A quality win will be up for grabs, as this will be a Tier-B game for both teams. Providence is trying to open the season with a 3-0 record for the first time since the 2016 season. They will be up against a rebuilding Northwestern team that is going to be hungry for a win after being upset in their season-opener against Merrimack.
Friars cruise to 2-0 startProvidence won their second straight game over the weekend, defeating NJIT 76-47 to improve to 2-0. Sophomore David Duke scored a team-high 21 points while senior Alpha Diallo added 15 points and 10 rebounds to help the Friars win their second straight non-conference game. The Friars limited NJIT to just 5-for-26 shooting from beyond the arc and forced 23 turnovers on the night to cruise to victory.
Ed Cooley’s squad comes into the week slotted at No. 18 in the latest KenPom rankings as they prepare for their first chance at a quality win this season. Providence has scored 107.0 points per 100 possessions (31st in the NCAA) through their first two games while sporting an effective field goal percentage of 57.2 percent (42nd in the NCAA). A sign of a good team, the Friars haven’t been shy about sharing they rock, and as a result, they have assisted on an impressive 74.6 percent of their field goal attempts (3rd in the NCAA). They have been efficient from the field as well, shooting 56.0 percent from 2-point range (68th in the NCAA) and 39.1 percent from deep (62nd in the NCAA). When they do miss, Providence crashes the offensive glass with vigor, which has helped it haul in a whopping 40.5 percent of their missed field goal attempts for the season (24th in the NCAA).
On defense, Providence has limited opposing teams to only 88.2 points per 100 possessions (23rd in the NCAA) for the season while limiting them to an effective field goal percentage of 37.4 percent (21st in the NCAA). The Friars have also forced opposing teams to cough up the basketball 28.6 percent of the time on the defensive end of the floor (14th in the NCAA).
Wildcats lose season-opener vs. MerrimackNorthwestern opened the season with an ugly 71-61 loss at home against Merrimack on Friday. The Wildcats started the game on an 8-0 run but hit just 2 of their 16 3-point attempts and turned the ball over 13 times on the night in the upset defeat. Sophomore Pete Nance scored 19 points while Miller Kopp added 11 for the Wildcats, who started the season with a loss for the first time since 2008.
After a pair of 20-win seasons and the school’s first-ever NCAA Tournament berth, head coach Chris Collins has fallen on hard times at Northwestern. The Wildcats have suddenly sputtered their way to back-to-back losing seasons and are fresh off a disappointing start to the season. Collins’ squad enters the week ranked No. 110 in the latest KenPom rankings. If their opening game of the season is going to be any indication, it could be a tough year for the Wildcats. They played at one of the slowest paces in the country and shot an effective field goal percentage of only 39.6 percent (303rd in the NCAA), including 12.5 percent from 3-point range (337th in the NCAA).
On defense, the Wildcats have given up 93.0 points per 100 possessions (73rd in the NCAA) but they allowed Merrimack to shoot a whopping 65 percent from inside the arc (324th in the NCAA). With tougher competition on the horizon, Northwestern will need to find a way to limit easy baskets in the painted area.
- Friars are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games
- Wildcats are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 home games.
- Wildcats are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight-up loss.
- Wildcats are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games following a double-digit loss at home.