UMass vs Providence Preview and Prediction
UMass vs Providence Preview
Providence leads the all-time series, 25-8.
The Friars are 12-2 at home, 9-3 at UMass and 4-3 in neutral arenas.
In the first meeting ever between the two teams, Providence defeated UMass, 36-21, on March 1, 1932 in Amherst, Mass.
The two teams have faced each other each of the last six seasons with the Friars winning three of the last four decisions. In the last game between the two teams, the Friars were defeated by the Minutemen, 72-63, on December 9, 2017. In the most recent game in Providence, the Friars earned a 75-69 win on December 10, 2016 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Through nine games this season, Head Coach Ed Cooley has relied on his freshman class to help pace the Friars. Freshman David Duke and AJ Reeves have started all nine games this season. Duke, Reeves and freshman Jimmy Nichols, Jr., have started the last six games for Providence. Those three, along with fellow freshman Kris Monroe, have accounted for 34 percent of all the minutes played for the Friars this season and 36 percent of all the points scored.
Reeves ranks second on the team in scoring (14.9 ppg) and he leads the team in three-point shooting (46.9 percent). Duke is fifth on the team in scoring (7.9 ppg) and fourth in three-point shooting (33.3 percent). Nichols is second on the team in blocks with eight.
Reeves was named Big East Freshman of the Week on December 3rd. It marks the third time in four weeks that he has earned the honor. Reeves averaged 11.0 points and 3.5 rebounds as the Friars posted a 2-0 mark last week. He also shot 40 percent (4-for-10) from three-point territory. Reeves had a team-high 15 points in the Friars’ 59-50 win over Rhode Island on December 1.
IT’S THE PIPKINS SHOW FOR UMASS
UMass is led again this season by Luwane Pipkins who is the top returning scorer in the Atlantic 10 after notching 21.2 points per game last year. He was named to the Atlantic 10 Preseason First Team after a breakout sophomore campaign. He is one of just six players in program history to average over 21 points a game in a single-season joining the likes of Julius Erving and Marcus Camby. He also became the 51st player in program history to eclipse 1,000 points for his career.
With 1,194 career points, Pipkins now ranks 28th on the all-time scoring list at UMass after moving past Carmelo Travieso (1993-97; 1,186 pts). Pipkins maintains his current scoring average, he could finish among UMass’ top-10 all-time scorers as a junior and currently trails Anthony Anderson (26th, 2001-05, 1,211) and Jim Town (26th, 1974-77, 1,211).
For the season, five Minutemen are averaging double figures led by Pipkins’ 19.9 per night. Jonathan Laurent is second at 11.2 points per game followed by Curis Cobb’s 10.9 point per game average. Carl Pierre (10.2 points) and Rashaan Holloway (10.1 points) round out UMass’ top scoring threats.
LINE: -9 Providence
The Friars have dominated this rivalry since it tipped-off in 1932 and they possess the more talented team this season.
UMass will play them tough, but ultimately there is too much firepower on the Friars offense for the Minutemen to keep up.
Providence 74 UMass 63