It's been three days since we found at the Providence star, Bryce Hopkins, will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his ACL. Since then, the No. 23rd ranked Providence fell to Seton Hall at home (on the night of his injury), and lost to Creighton by 9.
Before his injury, this Friars team had begun to garner national attention. They performed tremendously before Big East play, the upset Marquette, and were poised for not only a run at the conference title but a chance to make some noise in the big dance. Against top-100 opponents this season, Providence is nearly 18 points better per 100 possessions with Hopkins in the game than without, per Hoop Explorer.
Now, they will be without their star player, and it will be a defining moment in the early Kim English era on how this team navigates the remainder of the year.
So, how will the Friars fare? Now, they still have All-American candidate, Devon Carter, who leads the team in scoring (16.9 ppg) and assists (3.2). He will now have to take on a heavier load and create opportunities for the remainder of the team. Josh Oduro and Ticket Gaines will need to see an uptick in their respective roles, as well as highly touted guard, Garwey Dual. The way the team is constructed, they will lean toward heavier guard play, with the starting five set as Carter-Oduro-Gaines, Corey Floyd Jr., and Jayden Pierre. Their remaining forwards in the rotation are Freshman Rich Barron and Donovan Santoro, and Sophomore Rafael Castro.
On paper, it doesn't look too bad, but there is a glaring hole with size and scoring. It won't be pretty, especially against teams like UConn, but if the Friars want to show the College Hoops landscape that they can still march forward, then they will need the team to rise together.