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UMass Minutemen vs. Providence Friars Preview: What You Need to Know

Can UMass get their first win on the road?

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Massachusetts Minutemen will take on their New England brethren, the Providence Friars Saturday at 1. You can view the game on CBSSN.

Who are the Friars?

Providence is a member of the Big East and currently boasts a record of 8-3. The Friars started off winning six straight games including wins over common oppenants Florida State and Notre Dame. That six game streak was followed by a three game skid including a dismantling by Kentucky. The other two losses (BC and Brown) are much less respectable.

Friars to keep track of:

Providence is led by their senior forward LaDontae Henton. He leads the Friars in scoring with 18.9 points per game. He shoots very well from the field, going 48% on field goals and 75% from the line. He is also second on the team on rebounds with 5.3 per game along with 1.8 steals per game. The Friars go as he goes.

Kris Dunn, a 6-3 guard, leads the team in both assists and steals with 6 and 2.7. He also is second on the team in points with 12.8. As Dunn is the facilitator of the offense, Carson Desrosiers is that of the defense. Averaging 2.7 blocks per game and being seven feet he is a monster on the defensive end.

How they matchup:

UMass has been struggling as of late, losing three of their last four games. Seth Berger will not play tomorrow for UMass which is probably not a bad thing.

UMass' frontcourt of Maxie Esho and Cady Lalanne will be challenged by the bigger Providence lineup. With both players leading UMass in scoring it will be imparitvie that they have a good game. The Minutemen have faced teams with bigger lineups this season so they are no strangers to being small, especially the guards.

The Minutemen average six more points per game as a team as they like to push the ball. If Providence can break their press than it will be a long day for UMass. Being 0-2 on the road I don't see the win column changing after Saturday. I don't think Providence will have much problem breaking the press and will be able to get many easy baskets. It will be a close one but the Friars will pull away late in the second half for the 68-65 win.