Ed Cooley’s Friars upended Top 10 Purdue in a scrimmage Saturday (Photo: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
By KEVIN McNAMARA
There is often a lot to be gained from these NCAA-mandated (DUMB) secret scrimmages that proliferate college basketball these days. That’s certainly the case after the Providence Friars surprising win over No. 7 Purdue Saturday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
The Boilermakers built a healthy 14-point lead with 10 minutes to play but could not hold off the charging Friars who forced overtime and then won, 89-88. There is very little information about the scrimmage due to NCAA rules that bar media from reporting on the particulars but here is what we do know.
*The Friars placed all five starters in double figures with guards Al Durham and Jared Bynum each scoring 19 points.
*Ed Cooley and his pal Matt Painter played fast and loose with the rules and let players go beyond 5 fouls. Nate Watson hacked his way to 9 fouls but scored 16 points in battling with Purdue’s Big Boy duo of Trevion Williams and Zach Edey.
*The Friars canned 11 threes. If this group can make double figure treys it would be a welcome revelation.
*Purdue All-America candidate Jaden Ivey led his team with 18 points and 9 assists but did shoot 5-of-14 from the field with PC’s Durham in his shirt for key stretches.
*Close games are won with execution on defense and making free throws. PC made 14-of-16 free throws in the second half and overtime.
We’ve seen the Friars enough in practice to know that Indiana transfer Durham is going to make a big difference in this team’s attack. Here are his comments after the scrimmage, courtesy of PC’s Sports Info Dept.
This was Providence’s final tuneup before it opens the season a week from Tuesday, Nov. 9, against Fairfield. PC’s first high-major game will come against another Big Ten foe, at Wisconsin, on Nov. 15 in the Gavitt Games.