartwright will keep that trend going this season. The Compton native is coming off a year in which he averaged 11.4 points and 6.7 assists per game while starting all 33. Those were career-high marks for Cartwright, who took a big step forward in minutes with Kris Dunn’s departure to the NBA. Now as a senior, Cartwright will look to get this season off right with a swell supporting cast around him.
HOUSTON BAPTIST - JOSH IBARRA
Huskies big man Josh Ibarra will be a problem for a Friars team that lacks great size. While Dajour Dickens and Nate Watson may get some burn, they’re freshmen, and they could find themselves struggling with the senior in Ibarra. The Angleton, Texas native averaged 12.0 points and 7.2 rebounds last season, and expectations are high for him. He was named to the Southland Conference’s Preseason All-Conference Second Team. Providence will likely outclass the Houston Baptist Huskies, but Ibarra is likely to eat.
WHAT HAPPENS HERE?
Providence has high expectations this season. There’s going to be a rowdy crowd at Alumni Hall Friday night when their 2017-18 season tips off. PC is a 24-point favorite on KenPom, and that probably sounds about right here. The Friars may have no answer for Josh Ibarra, but their guard and wing play should help them dominate the visiting Huskies.
Providence 84, Houston Baptist 60