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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Friars of Providence

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Your Nationally Ranked Powerhouse Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown are back in ball against Big East rival Providence and as usual we here at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON are bringing you everything you need to know about Georgetown's next opponent.  Here with us again is our buddy The Warrior Friar, who you need to be following on twitter for all of your Friar needs.  Let's do this!


Friars! Round 2! How's everything going on your end?

Other than a bitter loss to St. John's (AGAIN) things have been going pretty well. The team is currently 16-6 going into February, Kris Dunn has been lighting it up with his performances recently (triple double against DePaul anyone?), and the Friars are sitting pretty on the right side of the bubble, comfortably so.


LaDontae Henton and Kris Dunn are arguably the best duo in the Big East. So, why aren't you guys in 1st place?


Because of St. John's. Marquette too I guess, but really I didn't expect to beat them at the Bradley Center anyway. Reality is, with the exception of having St. John's twice, there's no reason why this team shouldn't be in first place as of February 3rd.

Truthfully speaking though we haven't gotten into the bulk of our schedule yet. We had a favorable first half of the Big East schedule, but the back nine will be much more difficult. Road trips to Xavier, you guys, and home and home's with Villanova and Seton Hall are going to test this team. That's not to say we haven't proven ourselves - we have, we won games we were supposed to win and won a few we weren't expected to win - but there's still a lot of work for this team to do. 


Now that we are more than halfway through the big East schedule, where does this Friars team end up and what seed are you getting in the Dance?


I'd like to see us go 5-4 the rest of the way, and I think it's doable. That puts at 21-10 going into the Big East Tournament, where as long as we don't see St. John's I feel comfortable we can at least make some noise. 
Realistically the Friars are looking probably at about a 7 or 8 seed when it's all said and done. I know a lot of fans are looking at the brackets, seeing Providence right up there in 5 and 6 spots, and getting a twinkle in their eyes, but we have to consider that the second half of our conference schedule is way harder than our first. I don't know what it was this season but there was a lot of imbalance in the scheduling. Nova twice within a few weeks? Same with the Hall? Seems quirky, but those are tough teams that will likely be playing tough in February. Even games that in years past you'd overlook (DePaul) aren't even close to a guarantee anymore. 


How about that Super Bowl, huh? Please detail everything you ate and drank during the game. Did you enjoy Katy Perry's halftime show as much as I did?

I basically starved myself throughout the day to prepare for non stop wings at the bar across the street from the apartment I just moved into. The only thing I had before the game was about 5 or 6 Irish coffees. Headed over to the bar and - I don't know if you know this - but Chicago gets a ridiculous amount of snow, and we were just coming out of a huge blizzard, so I basically ice-skated from my front steps to the entrance. 

The bar was doing a chili cookoff and because it was so empty from the snow I got to judge it. I dont' know if it's smart to judge a chili cookoff after a day of no eating and then gorging down Revolution IPAs but I went in head first for it and ate more chili than I'd like to admit to. 

Now, being in Chicago there are bars that are dedicated to specific teams. This bar in particular was a Green Bay Packers/Wisconsin Badgers bar, so there were pro-Patriots supporters and a lot of people who wanted to see the Seahawks lose and have the Packers be avenged. Well, when that interception at the very end got thrown
the place went nuts.

I remember screaming like an insane person and just laughing. I must've temporarly turned into the Joker because I just couldn't get myself together. I was losing it. Everything was awesome.

I was jacked up on New England pride (and considerably more Jameson) from that point forward so I don't remember a ton, but I do remember at one point some girl was like "Tom Brady isn't the best you know, Aaron Rodgers is" and I kind've scoffed and went "what the fuck has Aaron Rodgers done" before one of the bartenders grabbed my arm and was like "no, don't, don't do that here." So, could've died that night, but whatever man - Pats won!
In regards to Katy Perry I thought she was great. I mean that sincerely too - I was surprised how genuinely entertained I was during that halftime show. I mean, I'd hoped for a wardrobe malfunction like any other red blooded American, but barring that it was great. 

The sharks though man. Holy hell the sharks. (note that I did not make that, just found it on Reddit. I take no credit.)


Over at CH we had a recent post that listed the Top 25 Wins and the Top 25 losses in the JT3 era.  Can you give me like 3 of each for the Friars under Ed Cooley?

Sure, easy.

Top 3 wins:
1. Big East Tournament win (obviously)
2. Beating UConn during senior night his first season (Because beating UConn is fun and every Friar fan loves it)
3. Beating Notre Dame during our Alumni Weekend during the last year of the former Big East (just a really, really fun game and I think that was the turning point in our season that year in order to make the NIT too).

Top 3 losses:
1. Losing to North Carolina in the NCAA tourney last year ("It can't end like this!" I had yelled at a bar in Manchester, NH, to which a UNC fan said from three tables over "it just did!" Way to throw salt in the wound.)
2. Losing to Seton Hall in doublt OT in last year's Big East opener (I missed my train to Boston twice and had to forfeit dinner in order to get into the bar before they stopped allowing people in. You can guess how the night went from there).
3. Losing to Brown (I don't care which time, they were both the worst.)



The Friars narrowly defeated the Hoyas in OT in our 1st meeting.  Anything out of that game (other than the W) that gives you much hope for a similar result for the Friars in this one?

Kris Dunn is the obvious answer, and with good reason at 15.5 ppg on 49% shooting, 7.4 apg, and - believe it or not - actually leads the team in rebounds at 6.1 rpg (Henton is at 5.9), but I gotta tip my hat to Carson Desrosiers and Tyler Harris. Between the two of them they make up an astonishing third option, with Carson adding size and a good defensive presence and Harris adding firepower off the bench. Both have really got in their comfort zone the past couple of games and are only getting better. 

The x-factor here is two-fold: LaDontae Henton needs to step up, and we need one of our freshman to come out and play. Henton has been very good on offense (leads the team at 20 ppg) but is so spotty and the team goes with him as a result. On top of that he needs to crash the boards more. Not saying Dunn doesn't work hard for that rebounding stat but you're a senior who was billed as a junkyard dog, especially on the glass - you should be averaging at least 3 more boards per game. And then the freshman are what they are. Sometimes Junior Lomomba will surprise everyone, other times Ben Bentil will be a presence, then Pascal Chukwu will be a "f*cking wall" around the rim, and Kyron Cartwright can fill in for Dunn - really the only guy who hasn't tapped into his game is Jalen Lindsey, who still can't find his shot - but I believe he will. Happened late for Josh Fortune last year and then look what happened? It's already February 3rd, but if the team produces like they're supposed to, it's also only February 3rd - plenty of time to find his shot. 



Providence is in a stretch right now that will likely make or break its season with games against at St. John's (LOSS), at Georgetown, at Xavier, Villanova and then Seton Hall.  Are you frightened?

Not as much as I am for DePaul. It is realistic to go 3-1 in that stretch, but I'd be happy with 2-2. Honestly G'town is my only x-factor, and I'm not just saying that because if I don't your readers might find me and hunt me down. We've had some close ones on the road to you guys but haven't finished. Villanova will be Villanova, and I really think at Xavier and Seton Hall are both winnable. 

DePaul though...now we're in trouble there. And no, I don't know if I'm kidding entirely or not. 


Final score prediction?
Going with the Friars 74-62.