Men's Basketball Prepares For Tuesday's Opener At Providence

Men's Basketball Prepares For Tuesday's Opener At Providence

SHU GAME NOTES

The Sacred Heart University men's basketball team opens the 2019-20 campaign Tuesday night, with a trip to Providence College. The Pioneers take on the Big East Conference member Friars at 7:00 pm at the Dunkin Donuts Center, in Providence, R.I.

The game airs live on FSN, with Dave Sims and Vin Parise on the call.

The two teams are meeting for the sixth time, and the first time since December 22, 2017, The Friars have won those previous meetings, 89-75 in the last meeting.

Preseason Prognostications... The NEC coaches think highly of the Pioneers chances in the 2019-20 season, selecting them second in the league's preseason poll. Three head coaches selected the Pioneers as the favorites to win the regular season title. LIU received five first place votes to earn the stop spot, while Saint Francis U (one first place vote) was tabbed third and defending champion, Fairleigh Dickinson (three first place votes) was selected fourth.

Scouting the Friars... Providence was tabbed fourth in the Big East Coaches Preseason Poll. The Friars return all five starters from a 2018-19 squad that went 18-16 overall and advanced to the NIT. Alpha Diallo was named to the Julius Erving Award Watch List, presented to the top small forward in Division I, while Nate Watson was named to the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Watch list, honoring the top center in Division I. Head Coach Ed Cooley is in his ninth season at the institution, leading the Friars to seven consecutive postseason appearances. Cooley is third on the all-time wins list at 162-110.

Preseason Honors... Junior E.J. Anosike was named to the Preseason All-NEC Team, announced at the annual NEC Social Media Day at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Anosike became the second player in program history to win the NEC Most Improved Player Award after averaging 14.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game last season. In NEC-play, he averaged 15.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, while shooting 56% from the floor and 42% from three-point range to earn All-NEC Second Team honors.

Oh Captain, Our Captains... Anthony Latina named team captains on November 1st; with seniors Kinnon LaRose, Jare'l Spellman and junior E.J. Anosike earning the honor. LaRose served as captain for the Pioneers during the second portion of the 2018-19 season as well.

Preseason Prognostications... The NEC coaches think highly of the Pioneers chances in the 2019-20 season, selecting them second in the league's preseason poll. Three head coaches selected the Pioneers as the favorites to win the regular season title. LIU received five first place votes to earn the stop spot, while Saint Francis U (one first place vote) was tabbed third and defending champion, Fairleigh Dickinson (three first place votes) was selected fourth.

Record Watch... Jare'l Spellman blocked a SHU Division I record 96 shots during the 2018-19 campaign. That number leaves him two shy of the Division I career record, held by Tevin Falzon (2012-16). Should he block four shots this season, he will become sixth player in program history to reach the century mark. Spellman averaged 3.06 blocks per game last season, fifth in the country.