PC senior big man Nate Watson is looking to become one of the country’s top players (Photo: PC Athletics)
By KEVIN McNAMARA
Providence College released its non-conference basketball schedule Thursday with few surprises. The schedule features five challenging `Up’ games, with one on the road at Wisconsin and two in the Legends Classic. The other two will come at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center against Texas Tech and Rhode Island.
The early test at Wisconsin (27 NET last season) comes as part of the Gavitt Games series between the Big East and Big Ten. The Legends Classic will be contested at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. with the Friars facing Northwestern (92 NET) in the first round. A victory could land a marquee matchup with powerhouse Virginia (12 NET) if the Cavaliers can get by Georgia (98 NET).
After those three games in the first six of the season, the Friars will face Texas Tech and new coach Mark Adams (replacing Chris Beard) in the Big East/Big 12 Battle at the Dunk. Only three days later (Dec. 4) the Friars welcome the Rhode Island Rams to the Dunk for the resumption of their long-time rivalry. The two teams did not play during last season’s shortened schedule due to complications on the Friars scheduling end.
The remaining six ‘buy’ games are not without significant danger. America East power Vermont will pay a visit to the Dunk on Dec. 7 and cap off a brutal week that includes the Texas Tech and URI contests. New Hampshire returns four starters and could challenge the Catamounts in their conference.
Both Fairfield and St. Peter’s are looking like contenders in the Metro Atlantic. The Stags return their top nine scorers and should pose a significant challenge on opening night. Sacred Heart and Central Connecticut from the Northeast Conference round out the schedule.
For anyone wondering, the Friars are not playing Brown University (or Bryant, for that matter) yet again. The two schools have not played since an overtime contest in the 2017-18 season. PC coach Ed Cooley has become quite close with Bear mentor Mike Martin and does not want to play the Bears at this time.
The Friars will again play a 20-game Big East schedule that will begin sometime in late December. Those games should be announced in the next few weeks.
PROVIDENCE COLLEGE NON-LEAGUE SCHEDULE
Nov. 9 (Tue) Fairfield
Nov. 11 (Thurs) Sacred Heart
Nov. 15 (Mon) at Wisconsin
Nov.18 (Thurs) New Hampshire
Nov. 22 (Mon) vs. Northwestern, Legends Classic/Newark, NJ
Nov. 23 (Tue) vs. Virginia/Georgia, Legends Classic
Nov. 27 (Sat) Saint Peter’s
Dec. 1 (Wed) Texas Tech
Dec. 4 (Sat) Rhode Island
Dec. 7 (Tue) Vermont
Dec. 11 (Sat) Central Connecticut