Stew Milne/USA Today Sports

Friars announce 2018 non-conference schedule

WEEI
June 12, 2018 - 2:01 pm

By John Rooke

At first glance, Ed Cooley must think highly of his new kids.

Providence released its’ 2018 non-Big East schedule Tuesday, and the 13 opponents (8 home, 3 neutral, 2 away) feature a few college basketball heavyweights in the mix.

The season opens on Tuesday, November 6th at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence against Siena (with one-time Friar assistant Carmen Maciariello joining new coach Jamion Christian’s staff), followed by a neutral site game at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD against perennial Top 25 contender Wichita State on November 9th. 

PC renews its’ rivalry with Holy Cross at the Dunk on Tuesday, November 13th as part of the on-campus games played in the Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic (along with Siena), before making the trek to the Mohegan Sun Arena on the 17th and 18th.  The game on Saturday the 17th will be against 2017 Final Four participant South Carolina, and should the Friars prevail in that one, 2018 Final Four participant (and national runner-up) Michigan likely awaits.  The Atlantic-10’s George Washington is the other possible opponent in Uncasville, CT.

Following Thanksgiving, PC has lined up Iona for Saturday, November 24th – the Friars have lost two of three previous meetings with the Gaels – and Fairleigh Dickinson on Tuesday November 27th at the Dunk before facing arch-rival URI on Saturday, December 1st.  The Rams snapped a seven-game losing streak last December by beating Providence 75-68 at the Ryan Center in Kingston.

In the first of two true road games following the Rams’ rematch, PC travels to Conte Forum to face Boston College on December 4th – where the Friars have lost their last six games played on BC’s campus. 

After home games against UMass on December 7th (the Minutemen won in Amherst this past season) and Central Connecticut (coached by former UConn star Donyell Marshall) on December 16th, the Friars get perennial America East contender Albany at home on the 18th before a Texas road trip on December 21st.

Providence will face Shaka Smart and the Big 12’s Texas Longhorns in Austin on that Friday night prior to the Christmas holiday, with the Longhorns returning the game to the Dunk for the 2019-2020 season.  It will be the sixth meeting all-time between the programs, with Texas (then under former PC coach Rick Barnes) winning a controversial, 79-77 overtime decision in 2004 the last time out.

In all, the Friars will play against four or five likely Top 25-contending teams, five or six who will be conference favorites and seven teams that played in postseason tournaments this past season.  That should provide enough of a challenge to a team that loses three starters from a 21-14 NCAA team, and may (or may not) have three returning to the squad in November.

While junior-to-be Alpha Diallo and sophomore big man Nate Watson return for the Friars, the jury is still out on senior Emmitt Holt, who missed last season because of illness.  Four highly-ranked newcomers, led by Top 50 recruits David Duke and A.J. Reeves, should see plenty of playing time early.

The complete 2018-19 schedule, including Big East contests, will be released in the early fall.

 

2018 Providence Non-Conference Schedule (Times TBA)

Tue. Nov. 6           Siena

Fri. Nov. 9             Wichita State (@ Annapolis, MD)

Tue. Nov. 13        Holy Cross

Sat. Nov. 17         South Carolina (@ Mohegan Sun)

Sun. Nov. 18        Michigan or George Washington (@ Mohegan Sun)

Sat. Nov. 24         Iona

Tue. Nov. 27        Fairleigh Dickinson

Sat. Dec 1             URI

Tue. Dec. 4           @ Boston College

Fri. Dec. 7             UMass

Sun. Dec. 16        Central Connecticut

Tue. Dec. 18        Albany

Fri. Dec. 21          @ Texas

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