Providence isn’t exactly expected to set the Big East on fire this season — the Friars were chosen to finish dead last in the league’s preseason poll — but nobody really thought they were in danger from the Great West.
The Friars barely survived against the New Jersey Institute of Technology, however, winning 64-63 on Saturday afternoon after Highlander P.J. Miller missed a desperation three at the buzzer. Had Miller kept his head and worked for the two-point shot, things may have gone very differently.
PC won the game, but suffered a loss that may turn today’s contest into a pyhrric victory. Vincent Council — the senior guard expected to be a bright spot for the Friars — went down just five minutes into his first game this year. Council had scored two points from made free throws after shooting 0-3 from the floor before his day took a turn for the worse.
The Providence Journal provided details on how the injury occurred:
With 15:18 to play in the first half, Council was over midcourt and passed the ball when he seemed to have his legs split from under him. He crumpled to the floor in obvious pain and was helped to the bench and then the PC locker room.
His injury is initially being diagnosed as a hamstring issue. He is done for the day and will be evaluated.later but his status for Monday’s game against Bryant is certainly in doubt.
Council returned to the bench in sweat pants and confirmed that he had suffered a hamstring injury. He watched helplessly as teammate Bryce Cotton hit one of two free throws with five seconds left and the game tied. With three full seconds left on the clock, NJIT’s Miller took the errant shot that ended the game. Ladontae Henton (pictured) led the Friars with 24 points in the close win.
Honestly? Providence isn’t too scary even with Council, but a lingering hamstring injury suffered in the first game is the worst way for a senior year to get started, and it won’t help Ed Cooley’s Friars find a much-needed cohesive identity, either.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.