Heartbreak Against the Huskies

They deserved this one. They did not deserve this one because they played any harder than Connecticut, or because they wanted it more, or played a better game. Providence deserved this game because it would have served as minor, yet much needed consolation in a season full of close, but disappointing losses.

For the first time in a while, Friar fans walked out of the Dunkin Donuts Center after seeing their team leave it all on the floor.

The Friars did everything they could to pull off the upset and still came up short. Ryan Gomes had a career high 37 points, Donnie McGrath hit threes and did not turn the ball over, Tuukka Kotti and Herb Hill both gave Providence good scoring efforts, while UConn's domination on the glass never came to fruition. All of these factors fell in Providence's favor and they still could not pull out the W. What must Tim Welsh be thinking right now?

There is nothing more for Welsh to do but keep plugging away, trying to motivate an 1-10 team to keep play hard even though they are not getting any results. The close, but not close enough, routine gets old quickly for any team.

The next three weeks are going to tell us a lot about the character of the kids on the Providence College squad. This season may be a lost cause, but finishing strong is vital in college basketball. It is not a coincidence that teams who finish a year strong often take off the following year. PC fans need to look no further than two years ago when a struggling Friars squad finished their last 11 games at 8-3 and entered 2003-2004 with a load of confidence.

What is there left to do as a fan of this team? Well, the most optimistic of fans will point to two double digit second half leads against BC, a tie game late against Syracuse, a hard fought game against Wake Forest and this latest effort versus UConn as proof that this team can beat some good teams.

Can they play with anyone in the Big East? Certainly. Do they have a chance to beat enough teams in order to get the automatic bid? Highly unlikely.

If a look towards next year or a pray in Madison Square Garden does not suit you, then there is one thing left to do: enjoy watching Ryan Gomes play. Yes, he has his flaws, but he is most likely going to be the all time leading scorer in Providence College history. Long time Friar fans will point to Jimmy Walker having only played 3 years in the black and white, but with all of the tradition and All Americans that have stepped foot on Smith Hill, the chance to watch the all time scoring champion is still something special. For four years Ryan Gomes has been something special.

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