Mar 6, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Providence Friars cheerleader during the second half of game against Seton Hall Pirates in the first round of the 2012 Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports - USA TODAY Sports
After a disheartening loss to the Pitt Panthers, Villanova heads up to "The Dunk" to face Providence in Rhode Island.
What can you expect from Villanova’s matchup against the Providence Friars on Saturday?
Can you expect poor three-point shooting from Villanova?
No, Villanova has had some games with decent success from beyond the arc(although not many).
Can you expect careless ball handing?
No, because Villanova has had games where they generally took care of the ball (although not many).
What can you expect?
You can expect that Providence’s Junior guard out of Tucson, Arizona, Bryce Cotton, will pour in bucket after bucket.
Cotton is averaging 21.6 points per game, most in the Big East. The next highest scorer is St John’s guard D’angelo Harrison with 19.8 ppg.
It’s a good thing Villanova has all those big bodies that it can use to clog the lane so that Cotton can’t drive in for easy points, right?
Wrong. Cotton is a three point shooter, and a deadly accurate one at that.
Only 21 out of Cotton’s last 65 shots were inside the arc, and he’s connecting on a robust 43% of them.
Good thing ‘Nova has great perimeter defense, huh?
If there’s one thing you can count on in this matchup, it’s that Villanova is going to have an incredibly tough time stopping Bryce Cotton.
Keys to the Game: Villanova
Perimeter defense: This really only applies to Cotton, but it’s highly important. There has to be strong on ball pressure when the ball is in his hands behind the arc, because if there is a missed assignment or slow rotation that leaves Bryce wide open, there is a strong possibility he drains it.
Stop the Friar’s "Big 3": Providence has its own version of a "Big 3" in Bryce Cotton, and forwards LaDontae Henton and Kadeem Batts, scoring 21.6, 15.1, and 14.8 ppg, respectively. The good news is that there is a severe drop off after those three players.
Keys to the Game: Providence
Rebounding: Providence has a slight advantage in size, with Kadeem Batts most likely matching up with Mouphtau Yarou and Daniel Ochefu. Pitt manhandled Villanova on the boards in Wednesday’s game, and Providence will have to do the same to be effective.
Bouncing back: Providence is 1-4 to start the Big East portion of the schedule. A lot of that has to do with its very difficult schedule, facing Georgetown, Louisville, and Syracuse within the first 5 games. A loss to DePaul is inexcusable, so rebounding from this tough stretch would do the Friars well.
Prediction: Cotton scores 20 points on six 3’s. Don’t ask me for the score because I don’t want to be wrong again.