5. Providence Friars
One of the multiple coaching changes in this conference has led to major success, Kim English has these Friars in a great spot heading into conference play. This is a 9-2 team, and their losses are to a strong Kansas State team, and one of the best teams in the nation, Oklahoma. While the rest of the strength of schedule is not too impressive, taking care of business still gets you high on power rankings, and it is hard not to put them as high as they are.
This team only shoots 32.4 percent from three, but they win tough and have star power at the top to compete with anybody. Bryce Hopkins is obviously the one to mention here, in just under 34 minutes he puts up 17.2 points, and 8.3 rebounds per game for the Friars. Hopkins is a dominant force for this team, and if he is on the floor, Providence has a chance to win against these Big East opponents.
Devin Carter has also stepped up in his second season with the Friars, bumping his scoring up to 15.5 points per game. Josh Oduro, one of English’s George Mason transfers and fifth-year senior rounds out the big three with 14 points per game.
They are a team that needs to be test though, especially their depth throughout this lineup which is in question. They start the season off with Marquette, which is just about as difficult of a test as you can get to kick the year off.