The Providence Friars have gotten stuck in the mud. After a 6-1 start, the Friars are now 7-3 following losses to Rhode Island and UMass. It’s not the end of the world, but they’ve definitely tightened their margin for error up. They whiffed on their two big chances for quality non-con wins (Minnesota and URI) and with one coming up (Houston) they can ill afford a loss to anyone else.
That means that on Sunday, they must defeat the Stony Brook Seawolves. In Year 2 of the Jeff Boals Era, the Seawolves are a meager 4-7. They started the year by losing their first four games. After winning three of four, they since dropped two of their last three, just like Providence. Except their losses were to LIU Brooklyn and Hofstra.
Stony Brook’s defense hasn’t been particularly great, although they have forced turnovers at a rate 21.7 percent (65th in the nation). Their offense isn’t either, but their speciality is 3-point shooting. On the year, they’ve shot 37.1 percent, a full 2.0 percent better than the D1 average. Their go-to guys on the perimeter have been sophomore Akwasi Yeboah and freshman Elijah Olaniyi. Both are shooting at least 40 percent from the field, with Yeboah, the team’s leading scorer at 13.2 points per game, posting a 42.9 percent mark from deep. U.C. Iroegbu has also put up a mark of 40 percent, while senior Bryan Sekunda is a sharpshooter, posting a 47.6 percent mark from 3-point land.
Sekunda has taken the most 3-point attempts on the team (42) so when he’s on the floor, he’ll be the one that the Friars have to key in on. He’s very likely to take a 3-point shot, as he’s posted at least 100 attempts in the two previous seasons. He’s almost certainly going to hit that mark again this year.
Senior forward Tyrell Sturdivant figures to be one to watch, too. The Chester, Pennsylvania native has scored 10.5 points per game, the Seawolves’ second-leading scorer this year. He’s listed as a major contributor on KenPom, having accounted for 25.2 percent of possessions and shots this year for Stony Brook.
The KenPom projection for this game sees the Friars winning by 14 points with a 91% win probability. Vegas oddsmakers don’t have a line for this game, so that figures to be about right. Providence should be able to get off the schneid on Sunday afternoon.
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Watch Online: FOX Sports GO