Providence Friars - 10-2 (1-0)
The opening game of Big East play was Providence hosting a top-10 Marquette team that was looking to defend its conference title crown. They ended up going 0-1, as the Friars handed them a 72-57 defeat. Devin Carter led all scorers with 22 pts and 8 rebs, while Davonte Gaines finished with 18 pts. Freshman Garwey Dual went scoreless but did dish out seven assists off the bench.
The win over Marquette was easily, the best win for Providence, joining Wisconsin and Georgia. The losses are on the road at Oklahoma and a neutral site defeat to Kansas State, neither of whom will hurt them. The fact that new coach Kim English, who some wondered how he'd fare in the Big East, could make an opening statement like this, bodes well for the program this season.
The pieces are there for the Friars to not take a step back without Coach Ed Cooley. Bryce Hopkins (16.7 ppg and 8.3 rpg) and Devin Carter (16.1 ppg and 7.8 rpg) is one of the best duos in the country, while George Mason transfers, Gaines and Josh Oduro, have shown that they can play at the Big East level.
If the point guard position can be collectively handled between Dual and starter Jayden Pierre, then the Friars won't have any true weaknesses on the roster. And that means there shouldn't be a real reason why they don't find a way to get to the NCAA Tournament.