PROVIDENCE FRIARS VS. FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON KNIGHTS
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Watch Online: Fox Sports Go
After taking down the Iona Gaels on Saturday, the Providence Friars are back in action on Tuesday night. The Friars, 4-2 on the young season, will host the 3-2 Fairleigh Dickinson Knights at The Dunk.
Out of the Northeast Conference, FDU has racked up three wins this season over Queens College, NYIT and the Princeton Tigers. Their two losses came to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the season opener, and then the Lafayette Leopards in their last contest this past Sunday. Greg Herenda is in his sixth season as the Knights’ coach, and is looking to rebound after a 13-18 campaign a season ago.
As you profile the Knights, the one thing that stands out is that they’ve been great on the offensive boards and at shooting the 3-point ball this year. FDU ranks 40th in the nation with a 3-point percentage of, coincidentally, 40 percent even. That’s over six percentage points better than the D1 average of 33.7. They also rank 62nd in OR%, with a mark of 34.3 percent. The other things this team has done well is limit FT attempts, block shots and rack up steals. Their FTRate allowed this season is just 24.9 percent, their block% is at a robust 10.6 percent and steal% is at 10.1.
You will be seeing a lot of Darnell Edge on Tuesday. Edge has racked up a minutes% of 96.7 percent thus far. Edge has played two 40-minute contests in a row and played 36 minutes against Rutgers. He is unsurprisingly the team’s leader in points per game at 19.2, almost five points better than his teammate, Xzavier Malone. Malone averages 14.6 points per game and sophomore Jahlil Jenkins is the third FDU player to be averaging double figures thus far at an even 12 points per game.
On the boards, the Friars are going to have to account for Kaleb Bishop. The St. Anthony HS alum has averaged 7.8 rebounds per game this season. His teammate Elyjah Williams has been deft on the boards too, averaging 7.2 boards per game, and Mike Holloway Jr. has an even 5.0 rebounds per game as well. Bishop has been the team’s force on the offensive glass, with an OR% of 19.4 percent, ninth-best in the country so far.
What the Friars can exploit is that this team’s defense is, shall we say, not great. They rank 313th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. They are 343rd in eFG% allowed and 340th in 3-point defense. A.J. Reeves in particular should have another standout night. The freshman standout has made 15 of his 30 3-point attempts this season. Alpha Diallo should excel too, as the Preseason All-Big East First Team selection is shooting 46.2 percent from long range. Providence doesn’t take too many 3-pointers, but they’ve made 36.3 percent of their shots from beyond the arc this season. That’s a trend that should continue against the Knights.
As Providence gets set for their in-state rivalry matchup against the Rhode Island Rams, this should be nothing short of a tune-up. The Friars have a win probability of 93% on KenPom, and the game isn’t even on the board in Vegas. The best thing they can hope for is a clean game with no injuries and another tally in the win column.