The Providence Friars open their 2014 season on Saturday against the Albany Great Danes of the America East Conference. The Friars will be hosting a "Rhode Island Champions Night" at the Dunkin Donuts Center, where they will unveil the 2014 Big East Tournament Championship banner during a pregame ceremony, and then at halftime, PC will honor the Pawtucket Red Sox for winning the 2014 International League Governor's Cup, as well as the Cumberland Little League team that won the New England Championship and advanced to the Little League World Series.
The opening game against Albany marks the beginning to a very difficult nonconference schedule for the Friars. Ed Cooley has said he will play his young guys early and often, so it's likely that freshman Kyron Cartwright will get the start on Saturday alongside Kris Dunn in the backcourt. The first player off the bench will likely be one of freshmen, in Ben Bentil, Paschal Chukwu, Jalen Lindsey or possibly sophomore Junior Lomomba.
This season opener also begins a stretch of five games in eight days for the Friars.
The Albany Great Danes are coming off back to back America East Tournament Championship and subsequent NCAA Tournament appearances. This past season, the Great Danes were able to win their first ever NCAA Tournament game as part of the First Four before falling to No. 1 seeded Florida in the Second Round. Having lost some players from that successful squad, Will Brown will be looking to use this road test against a Big East team to gauge his 2014-15 roster.
Game time, TV schedule: 7:00 p.m., Fox Sports 2 (Brian Custer & Vin Parise)
Live radio stream: Friars.com and WEEI 103.7 FM (Providence), WOFX 980 AM Fox Sports 980 (Albany)