Providence Basketball: Key games in Friars 2022-23 non-conference schedule
The full schedule has been released for Providence Basketball but let’s focus on the non-conference matchups. Which games are most important for the Friars?
Last season, Providence Basketball was one of the biggest surprises in all of college basketball. They finished with 27 wins, won the Big East regular-season title outright, and made it to the Sweet 16 after little to no preseason expectations. The Friars actually showed early on that they were serious contenders after an impressive non-conference campaign.
The team went 10-1 in 11 games, with the lone loss coming to the Virginia Cavaliers. They were able to get a pair of big wins against both Wisconsin and Texas Tech that set their resume up for a favorable seed come March. The Friars are hoping for similar results for the upcoming season, now that the schedule has been released.
Which of these games are the most important for Providence? Here’s a closer look at the non-conference matchups to watch.
Hall of Fame Tip-off (Nov 19-20th) – Miami, Maryland/Saint Louis
The opening matchup in the multi-team event looks fairly even on paper, with the top-heavy Hurricanes running with one of the best backcourts in the country in Isaiah Wong and Kansas State transfer Nijel Pack. It’ll be up to Jared Bynum and incoming transfers, Noah Locke and Devin Carter to prevent those guards from going off, while Clifton Moore deals with former Sun Belt Player of the Year and Miami newcomer Norchad Omier inside.
Maryland is rebuilding with a new roster and head coach, while Saint Louis could be ranked in the preseason top-25. They’re another guard-heavy offense, led by last season’s leading passer in point guard Yuri Collins. Providence could get two good wins in this event but needs to beat Miami to guarantee at least one of them.
at TCU Horned Frogs (Nov 30th)
This is a Big East/Big 12 Challenge matchup, with the Frogs an expected preseason top-20 team after returning just about everyone from last year’s NCAA Tournament campaign. TCU also is led by its backcourt and 15 ppg scorer Mike Miles, along with point guard Damion Baugh. As a unit, they’re very strong defensively and create their own offense well without having to rely on three-pointers. On paper, it’s the toughest non-conference matchup for the Friars.
at Rhode Island Rams (Dec 3rd)
This is an interesting road matchup to watch for Providence with what will be a completely different roster under new head coach Archie Miller. There are several newcomers to the roster, including George Washington’s double-digit scoring transfer Brayon Freeman.
There’s plenty unknown with the Rams and how good they’ll ultimately be but all road games should be taken seriously, including this regional battle