Preview: Providence Friars

Nick Chmurski takes a look at the Providence Friars.

Providence Friars (11-6, 3-2 Big East) vs. Marquette Golden Eagles (10-6, 1-3 Big East)

Sunday, 3 pm CST Bradley Center – Milwaukee, WI

Coverage: Big East Network/WMLW

After a week's rest from their most recent heartbreak, the Golden Eagles will look for their second conference victory as a streaky Providence team comes to town Sunday.

Providence enters Sunday's matchup as winners of their last two, with decisive victories over Rutgers and DePaul. Like so many others in the Big East, they find themselves battling for mid-conference positioning.

The Friars have three guys who can really hurt the opposition in Sharaud Curry, Marshon Brooks and Jamine Peterson. All three average over 14 points per game and are capable of going on big scoring runs.

Peterson is perhaps the most intriguing of the bunch, as he has the ability to score from the outside but also possess the size and athleticism to crash the boards and contribute in the paint. For the season, Peterson is averaging a double-double highlighted by a 29 point, 20 rebound effort against Rutgers.

Curry and Brooks are two guards who like to get up and down the floor and can knock down shots from behind the arc. Brooks is more of a slasher with his athletic prowess whereas Curry fits the build of a typical point guard who will look at times to dish the ball; both however can create problems as they are lightning-quick off the dribble.

The remainder of the Friar roster mostly consists of role-players; however they provide Keno Davis the necessary depth to allow Providence to play a more up-tempo style of basketball. The most notable player of this bunch is Bilal Dixon. The freshman forward has been a pleasant surprise for the Friars as he has worked himself into the starting line-up and has proven to be a tireless worker.

As mentioned before, Providence likes to get out and run. They are a team that possesses great speed and good athleticism and they will likely try and turn Sunday's game into a track meet. The Friars are dangerous offensively as they can hurt you from both the inside and out, however their defense is not quite as efficient and remains somewhat of an Achilles' heel for them.

The key for Marquette will be containing Peterson without neglecting the rest of the Friar attack. I wouldn't be surprised to see a defensive platoon placed on Peterson, with Jimmy Butler and Lazar Hayward splitting time in an effort to avoid foul trouble.

The Golden Eagles need to continue to be take care of the ball and get back defensively to prevent easy looks in transition. Marquette will not want to play quite as fast as Providence because of the lack of depth, ideally however MU would still like a quicker game with opportunities in transition just without completely playing into Friars' hands. Once again, how well the Golden Eagles shoot the deep ball and defend against it will go a long way in determining this game's outcome.

Probable Friar Starters

G – Sharaud Curry (5'10" 170 lbs Senior) --- (14.7 ppg, 4.2 apg)

G – Brian McKenzie (6'4" 205 lbs Senior) --- (7.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg)

G – Vincent Council (6'2" 180 lbs Freshman) --- (7.8 ppg, 3.6 apg)

G/F – Jamine Peterson (6'6" 230 lbs Sophomore) --- (17.6 ppg, 10.6 rpg)

F/C – Bilal Dixon (6'8" 228 lbs Freshman) --- (8.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg)

Key Reserves

G/F – Marshon Brooks (6'5" 190 lbs Junior) --- (15.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg)

G – Duke Mondy (6'3" 196 lbs Freshman) --- (3.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg)

G – Johnnie Lacy (6'0" 170 lbs Freshman) --- (1.8 ppg, 0.7 apg)

Head Coach: Keno Davis (30-20 2nd Season, 58-25 3rd Season Overall)

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