Ed Cooley will leave the Maui Invitational looking for more help. (Photo: ESPN Images).
By KEVIN McNAMARA
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Not ready.
That’s the take-away from the Camping World Maui Invitational for the Providence College Friars.
In three game here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Friars ran out of gas against an explosive Alabama team as the Crimson Tide shot their way to a 88-71 victory in the Fifth Place game. The Tide came in advertised as a dangerous 3-point shooting team (9 per game) and delivered, making 12-of-29 from downtown.
“I’m not very happy with the way we played in this tournament at all,” said PC coach Ed Cooley. “There are so many holes in our team so I have to get with our staff and figure it out, rotations, whatever. At the end of the day we have to play some tough kids who how systematically we want to play.”
PC jumped out to an 8-0 lead in this one but that was a mirage. Alabama answered with 11 straight and never trailed again. A 41-32 lead at halftime caught double figures for good by the 13:52 mark and the rout was on.
The Crimson Tide knockout punch was a 13-0 run midway through the second half that was marked by three consecutive 3-point shots.
The Friars didn’t accomplish much on their scouting report. Number one was to guard the 3-point line. Not good.
Number two was to rebound and for the second time in three days PC was swept off the glass to the tune of 48-28. Not good, and a stat that Cooley clearly was upset about.
A third emphasis must have been better ball movement and making some open shots. Nate Watson, a horse again inside with 17 points, can’t do it all after all. David Duke played tough and hung up 19 points but the rest of the Friar offensive attack was woefully lacking. PC finished 41 percent from the floor and an awful 21 percent from the 3-point line.
“We are a long way from where we want to be,” said PC’s Duke. “There are some good things but bad things, too. We have some things to clean up (but) I’ll never give up on the team no matter what.”
*David Duke – Only Friar who played until the end, 19 points, 6 assists.
*Nate Watson – 17 points.
*Alyn Breed – Frosh guard showed well late with 9 points on 4-of-5 FG’s.
*John Petty – 16 points.
*Jaden Shackelford – 15 points, three 3-pointers.
*Joshua Primo – 15 points, three 3-pointers.
*The Friars clearly miss Alpha Diallo and Kalif Young off the boards. Ed Cooley is continually surprised/frustrated when an opponent grabs an offensive board. He may have to get used to it. PC has given up (31) offensive boards through four games.
*It’s been years now since the Friars rolled out multiple dangerous shooters. That non-trend apparently will continue this season. PC was 5-of-23 vs. ‘Bama and is at 23 percent over four games. A.J. Reeves needs to be The Guy downtown but his footwork is off and he’s not getting clean looks. He was 1-of-5 in this game and is now 4-of-20 through four games. Jared Bynum is 0-of-11 on the season from downtown.
“Right now we’re nowhere near ready to compete in the Big East and be a factor in that league,” Cooley said.
*Got to give it up to freshman Alyn Breed. He sparked a 12-0 run in garbage time that sliced PC’s deficit to 74-63. Breed, Bryson Goodine and Ed Croswell all supplied needed effort and toughness when the Friars were getting blown out.
“Credit to them. They were ready when their number was called,” PC’s Duke said of the Breed-led push.
NEXT UP: Fairleigh Dickinson, 4:30 Saturday.
Alabama 88, PC 71
PROVIDENCE (71): Duke 5 7-7 19, Watson 6 5-6 17, Reeves 3 3-3 10, Gantt 1 0-0 3, Bynum 0 0-1 0, Breed 4 0-0 9, Nichols Jr. 1 4-4 6, Croswell 2 1-5 5, Goodine 1 0-0 2, Monroe 0 0-0 0, Horchler 0 0-1 0; totals – 23 20-27 71. ALABAMA (88): Petty Jr. 5 5-6 16, Shackelford 4 4-4 15, Jones 4 2-2 11, Quinerly 3 3-5 10, Bruner 3 0-0 7, Primo 5 2-4 15, Reese 2 0-0 6, Rojas 1 2-2 4, Ellis 1 0-0 2, Ambrose-Hylton 1 0-0 2, Gary 0 0-0 0, Miles 0 0-0 0, Barnes 0 0-0 0, Wall 0 0-0 0; totals – 29 18-23 88.
Halftime – Ala., 41-32. 3-pt. goals – PC 5 (Duke 2, Reeves, Gantt, Breed); 12 (Petty Jr., Shackelford 3, Jones, Quinerly, Bruno, Primo 3, Reese 2). Records – PC (2-2); Alabama (3-1).