After a long wait, college basketball has finally returned!
The Providence Friars will open up shop on Tuesday night, tipping off their 2019-20 season. The Friars are aiming to return to the NCAA Tournament after missing out a year ago, snapping a five-year streak of appearances — the most in program history. This year represents an opportunity to begin a new streak though, and they can get a head start to doing so in their season opener.
Providence is set to welcome the Sacred Heart Pioneers to Friartown. Led by head coach Anthony Latina, the Pioneers come into the season projected to do some big things. KenPom, which has them at 233rd in the nation to begin the year, projects them to finish at or near the top of the Northeast Conference. They were also voted to finish second in the NEC by the coaches of the conference to the Long Island Blackbirds. Three coaches picked them to finish in first place, which was two behind the Blackbirds’ total of five first-place votes.
Junior wing E.J. Anosike, a Paramus Catholic alum, will be the one to watch for the Pioneers. He was selected to the Preseason All-NEC team after averaging 14.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and a 51.8 percent mark from the field as a sophomore. Anosike finished the season on a hot streak, hitting double figures in each of his last seven games and 11 of his last 12. We shall see if he can put up such a performance on Tuesday night against the Friars, but he’ll definitely have his work cut out for him.
In all likelihood, Providence should win this game comfortably. Simply because they’re the better squad with more depth. Anosike will get his buckets, but the Friars’ depth across the board should prove to be beneficial. Luwane Pipkins’ absence may hurt them a little bit at guard, but this should still be a game where PC cruises. Look for A.J. Reeves to shine, I think, as well as Alpha Diallo.
HOW TO WATCH
Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports Net
Watch Online: Fox Sports Go (where available)
Spread: Providence -18.5 is the consensus
Total: 151 is the consensus
Moneyline: Providence -3250 | Sacred Heart +1625