2007 Providence Friars Basketball Preview
Last season the Providence Friars (18- 13 overall, 8- 8 Big East) were 10th in the conference, which earned them a NIT bid. Last year, coach Tim Walsh’s (145- 127 in nine years with Providence, 215- 149 in 12 years overall) team bowed out of the NIT and in round one as they lost to Bradley 90- 78. This season the Friars look to have a better season than they’ve had in awhile.
Scoring seemed to be no problem for Providence as the team put up 76.0 PPG, placing them second in the Big East, nice for NCAA basketball betting. Rebounding was also a strength as the club finished at plus-6.3, earning them second in the conference. The Friars were second in field goal percentage, hitting at a rate of 48.5%. Assists were at 16.5 each game, ranking them fourth in the Big East. Scoring defense was 15th at 71.7 PPG and in turnovers they were tied for last, with 16.9 per contest.
If junior swingman Geoff McDermott (9.5 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 5.1 APG, 48.0 FG%) can stay healthy, he will be one of the most commanding players in the Big East and perhaps the nation. Additionally, if junior banger John Kale (7.0 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 52.7 FG%) can raise his game to a new high, the Friars will have a commanding frontcourt. Junior Randall Hanke, who was redshirted last season, returns and should contribute a bunch of points each game.
In the backcourt, junior veterans Sharaud Curry (15.3 PPG, 4.4 APG, 41.9 FG%) and Weyinmi Efejuku (14.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 46.5 FG%) are back, which is good news. Better news would be that the duo has learned to protect the ball. They committed too many turnovers last season. Freshman guards Marshon Brooks and junior transfer Jeff Xavier have the potential to make a difference and affect the college basketball odds.
The Providence Friars last went to NCAA March Madness was in 2003- 2004 when they won 20 games. Last year’s 18-win season was six wins better than the year before. If they can get to 20 or 22 this season, the club will be in the tournament. If they do get to the NCAA, it will be the third time in nine years under Walsh. If they do go to the Big Dance, Coach Walsh will be looking for his first win in the NCAA post-season.