PROVIDENCE FRIARS vs. SIENA SAINTS
Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports Net (Check your local listings)
Watch Online: Fox Sports Go
Buckle up, Providence Friars fans. The 2018-19 season is about to begin!
The Friars start off their season by welcoming the Siena Saints to Friartown. This will be the eighth time in history that these two teams have faced off with each other, and the first since December 28, 2003. The Friars, unsurprisingly, are 6-1 all time against the Saints, with the lone loss coming on January 4, 2003 in an 89-81 result up in upstate New York.
This matchup will feature teams ranked 49th and 250th on KenPom.com. The Friars, ranked 49th, come into the year with high expectations. Led by Preseason First Team All-Big East selection Alpha Diallo, many believe that Providence can challenge for a Top 3 spot in the conference. We’ll get our first looks at A.J. Reeves, David Duke, Jimmy Nichols and Kris Monroe, who comprise one of the most touted recruiting classes in recent memory for the Friars. Additionally, Emmitt Holt will be returning to action after missing all of last season with an abdominal injury, and the likes of Makai Ashton-Langford, Maliek White, Kalif Young and Nate Watson will hit the floor once more.
Siena, on the other hand, may be in for a bit of a bumpy ride. Ranked 250th on KenPom, they figure to be near the bottom of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference this season. You figure it probably can’t get much worse after Jimmy Patsos’ last season in Albany County, when they went 8-24 and 4-14 vs. MAAC opponents, but they were picked last in the preseason poll this year. They also featured no players on the All-MAAC Preseason Teams, but do feature almost all of their team from last season this season.
This should be a bit of a walk in the park for the Friars. They will almost certainly be the better team in every facet. Something to watch for will be how this team plays on the perimeter. They are of course without the services of their best 3-point shooter from the last few years in Jalen Lindsey, who graduated. They will now be looking for new options on the outside and will be needed to move forward. The freshmen could come in to play here, especially Reeves, who’s been regarded as a high-level 3-point shooter.