The Providence Friars (2-1) make a short trip to Uncasville, Connecticut this weekend to play at the Mohegan Sun in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off. They’ll square off with the South Carolina Gamecocks (2-1) in the second game of the day.
How to watch or stream
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Streaming: ESPN3 isn’t actually a channel! So you can stream the game on WatchESPN.
Odds: Providence -1.5
The Friars are in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off for the second time since 2014. They won the invitational in 2014, you likely remember the game against Notre Dame in which LaDontae Henton scored 38 points en route to a 75-74 victory.
The Friars also played at Mohegan Sun last season, but we don’t need to discuss that.
Getting back to present times, Providence has been a weird team this year. They clearly have a lot of talent on their roster but it hasn’t manifested itself throughout both of their two wins, and certainly not in their loss to Wichita State. Through three games, the Friars are allowing three-pointers at an alarming rate. Opponents are shooting 45.6% from deep against Providence, seventh-worst in the nation.
The good news? South Carolina isn’t very good at shooting threes! The Gamecocks are a frosty 28.6% from long-range in their first three games. This could be the ultimate difference maker in Saturday’s game.
Another difference maker? Reigning Big East Freshman of the Week AJ Reeves. Reeves struggled in Providence’s narrow win over Holy Cross earlier in the week, but his performance in the season’s first two games were more than enough to show everyone what he is: a gifted scorer who must be watched at all times.
Alpha Diallo has been excellent this season, as well. He has three straight double-doubles for the Friars and has been a difference maker on both sides of the ball.
Providence will have to keep an eye on AJ Lawson. He flirted with a triple-double in South Carolina’s victory over Norfolk State (18 pounds, eight assists, six rebounds) and leads the Gamecocks in scoring this season with 16.8 points per game.