Losing to UMass is scary. Missing Emmitt Holt is scary. Injuries to Kyron Cartwright, Alpha Diallo, and Maliek White are scary. None of these are catastrophic.
I understand the reasoning for panic, but it’s not as bad as it seems. Close wins against Belmont, Rider, and Brown will lead one to believe that this team is in trouble, and I’m not denying that. We’re midway through December, and this team has no identity.
In 2014-15, Providence lost three straight games to Kentucky, BC, and Brown. The team was 6-3, and starting to slide. That group would finish 22-12. I’m not saying this year’s Friars are the same as the team led by Kris Dunn and LaDontae Henton, but I am saying that Cooley has gotten through nonconference struggles before.
Ideally, Providence will have Cartwright and Diallo at full strength when they open Big East play against St. John’s on December 28th. Minnesota and URI are both plausible losses, and you can credit injuries as the cause behind Saturday’s loss to UMass. With all of the issues that this team has had, 7-3, with the potential to be 10-3 going into conference play, is not the worst case scenario.
Nate Watson and Makai Ashton-Langford have looked great through their first 10 games, and the future looks bright, but right now, despite what many are saying, it’s not dark. Injuries will come and go, but let’s remain positive.
There are problems that need to be fixed, but have some faith in Cooley. He’s done it before, and there’s no reason to believe he can’t do it again.
ALSO Kris Dunn has been tearing it up for the Chicago Bulls over the last few weeks. If that doesn’t make Friar fans happy, I’m not sure what will.
Kris Dunn has ZERO chill pic.twitter.com/6eGXHiiagm— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 14, 2017
Kris Dunn doesn’t care who he is going against. He really battled with LeBron James. pic.twitter.com/PfDeQnnlae— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) December 5, 2017
Kris Dunn as a starter since 21 November (10 games)— James Holas (@SnottieDrippen) December 9, 2017
13.4 ppg (42.5%, 50% 3pt, 58% ft)
17-5-7, 49%, 56% 3pt his last 6 gms.