While only seven games into the young college basketball season, the Providence Friars take their 5-2 record and resilient attitude down to Kingston where they face the URI Rams at the Ryan Center tomorrow. Bragging rights on the line.
The annual grudge match between the two state rivals was won by the Friars last year 66-65 on two critical free throws by senior forward Geoff McDermott. This year however, much has changed on this Providence squad.
Senior guards Sharaud Curry and Brian McKenzie are back but the real interest is in the play of sophomore Jamine "Greedy" Peterson, junior Marshon Brooks, and true freshman Vincent Council.
Peterson has been a force on the glass averaging a double double this year including a 22 rebound effort versus Mercer in the clinching game of the World Vision Tournament.
His athletic catch and shoot bucket against Northeastern this past Tuesday gave the Friars a critical two possession lead in the final seconds of the game securing the road victory.
Marshon Brooks has been just as impressive as he has matured into the leader of the Friars offense averaging 17 a game on 50 percent shooting from the field and 48 percent from beyond the arc.
More importantly Brooks has shown confidence in his jump shot and ability to drive to the basket which is what the Friars desperately lacked coming into this season with the loss of Weyinmi Efejuku.
To much the surprise of Friar fans everywhere, and maybe coach Keno Davis himself, is the play of freshman Vincent Council. The first option off the bench and playing the true point guard position, Council has shown leadership, court vision, and confidence.
Even seven games in, his poise and ability to find the open man presents the foundation for his high potential.
Tomorrow will be a test to the toughness and heart of this Friars team. A win at the Ryan Center is no easy task.
Getting one would be add much needed confidence heading into the brutal big east schedule beginning in late December.