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Schedule Analysis: Providence

Providence (19-15, 9-9 Big East)

Postseason: NIT Quarterfinals (79-68 loss to Baylor)

This is the sixth installment of a 10-part series evaluating the schedules of the 10 Big East teams for the 2013-14 season. Above record, tournament finishes are from last season.

Butler, Creighton, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette analyses are available by clicking the links.

The Friars are one of the more intriguing teams entering this season. Ed Cooley’s team will have to replace leading scorer Bryce Cotton and the Big East’s all-time leading assist man Vincent Council, but return Kadeem Batts and LaDontae Henton to go along with consensus top 100 recruit Brandon Austin.

Many think Providence could sneak into the NCAA Tournament this year, but I don’t think they’ll contend for a Big East title just yet. Their schedule won’t help much either.

Kadeem Batts hopes to take Providence to the next level this year. (Photo via binaryapi.ap.org)

Kadeem Batts hopes to take Providence to the next level this year. (Photo via binaryapi.ap.org)

Schedule (all times Central)

Nov. 2 – vs. Rhode Island College (exhibition) 6:00

Nov. 8 – vs. Boston College 5:00 Fox Sports 1

Nov. 13 – vs. Brown 7:00 FSN

Nov. 16 – vs. Marist 3:00 Fox Sports 2 (Paradise Jam non-bracketed game)

Nov. 18 – vs. Vermont 6:00 Fox Sports 1

Nov. 22 – vs. Vanderbilt 5:30 CBS Sports (Paradise Jam, Virgin Islands)

Nov. 23/24 vs. Morgan State/La Salle 4:00/8:00 CBS Sports (Paradise Jam, Virgin Islands)

Nov. 25 – TBD Paradise Jam (Paradise Jam, Virgin Islands)

Nov. 29 – vs. Fairfield 11:30 Fox Sports 1

Dec. 1 – vs. Kentucky 7:00 (Brooklyn)

Dec. 5 – at Rhode Island 7:00 CBS Sports

Dec. 17 – vs. Yale 6:00 Fox Sports 1

Dec. 21 – vs. Maine 1:00 FSN

Dec. 28 – at Massachusetts 5:00 ESPNU

Dec. 31 – vs. Seton Hall 1:30 Fox Sports 1

Jan. 5 – at Villanova 6:00 Fox Sports 1

Jan. 8 – vs. Georgetown 6:00 Fox Sports 1

Jan. 16 – at St. John’s 6:00 Fox Sports 1

Jan. 18 – vs. Creighton 7:00 Fox Sports 1

Jan. 21 – vs. Butler 8:00 Fox Sports 1

Jan. 25 – vs. Xavier 11:00 Fox Sports 1

Jan. 30 – at Marquette 6:00 Fox Sports 1

Feb. 1 – at DePaul 12:00 FSN

Feb. 4 – vs. St. John’s 6:00 Fox Sports 1

Feb. 8 – at Xavier 4:00 Fox Sports 1

Feb. 10 – at Georgetown 6:00 Fox Sports 1

Feb. 15 – vs. DePaul 1:00 FSN

Feb. 18 – vs. Villanova 6:00 Fox Sports 1

Feb. 23 – at Butler 5:00 Fox Sports 1

Feb. 28 – at Seton Hall 6:00 CBS Sports

March 4 – vs. Marquette 8:00 Fox Sports 1

March 8 – at Creighton 7:00 CBS Sports

Analysis

Four straight home games to begin the season and if Providence wants to be taken seriously this year, it needs to win all of them. Sure, Boston College is a BCS program, but it went 16-17 last year.

The Paradise Jam field isn’t going to do a lot to help this team’s resume either. The Friars open with Vanderbilt who will likely be a bottom feeder in the SEC this year and then play either Morgan State or La Salle, one of last year’s Cinderella darlings.

Providence will then face Maryland, Marist, Loyola Marymount or Northern Iowa. The Friars better hope it’s Maryland if it wants any chance at a signature victory.

Following a home game against Fairfield, Providence will get its best shot at a big win in non-conference play when it travels to Brooklyn to take on Kentucky. Many expect the Wildcats to compete for the national title after last year’s disappointing season and Providence probably isn’t up to the task of knocking off Coach Cal’s boys.

The rest of the non-conference slate features two road games that will hurt Providence with a loss more than help them with a win and home games with Yale and Maine won’t help at all.

The conference schedule starts off easy enough with a home game against the Pirates, but road games at Villanova and St. John’s as well as home games with Georgetown and Creighton could mean a 1-4 start to the conference season. I don’t think Providence will win either of the home games, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they did.

They should be able to right the ship with home games against Butler and Xavier but will have to hope for another influx of these guys to beat Marquette on the road.

The good news is, road games at DePaul and Xavier along with a home game against St. John’s should be wins before a big opportunity in Washington D.C. awaits Providence on Feb. 10.

The bad news is the Friars finishing stretch looks rough. Following a home game with DePaul, Villanova comes to town and then consecutive road trips to Butler and Seton Hall won’t be easy. A home game against Marquette and trip to Creighton tops it off. Ouch.

Wins: Boston College, Brown, Marist, Vermont, Vanderbilt (Virgin Islands), La Salle (Virgin Islands), Fairfield, at Rhode Island, Yale, Maine, at Massachusetts, Seton Hall (twice), Butler, Xavier (twice), DePaul (twice), St. John’s

Losses: Maryland (Virgin Islands), Kentucky (Brooklyn), Villanova (twice), Georgetown (twice), Marquette (twice), Creighton (twice), at St. John’s, at Butler

Prediction: 19-12, 8-10 Big East (7th)

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Categories: Analysis, Home, Offseason

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