Friars Vs. Scarlet Knights; Who Wins? Providence At Rutgers
- CoachingProvidence’s four-game win streak came to an end Wednesday at Syracuse, but this is clearly a team on the upswing—one that could be very dangerous in the Big East Tournament.Mike Rice may be on the hot seat. He has kept his temper in check lately, but Rutgers has lost eight of its last nine games.
- OffenseOverall, this offense has been average, but the Friars have been playing better on this end lately. Kadeem Batts has been a pleasant surprise.Rutgers plays its first game without leading scorer Eli Carter on Monday; Carter is out for the season with a broken leg. That likely means more shots for guard Myles Mack, who scored 24 on just 11 attempts on Monday.
- DefenseMuch like Ed Cooley’s Fairfield teams, this Providence squad has embraced defense. They are forcing turnovers at an impressive rate and defending the three-point line.Rutgers ranks near the bottom of the Big East in many defensive categories. They are 12th out of 15 in efficiency and struggle on the interior.
- Bench DepthCooley trimmed the bench against Syracuse and rightfully so—in 28 minutes the four reserves had more turnovers (five) than points (four).Even without Carter, Rutgers has eight players averaging double-digit minutes. Junior Mike Poole stepped in to replace Carter in Rutgers’ three-guard starting lineup.
These two teams appear to be heading in different directions, even considering Providence’s setback against Syracuse. Without Carter, Rutgers might struggle to keep up with the Friars. -Andrew Kahn, College Football Contributor