UPDATED: PC Given 10 Seed in NCAA Tournament, Faces Texas A&M in 1st Round
Monday, March 12, 2018
GoLocalProv Sports Team
The Providence College Friars will be a 10 seed in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament and face Texas A&M in the first round on Friday in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Game time is set for 12:15 p.m. on CBS.
This is the fifth straight year that the Friars have reached the NCAA Tournament. The class of 2018, which includes Kyron Cartwright, Rodney Bullock, and Jalen Lindsey, have never missed an NCAA Tournament.
"This is going to be the first time in the history of Providence College that a recruiting class goes to four consecutive [NCAA] tournaments, and I can't be more proud of this group for doing so, which is really, really hard to do," said PC head coach Ed Cooley in his post-game press conference following the win over Creighton in the Big East Tournament.
Cooley is now tied with Dave Gavitt for most appearances in the NCAA Tournament by a Providence coach in school history.
The Friars are 1-4 in NCAA Tournament games in the Ed Cooley era.
Overall, the Friars are in the NCAA Tournament for the 20th time in program history.
PC This Season
The Friars finished the regular season with an overall record of 19-12 and a conference record of 10-8, good enough for fifth in the Big East.
As the 5-seed in the Big East Tournament, the Friars knocked off Creighton in the first round to advance to the semifinals.
In the semifinal game against top-seeded Xavier, the Friars trailed by as much as 17 points before rallying to edge the Musketeers in overtime and advance to the championship game.
In the title game, the Friars took Villanova to overtime before falling 76-66 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
It was PC's second championship game appearance since 2014.
Big East Tournament Bids
Overall, the Big East saw six teams get into the tournament.
The teams are Villanova, Seton Hall, Providence, Xavier, Creighton, and Butler.
Both Villanova and Xavier are number one seeds.
Kyron Cartwright - Senior
Kyron Cartwright was ranked as the sixth-best guard in the country and the second-best guard in the Big East by CBS Sports.
He was also named to the preseason All-Big East second team at Big East media day.
"Kyron is the fastest player in the Big East, he can distribute the ball, he was 4th in the league in assists last season, so he can make things happen," said Hassett.
In 2016-17, Cartwright averaged 11.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in the regular season helping the Friars to a third-place finish in the conference.
He finished the season ranked fourth in the country and first in the Big East with 6.7 assists per game.
Coming into this season, Cartwright is tied with John Linehan with 450 career assists. He has a chance to climb as high as second all-time and pass Ernie DeGregorio who recorded 662 career assists.
Vincent Council is number one with 725 career assists.
Alpha Diallo - Sophomore
Alpha Diallo will look to build off a freshman season in which he started 16 games for the Friars.
He averaged 5.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and one steal in 21 minutes of action per game. At the end of the year, the team named him the Marvin Barnes Defensive Player of the Year.
Diallo started his freshman season coming off the bench and playing inconsistent minutes through the first eight games.
By PC's fifth Big East Conference game, he was in the starting lineup and would stay there.
Diallo finished the season reaching double figures in five of the Friars final 12 games, including 18 points against both Villanova and St. John's.
Jalen Lindsey - Senior
Jalen Lindsey has missed the entire preseason with a knee injury.
Lindsey returned to practice on Wednesday and will be a game-time decision for Friday, according to Cooley.
If Lindsey can't go, senior Isaiah Jackson will take his place in the starting lineup.
Last season with PC, Lindsey averaged 10.4 points, four rebounds and one steal in 31 minutes of action per game.
He also shot 46% from three.
Rodney Bullock - Senior
Rodney Bullock returns to the Friars this season after testing the NBA Draft waters last March, before pulling his name out.
Prior to the start of this season, Bullock was named second-team all-Big East.
"With Rodney Bullock, he has to be consistent. He has to come out and give it to you every night. With this team, there is no reason why he shouldn't average 17 points and get 8-10 rebounds per game. He has to be more aggressive on both ends of the floor," said Hassett.
In 2016-17, Bullock led Providence in scoring and rebounding with an average of 15.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
He also led PC with five double-doubles on the year and scored at least 20 points in nine games, including a career-high 36 points against New Hampshire.
In PC’s NCAA Tournament game against USC, Bullock poured in 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Kalif Young - Sophomore
"The Holt injury is a major problem. He is the toughest player on the team, the best rebounder, and a post up guy that they don’t have. He is also good outside guy that can stretch the defense. Plus, you lose the experience," said Hassett.
Holt's absence means 6'9" sophomore Kalif Young will open the season at center.
"He has a tremendous opportunity now with Holt gone to get more minutes then he would have gotten. The reliance on him now is bigger. With Emmitt out there he didn’t have to play important minutes, now he has to play important minutes," said Hassett.
In his freshman season with the Friars, Young averaged 3.2 points, 3.2 rebounds 0.5 blocked shots in 13 minutes of action per game.