Friars Rout Bryant 96-53

Is it still exhibition season? It certainly felt that way at the Dunk Friday night as Providence steam rolled Division 1 newbie Bryant College by a score of 96-53. The victory for Providence was the first in three opportunities this weekend in the World Vision Invitational.

This win for Coach Keno Davis and his team was pretty easy. No wait, this win was almost too easy for the Friars. From the opening tip, Providence took control and never looked back, running out to an early lead that they would just build on, forcing turnovers (21), and putting up big numbers with all five starters scoring in double figures. Providence was up 50-18 at half time, and the last 10 minutes of the game were virtual garbage time.

That may have been a blessing for Providence, because with three games in three days, Keno Davis was able to rest his starters quite a bit. No Providence starter played over 22 minutes in this one, and that's a tribute to the new found depth on the Friar roster. That depth may prove helpful on Saturday night as the Friars take on a disciplined Bucknell team, who narrowly were defeated by Mercer in the first session on Friday afternoon.

So what else can you learn from such a lopsided win? Let's ask Keno Davis:

"I was really pleased with our teams intensity to start the game and pretty much throughout the entire 40 minutes. We knew coming off of last year's start, we didn't want to take any win for granted, and our focus was really on the intensity of our team this year. We know we are going to be a better team by the end of the year, but with half of our team being freshmen, we had to make sure that intensity and effort was our focus point, and I'm pleased with tonight's effort."

"We understand it's one win and that's great, and we're happy with that, but understand that doesn't mean we're a good enough team right now. We've got to come back with that same type of intensity every time we play, and see if we can get a little bit better from night to night on execution, on assignments...But I thought with the intensity being up there, I was pretty pleased with that. That's a great place to start.

Behind the Numbers

Providence shot an outrageous number of 3pt. shots in the first half, launching 23 attempts but only connecting on 6 of them for less than stellar 26%. In the 2nd half Providence was much more judicious and only took 9 attempts from behind the arc, but connected on 4 of them for 44.4%

Bilal Dixon had a big bounce back game against Bryant, coming off of a disappointing performance vs. Stonehill. Dixon had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds in only 21 minutes, and provided some much needed punch from the center position, which could be a question mark from a production standpoint all season long.

Providence scored 30 points on turnovers in the game, which is a tribute to their intensity and defense but also some ball handling problems on the part of Bryant.

Recruiting Note

Providence will be entertaining two high profile recruits on Saturday night as Andre Drummond, Scout.com #1 ranked recruit for 2012 and Tyler Olander 2011 (Scout.com #67) both will be in attendance at the Dunk for the Friar game vs. Bucknell. The game time tipoff is an unusual one at 6:30 p.m.

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