College basketball season is right around the corner, and it will be starting three days earlier than usual. Once it gets going, the Providence Friars men’s basketball team will then embark on a very challenging non-conference schedule.
Following two home exhibition games in October (against DII schools Bridgeport and Bowie State), PC will play a 13-game slate before dealing with any Big East foes. Eight of those games will be at Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Four of their first five games are part of the annual Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. Their Nov. 6 season opener against Siena and their Nov. 13 matchup against Holy Cross are unbracketed campus site games that they will host.
In between those games, the Friars will head down to Annapolis, Md. for the Veterans Classic. On Nov. 9. they will take on Wichita State at Navy’s Alumni Hall.
The “tournament” portion of the Tip-Off Tournament kicks off on Nov. 17 in Uncasville, Conn. Providence is in the Naismith Bracket and their first opponent will be Frank Martin’s South Carolina Gamecocks. The result of the game will determine if they face Michigan or George Washington the following day.
From there, six of the Friars’ final eight non-con games will be in Providence. On Dec. 1, they will uphold their annual in-state rivalry by hosting Rhode Island. Last year, PC fell to URI 75-68 in Kingston. The loss broke Providence’s seven-game winning streak within the series.
UMass comes to town on Dec. 7, with the Friars hoping to exact revenge from last season’s 72-63 loss in Amherst. Iona, Fairleigh Dickinson, Central Connecticut, and Albany will also pay a visit to Dunkin Donuts Center.
Providence’s only two true road games on the slate will be on Dec. 4 at Boston College and Dec. 21 at Texas. PC hosted BC last year, beating them 86-66. Their game against Texas will be their first matchup against the Longhorns since 2004 and their first in Austin since 2002. It is also their final non-conference game, with their Big East schedule starting ten days later on New Years Eve.
2018-19 is setting up to be an exciting season for Providence basketball. The team enters this year having to figure out how they will move on from the departures of three key seniors. However, they have four freshmen joining the fray and senior Emmitt Holt returning from a lost season due to abdominal surgery.
The 2019 Friars will be seeking their sixth consecutive tournament berth. Judging by their non-conference schedule, head coach Ed Cooley made sure that their road to March wouldn’t be easy.