Jan. 6, 1998

Friars Take on Orangemen

Wednesday's Game is the 40th Meeting in the Series

thomas photo
Jamel Thomas

FRIARS VERSUS ORANGE...Wednesday's game is the 40th meeting in the series. Syracuse holds a 33-6 edge in the first 39 meetings. The Orange have won the last three meetings between the two schools and six of the last seven. PC is 4-15 against Syracuse in Providence, 1-15 in Syracuse and 1-3 on neutral courts. The two teams met just once last year, in Providence. The Orange won 91-82 in overtime. The two teams play again next Tuesday, January 13th at Syracuse.

FRIAR UPDATE...The Friars lost their second game in a row on Monday night, falling 68-62 to Canisius. Providence rallied from an 11-point deficit to tie the game at 62-62 with 1:05 left but the Gaels scored the last six points for the win.

TOPPING THE CHARTS...PC's Jamel Thomas needs just 26 points to become the 34th player in PC history to reach 1,000 points in his career. Thomas has 974 points in his first 74 career games at Providence for a 13.1 points per game average. The Brooklyn, New York native leads the Friars with 18.2 ppg and 7.9 rebounds.

COMING ATTRACTIONS...PC plays its third game in five days with tonight's game against Syracuse. The Friars have dropped the first two games at Georgetown (56-58) and against Iona (62-68). The Friars will make it four games in eight days on Saturday with a home game against Pittsburgh.

Pos.No. Name             Pts/Reb.   Ht. Wt. Class   Hometown
F   25  Ben PERKINS     10.4/5.1    6-7 200 Fr.     Vinton, La.
F   42  Llewellyn COLE  8.5/5.0     6-7 215 So.     New York, N.Y.
F   24  Erron MAXEY     7.2/3.4     6-6 195 Fr.     Lake Elsinore, Cal.
G   33  Jamel THOMAS    18.2/7.9    6-6 215 Jr.     Brooklyn, N.Y.
G    3  Kendrick MOORE  9.8/3.1     6-3 180 Jr.     Hartford, Conn.
C    5  T.J. McKENZIE   1.4/1.5     6-10 235 Fr.    Friendswood, Tex.
G   10  Corey WRIGHT    2.8/2.2     5-8 160 Jr.     New York, N.Y.  
G   12  John LINEHAN    4.8/1.2     5-9 165 Fr.     Chester, Pa.    
G   13  Mark ADAMS      0.0/0.0     6-3 200 Sr.     Clifton, N.J.
F   15  Peter FARRELL-  0.0/0.0     6-5 195 Fr.     Hanover, Mass.
G   20  Dennis CLEARY   1.0/0.0     6-0 160 So.     West Orange, N.J.
G/F 40  Justin FARLEY   6.0/1.7     6-6 205 Jr.     Indianapolis, Ind.
F   50  Rick  CORDELLA  1.0/0.5     6-4 210 Jr..    Foxboro, Mass.
Moore photo
Kendrick Moore

PROVIDENCE...All-time record: 1087-671 (.618) - Best in New England...Home record: 645-202 (.762)...Civic Center record: 321-121 (.726).

PROVIDENCE IN BIG EAST...112-176 in regular season and 125-193 overall in 19 seasons ... Eighth all-time in wins and percentage.

MONTH BY MONTH (1997-98)...2-1 in November...3-3 in December...0-2 in January.

HOME COOKING...The Friars are 4-2 at home this season after going 12-3 at home last season. The Friars are 61-17 (.782) record over the last 78 games at the Providence Civic Center (dating back to January 25, 1993). Over the last five full seasons plus six games this year, PC is 68-20 (.773) at the Civic Center. PC is 36-5 (.878) in its last 41 non-conference games in Providence dating back to the start of the 1992-93 season. Two of the losses have come in the NIT (Virginia Tech -1995, St. Joseph's - 1996) and two losses have been to Rhode Island (1992, 1996). The loss to Iona broke a streak of seven straight wins against non-conference teams.

CIVIC CENTER RECORD...PC owns a 321-121 (.726) record at the Providence Civic Center since the building opened in 1972. The Friars recorded their 300th win on January 8, 1996 against Canisius (91-63).

INJURED LIST...Junior forward Waleed Driscoll (torn ACL - right knee). Could miss the entire 1997-98 season.
- Ben Perkins - bruised left knee. Day-to-day.

NAIL BITERS...PC's 58-56 loss to Georgetown (1/3/97) was PC's second consecutive loss by five or less points. The Friars also lost at Purdue on 81-79 loss to Purdue on December 28th. The Friars are 2-2 in games decided by five or less this season. PC is now 16-13 in games decided by five points or less in Pete Gillen's four seasons at PC.

CAPTAINS...Three juniors will serve as the Friars tri-captains this season. Kendrick Moore, Jamel Thomas and Corey Wright were selected as captains prior to the start of the 1997-98 season.

PLAYER SIGNING...Sean Connolly, a 6-4, 190-pound guard from Peabody, Massachusetts and Bishop Fenwick High School has signed a national letter of intent to attend Providence College for the 1998-99 school year.

FAMOUS RELATIVES...Junior guard/forward Jamel Thomas is the cousin of the Minnesota Timberwolves' Stephon Marbury.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES...The Friars return just one starter (Jamel Thomas) from last year's Elite Eight and 24-12 team. Gone to graduation are Austin Croshere (Indiana Pacers -12th pick overall), Derrick Brown (CBA - Connecticut Pride), Ruben Garces (recovering from leg surgery) and Jason Murdock (out of basketball). Sophomore guard God Shammgod (Washington Wizards) opted for the NBA Draft where he was selected in the second round by Washington. Those five players accounted for 75.9% of PC's scoring and 68.1% of the Friars rebounding last season.

ATTENDANCE MARK...The 1996-97 Friars averaged more fans per game that ever at the Providence Civic Center. PC played 15 home games in front of 165,447 fans for an average of 11,030 per game. The previous best year was 1993-94 when the Friars averaged 10,882 per game.

CLASS BY CLASS..This season's Providence College roster features one senior, seven juniors, one sophomore and five freshman.

FRIAR FIRSTS...PC's loss to URI marked just the first time since the 1980-81 seasons that the Friars had lost two in a row to the Rams....The loss to URI dropped PC to 2-3 on the year marking the first time that the Friars have been below .500 in Pete Gillen's four seasons at Providence.

HOYA TOUGH...Saturday's loss at Georgetown gives the Hoyas a three-game winning streak versus the Friars and Georgetown has now won five of the last six meetings between the two teams. PC's last win at Georgetown came on February 6, 1993, a span of four games.

SCORING DROUGHT...The Friars went the final 16:13 of the second half against Iona without scoring a field goal, yet rallied from an 13-point deficit to tie the game at 62-62 with 1:05 left. The Friars made 22 of 26 free throws for their final 22 points of the half. PC shot just three-of 22 (13.6%) in the second half.

    University of Vermont:      3-0
    Brown:                      82-24
    Boston College:             49-37
    University of Utah:         1-2
    Rhode Island:               59-49
    Canisius:                   20-5
    Loyola-Marymount:           2-0
    Purdue:                     1-5
    Cleveland State:            2-0
    Georgetown:                 14-30
    Iona College:               1-2
    Syracuse:                   6-33
    Pittsburgh:                 13-17
    St. John's:                 30-49
    West Virginia:              6-1
    Connecticut:                20-29
    Seton Hall:                 38-32
    Miami:                      10-7
    Rutgers:                    4-0 
    Villanova:                  25-38
    Notre Dame:                 5-3 

BOARD GAMES...The Friars versus their opponents on the boards through 11 games. PC has been outrebounded in its four of its six losses (Utah, URI, Purdue and Georgetown) by a 167-112 margin. In the Friars other seven games, PC has a 273-217 edge on the glass.

GAME            PC    OPP   DIFF
VERMONT         41    36    +5.0
BROWN           46    23    +23.0
BC              38    30    +8.0
Utah            24    49    -25.0
Rhode Island    30    45    -15.0
Canisius        37    32    +5.0
LOYOLA MARY     43    32    +11.0
Purdue          31    40    -9.0
CLEVELAND ST.   30    29    +1.0
Georgetown      27    33    - 6.0
IONA            38    35    +3.0
TOTALS          385   384   +1.0

DOUBLE-DOUBLES....Friars with double-doubles this season:

PLAYER      GAME       
J. Thomas   VERMONT 25 pts/11rebs.
B. Perkins  VERMONT 1 0 pts/12 rebs.
J. Thomas   BROWN   16 pts/10 rebs.
J. Thomas   LMU 1   3 pts/12 rebs.
L. Cole     Purdue  10 pts/10 rebs.
J. Thomas   IONA    14 pts/11 rebs.
E. Maxey    IONA    11 pts/12 rebs.

DOUBLE FIGURES...Junior swingman Jamel Thomas is the lone Friar to score in double figures in every game this season. Thomas has scored 200 points in 11 games for an 18.2 ppg average. He now has 974 career points. Thomas needs just 26 points to become Providence College's 34th 1,000 point scorer.

NO   PLAYER         GP      POINTS
28  Steve Wright    123     1,060
29  Jerry Scott      97     1,045
30  Mike Pascale     66     1,035
31  Derrick Brown    66     1,034
32  Ray Flynn        82     1,025
33  Eric Williams    60     1,001
34  JAMEL THOMAS     74       974

ON THE LINE....Jamel Thomas has shown tremendous improvement at the foul line this season. In his first two seasons, the Brooklyn, New York native was just a .656 free throw shooter (101-154). This season, Thomas has made 66 of 82 (.805) from the charity stripe. Thomas made 13 of 14 free throws in the game against Rhode Island and was 6-6 versus Georgetown on Saturday.

FOR STARTERS.....The Friars entered the 1997-98 season with just two players who had ever started a college basketball game. Jamel Thomas had 33 starts last season and Corey Wright had three in 1996-97. Ben Perkins, John Linehan and Llewellyn Cole all made their first starts in PC's win over Vemont. Kendrick Moore and T.J. McKenzie made their first career starts in the Great Eight Tournament against Utah. Erron Maxey made his first two starts against Cleveland State and Georgetown.

MORE JAMEL....Thomas picked up his fourth double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds versus Iona. That's the seventh double-double of his career

DEFENSE... The 33 points that Providence held Brown to on November 25th were the fewest given up by the Friars since December 5, 1992 when PC defeated New Hampshire, 56-27. Brown scored 13 points in the second half. In the 12/5/92 game against UNH, the Wildcats were held to just 12 points in the first half.

MAKING THEIR MARKS....PC's four freshman are showing what they can do early in the season. Forward Ben Perkins is second in scoring with 10.4 points per game and 5.1 rebounds. Swingman Erron Maxey has started at center the last three games. In 13.7 minutes per game this season he is averaging 7.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game while T.J. McKenzie has played in nine of the Friars' first ten games averaging 1.5 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.

MAXEY EFFORTS...Freshman Erron Maxey (Lake Elsinore, Cal.) picked up his first career double-double against Iona with 11 points and 12 rebounds in a career high 31 minutes. Maxey has now made three straight starts since December 27th versus Cleveland State. In his three starts he is averaging 9.3 points and 6.0 rebounds. ds Prior to that he had been a valuable addition to the Friars coming off the bench. In three games this season, he has scored more points than minutes played. Versus Brown, in nine minutes, Maxey scored 11 points with three rebounds. Against Boston College, Maxey came in off the bench to spark the Friars. In 13 minutes against Boston College he had 12 points and, against Loyola Marymount, he scored 19 points in 17 minutes. In the three game span, over 39 minutes, Maxey scored 42 of his 79 points this season.

FRIARS IN SEASON OPENERS.....Providence is now 63-8 overall in season opening games. When that season opening game is at home, PC is 49-3 and the record is 14-5 when the first game occurs on the road. In home openers, the Friars are 66-5 all-time. Providence has now won four season openers in a row. The Friars have now won 13 straight home openers dating back to November 29, 1984 when they lost a 70-67 decision to Assumption at the Civic Center.

BIG EAST OPENERS...PC's game against Boston College marked just the fifth time in 19 years that PC opened the BIG EAST schedule at home. With the loss to Boston College, the Friars have now lost eight straight BIG EAST openers. The last time PC won was in December of 1989 when they beat Boston College at home. That was also the last time the Friars opened the league schedule in Providence. PC is now 8-11 overall in home openers and 3-16 overall in season opening games.

SLOW BIG EAST STARTS...PC is off to an 0-2 start in the BIG EAST after losing at Georgetown on Saturday, January 3rd. In the first 19 years of the BIG EAST, the Friars have been 0-2 to start the league schedule 14 times. The Friars' worst starts have been 0-6 in 1979-80 and 1991-92. The best start ever was 3-0 in 1988-89.

LAST MAAC LOSS...The last time that Providence had lost to a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference team was November 30, 1988 when the Friars lost a 99-98 decision at Holy Cross. Since that time, PC has gone 5-0 against teams from the MAAC.

PC VERSUS THE BIG 10...The Friars loss to Purdue (81-79) snapped a two-game PC winning streak against the BIG 10. The Friars had won two in a row against Wisconsin (1995 and 1996). PC is now 10-12 all-time against teams from the BIG 10.

ROSTER CHANGES...Sophomore center Ndongo N'Diaye (Dakar, Senegal) and sophomore forward Kofi Pointer (Baltimore, Md.) have decided to transfer at the end of the fall semester (December 19). Neither student-athlete has indicated where they plan to transfer.

THE WRIGHT STUFF...Junior point guard, Corey Wright came to life against Loyola Marymount as he equalled a career high for scoringe with 11 points. Wright also had five steals in that game, a figure he matched in the win over Cleveland State six days later. Wright now has 15 steals in his last five games.

BEST THIS SEASON...PC shot a season high 52.1% (25-48) in the win over Cleveland State. Until Monday's game with Iona, the Friars had been shooting 48.6% (106-218) during the last four games. Against Iona, PC shot just 32.7%, including 13.6% in the second half. In their first six games, the Friars shot just 39.9% (131-328).

TWO IN A ROW...PC followed the Loyola Marymount game with a second strong offensive performance against a good Purdue team. PC shot 49.2% from the floor (30-61), including 62.1% in the second half. PC made a season high 10 three pointers and shot 55.6% in that departmen on 10 of 18 shooting. The Friars' dished out a season high 20 assists in the game.

MAKING A PASS...PC guards Kendrick Moore and Corey Wright combined for 13 of the Friars' 20 assists in the loss to Purdue. For Moore, his game high seven were also a career best. Wright dished out six helpers which was a season high for him and equalled his career best.

MORE ON MOORE...Junior guard Kendrick Moore has finally shaken the rust from his game. After sitting out last year due to transferring from Missouri, the talented guard took three or four games to get his game together this season. In his last six games, Moore is averaging 12.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 4.3 assists. He is shooting 21-for-39 (53.8%) from the floor and seven of 14 (50.0%) from the three point line. He has recorded seven assists in two of his last four games.

LADIES' DAY...The Providence College women's basketball team will take over the Providence Civic Center on Saturday, February 7th when they host the nationally-ranked University of Connecticut Huskies. PC's women's team will be looking to set a Rhode Island attendance record for a women's athletic event in Rhode Island. The Civic Center holds 12,993 for basketball and there are currently less than 500 tickets remaining for this game. For ticket information, call the Friars' ticket office at (401) 865-GOPC. Members of the media planning on covering the PC-Connecticut women's game should contact Heidi McGuigan for credentials at (401) 865-2201.

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