Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Providence Off To Fast Start In Big East

The PC Friars are off to a hot start in the Big East going 5-2 in their first 7 games to improve their overall record to 13-6. This is certainly a surprise to some, because the Friars were picked to finish near the bottom half of the Big East.

The Friars are currently ranked 72nd in the nation in Overall Efficiency. They have been more efficient on offense(65th), than defense(95th), which is pretty much where the stood at the end of last season when they ranked 60th in offensive efficiency and 95th in defensive efficiency.

So how has a team that has pretty much been the same as last year improved so much? Well, PC has gotten off to a hot start due to their ability, for the most part, to beat the teams they are supposed to beat. Here is a look at the overall efficiency rankings of all the teams that PC has played this season:

Wins: Rhode Island(60), Cincinnati(83), Seton Hall(99), St. Johns(126), Charlotte(162), Depaul(166), Jackson State(224), Sacred Heart(244), Brown(272), Maine(282), Bryant(330), Dartmouth(331)

Losses: Georgetown(13), Marquette(22), Baylor(28), St. Mary's(36), Boston College(79), Northeastern(84)

As you can see, the only team that PC beat that was ranked higher than them was URI at 60. In the losing column, they lost a couple games to BC(79) and Northeastern(84), but those two teams are not that far off in ranking than PC who is at 72. It's definitely conceivable that the Friars would lose to those two teams.

So the good news for PC is that they have taken care of business and beat the teams they should beat, especially in the Big East. However, there is some bad news if you look at the rest of the Friars schedule and check out the overall efficiency rankings of their opponents:

West Virginia(10)
South Florida(89)
Notre Dame(50)

If PC holds true to form and only defeats those opponents that rank lower than them, then it's possible that they may only be able to defeat Rutgers(152) twice and South Florida(89), which would mean only three more wins and a 16-14 record overall. PC might be able to beat Villanova once at home and maybe Notre Dame, Syracuse, or West Virginia at home, or maybe the success of the Friars will give them more confidence once they go up against tougher opponents and they'll pull some upsets and surprise us. It's certainly possible, but I think at best the Friars make it to 20-10 and that is pushing it big time. They probably have to win the Big East tournament to have any chance of making the NCAA Tournament regardless of what their final record is.

1 comment:

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