Vincent Council, Niels Giffey

Why did Providence guard Vincent Council sit longer than anticipated Thursday? Twitter.

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Due to issues on the defensive end of the floor in the games leading up to Thursday’s contest against Connecticut, Providence point guard Vincent Council and small forward LaDontae Henton were replaced in the starting lineup by Teddy Bancroft and Lee Goldsbrough.

But while Henton was on the floor just two minutes into the game Council had to wait longer, not entering the game until the halfway point of the first half.

Why? Council tweeted about the move on Thursday afternoon, and talking about program affairs on social media is something that head coach Ed Cooley doesn’t approve of.

Of course, former Friars Gerard Coleman (now at Gonzaga) and Ron Giplaye (now at East Tennessee State) reacted to Council’s tweet, as you can see below.

“Ya know,” Council tweeted, “I don’t even joke that ted starting and lee for me and buckets!!”

“That (bleep) is crazy,” Coleman responded. “Where the loyal at? This ya last year bruh just keep doin and finish strong my dude.”

“I’m shocked, but I ain’t surprised,” Giplaye tweeted. “What u miss study hall? Or is this the game plan?”

Following the Friars’ 82-79 overtime loss to the Huskies Cooley simply stated that the program has a policy prohibiting players from talking about the program on social media. Program issues are to be kept in house, and that’s something that just about any program would require of its players.

Both Council and Henton played well for the Friars on Thursday night, with the senior point guard finishing with 15 points, ten assists and five rebounds in 31 minutes before fouling out and Henton accounting for 15 points and 13 rebounds in 40 minutes of action.

But despite four players reaching double figures (Kadeem Batts led the way with 20 points) and a 55-24 rebounding advantage Providence lost for the fourth time in the last five games. The Friars converted 28 offensive rebounds into just 18 second-chance points, and UConn scored 25 points off of 17 Providence turnovers.

After starting the season 8-2 Providence has lost nine of their last 11 games with shoddy play on the defensive end being a big reason why (of course the Friars had limited depth for much of the non-conference portion of their schedule due to injuries or transfers).

Cooley sent a message to two of his key players by way of the bench on Thursday, and Council’s response led to him sitting much longer than expected.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Some conference matchups play out before football

Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, left, reacts after scoring a basket against Utah during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Oregon defeated Utah 77-59. (AP Photo/George Frey)
(AP Photo/George Frey)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Utah at No. 16 Oregon, 4:00 p.m.

From Rob Dauster’s Weekend Preview:

Utah suffered one of the worst losses I’ve seen in a while on Thursday night, when Brandon Taylor, for some unknown reason, decided to foul an Oregon State player firing up a half court prayer at the buzzer. The Utes, who are arguably the second-best team in the Pac-12, will look to bounce-back on Sunday against the best team in the Pac-12, No. 16 Oregon at 4:00 p.m.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:

1. No. 12 SMU will attempt to stay atop the American standings as they travel to South Florida. While the Mustangs won the first matchup between these two teams at home by 14, they’ve dropped their last two games on the road.

2. A few more American contests are going down as East Carolina travels to UConn and Houston heads to Tulsa. The game between the Cougars and Golden Hurricane is especially interesting because both teams are sitting two games back of SMU and trying to make a move on the postseason.

3. No. 5 Iowa continues the soft part of the schedule as they face Illinois on the road. The Hawkeyes posted recent easy victories over Northwestern and Penn State and will be heavily favored again on Sunday.

4. Could be an intriguing game as No. 17 Miami travels to Georgia Tech. Although the Yellow Jackets aren’t a major contender in the ACC, they’ve been tough this season, especially at home. The Hurricanes fell victim to Georgia Tech last season while they were ranked by Marcus Georges-Hunt has to get back on track after a recent slump for that to happen.

5. There is an Atlantic 10 game that will be featured on NBCSN on Sunday: Saint Louis at St. Bonaventure (2:00 p.m.).

CLICK HERE to watch these games on NBC Sports Live Extra Sunday afternoon.

Illinois State ends No. 21 Wichita State’s 12-game win streak

Fred VanVleet
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
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Having won 12 straight games, No. 21 Wichita State entered the weekend one of the hottest teams in the country. And with a four-game lead atop the Missouri Valley standings, clinching the regular season title was more a matter of “when” as opposed to “if.” But none of that mattered Saturday night at Illinois State, as the Redbirds managed to hand the Shockers their first conference loss by the final score of 58-53.

In addition to the 12-game win streak, which was second to Stony Brook (15 straight wins), Wichita State also saw its 19-game win streak in Valley regular season games come to an end. Illinois State was the last Valley team to beat Wichita State, eliminating the Shockers in the Arch Madness semifinals last March, and they played with the confidence of a team that believed it could win.

And after a rough first half the Redbirds found a way to come back, erasing a 16-point second half deficit in the process.

Wichita State’s issue in the second half was the fact that they couldn’t make shots. The Shockers shot just 26.7 percent from the field and 1-for-14 from three in the second half, with Fred VanVleet going scoreless and Shaq Morris scoring just one point. And just two players, Ron Baker and Conner Frankamp, managed to make multiple field goals in the game’s final 20 minutes. Illinois State certainly deserves credit for that, as they took away the quality looks Wichita State was able to find in building its lead.

And on the other end of the floor Paris Lee took control of the game during Illinois State’s comeback, scoring 13 of his 19 points in the second half with Deontae Hawkins adding 11 second-half points. Illinois State was even worse from the field, finishing the game shooting just over 27 percent from the field. But they were able to attack the Wichita State defense and get to the foul line, outscoring the Shockers 22-9 from the charity stripe. And in a game in which neither team could get much going offensively, the ability to get points from the line proved to be the difference.

This defeat doesn’t help Wichita State, but did anything really change? Maybe the margin for error when it comes to an at-large bid gets a little smaller with the loss in the eyes of some. But when considering injuries to the likes of VanVleet and Anton Grady in non-conference play, those early season losses are understandable. Saturday was a rough night for Wichita State, but given the maturity and talent on at Gregg Marshall’s disposal the Shockers will be fine moving forward.