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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 8, 6:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dunkin' Donuts Center (12,410) -- Providence, Rhode Island. Television: FS1. Home Record: BC 0-0, Providence 0-0 . Away Record: BC 0-0, Providence 0-0. Neutral Record: BC 0-0, Providence 0-0. Conference Record: BC 0-0, Providence 0-0. Series Record: Providence leads, 58-49.
GAME NOTES: Former foes in the Big East Conference kick off the 2013-14 college basketball season against each other on Friday, as the Providence Friars entertain the Boston College Eagles at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
One of three opponents that the Friars have played at least 100 times over the years, the other two being Rhode Island and Brown, the Eagles are coming off a disappointing 2012-13 campaign during which they lost more games than they won. Boston College, which at one point last season played seven straight games at home in Chestnut Hill, posted an overall mark of just 16-17 and was a mere 7-11 in ACC play.
The Eagles saw last season come to a close when, after crushing Georgia Tech in the ACC Tournament (84-64), they were dealt a 69-58 setback by Miami in Greensboro, North Carolina.
While the Eagles failed to make it to a postseason tournament, the same was not the case for Providence as the squad accepted an invite to the NIT and took out both Charlotte and Robert Morris at home, before being defeated by Baylor in Texas, 79-68. Overall, head coach Ed Cooley and his crew produced a mark of 19-15 and was an even 9-9 in Big East play.
In terms of the all-time series between the squads, the Friars own a 58-49 edge. Meeting every season since 1953-54, the latest decision went to the Eagles, 71-68, a few days before last Christmas.
Boston College welcomes back several key performers from last year's squad, specifically Olivier Hanlan, Ryan Anderson and Joe Rahon, all of whom scored in double figures. Hanlan led the way with 15.4 ppg as he made good on close to 40 percent of his 3-point attempts, adding a solid 75 assists and a team- high 38 steals in ore than 34 minutes per contest.
Anderson (14.9 ppg) applied himself on the interior where he responded with a team-best eight rebounds per game, yet even with his aggressive style he was rarely in foul trouble. Rahon (10.1 ppg) supplemented his solid scoring output with 123 assists, the most of any Eagles performer.
If there's one area that the team should address this season it is defending the 3-point line, after placing 322nd in the nation a year ago as they allowed foes to knock down 37.5 percent out on the perimeter.
Leading the way for Providence coming out of the gate this season will be star guard Bryce Cotton who returns after generating 19.7 ppg a year ago. An All- Big East Honorable Mention selection, Cotton was responsible for 3.6 rpg and was also a strong distributor for the group with 92 assists.
The front line consists of Kadeem Batts and LaDontae Henton, who placed second and third on the team in scoring, respectively. Batts (14.8 ppg) accounted for 7.2 rpg, but his physical play also got him into foul trouble more often than not, while Henton (13.0 ppg) was the leader on the glass with better than eight rebounds per game.
The Friars will be sporting a team that will be without a services of two players, freshmen Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock, as they were suspended indefinitely on Wednesday for not upholding their responsibilities as student- athletes according to a press release from the Friars. The team might also be missing Kris Dunn who is listed as day-to-day due to an injury he suffered in the preseason versus Rhode Island College.
With so much talent coming back for the Eagles and Providence being short- handed, it only makes sense that the odds go in favor of BC in this opener.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boston College 69, Providence 60
11/08 10:40:16 ET
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