Big East M5: Christmas Eve EditionPosted by Dan Lyons on December 24th, 2013
- Providence fans no long have to wait to find out the status of freshmen Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock, but unfortunately, the news is none too kind to the Friars. Providence has announced that the two will remain suspended for the rest of the 2013-14 season on Monday, ending the hopes that the two young players would help bolster this Friars squad as the Big East season comes into view. The Friars, who already lost Kris Dunn to injury for the season, now have a major depth issue at guard, forcing Bryce Cotton to play over 37 minutes per game and leaving the Friars without a true starting point guard.
- St. John’s came out on fire against an overpowered Youngstown squad this weekend, highlighted by the efforts of D’Angelo Harrison, who captured the Johnnies record for three-point shots made on Saturday, knocking down his 152nd triple of his career just 26 seconds into the game to break the record previously held by Willie Shaw, en route to a 29 point outburst in a 96-87 win. While Harrison is often branded as a gunner, this season his scoring, field goal percentage, and free throw percentage are all up, and his three-point percentage is just a shade under what he shot as a freshman, while he’s playing fewer minutes and taking fewer shots per game. Harrison has also shown the ability to lock up some strong opposing guards on defense, and has definitely been a key to St. John’s recent stretch of strong play.
- With his Boston Celtics traveling to Indianapolis to face the red hot Pacers, former Butler coach Brad Stevens had a chance to reconnect with many of the people who he worked with and coached. While Stevens is obviously focused on his first NBA season, he told The Indianapolis Star that he has watched almost all of Butler’s games and still reaches out to some of the players on this years squad to give encouragement. While I’m sure most Bulldogs fans would take Stevens back in a minute, he remains humble, and assures everyone that the program will go on without him under Brandon Miller: “I told you guys this in July… They are going to be a lot better without me. There is nothing better than watching that.”
- Josh Smith had a strong start in Georgetown’s game against Kansas on Saturday, scoring the Hoyas’ first two buckets. Unfortunately for Georgetown, Smith’s quick start encompassed almost all of the center’s production, as he struggled to stay on the court against the Jayhawks, and fouled out after just 19 minutes. On the other side, Kansas’ Joel Embiid put together a very strong effort, finishing with 17 points on four shots and eight total rebounds is 21 minutes, in just his 11th collegiate game. Brian Goodman frames the game, which turned into a decisive victory for Kansas, within these two performances. Where Kansas is a very young team that is capable of dominance on any given day, Georgetown is still finding itself, and Smith’s struggles limit what the Hoyas can do on both ends of the court.
- Fox Sports 1 is all in on Big East basketball, and while there aren’t many live options for the college fan on Christmas day, the network will be playing classic Big East match-ups throughout the day. Starting at noon, Big East fans can check out some great past games like 1985′s Final Four match-up between St. John’s and Georgetown, or that year’s national championship game, an all-Big East affair between a powerhouse Hoya squad and an upstart Villanova club. I won’t ruin the ending for anyone who has somehow missed those highlights pretty much every year the two teams meet, but I can assure you, it’s a good one.