2. Nate Watson gets back on track
For Texas basketball, a ton of the focus on defense needs to fall on Watson and Diallo. All-around, Diallo is the best player Providence has to offer. Diallo is posting a player efficiency rating at 23.7. Hayes is the only player for the Horns that is getting regular playing time that has a player efficiency rating above 20.
Moreover, Diallo leads the Friars in points per game and rebounds. Watson might be closer to the averages that Diallo posts in rebounds, but he doesn’t get enough minutes on the floor to pull that off. Diallo is playing similar minutes on the floor to what head coach Shaka Smart is giving to sophomore point guard Matt Coleman this season.
Meanwhile, Watson is getting just over 20 minutes per game this season. His minutes in the last two games for Providence, against UAlbany and Central Connecticut, were really limited. He did run into some foul trouble against UAlbany that held him to just 14 minutes. In that win over the Great Danes, Watson only posted three points.
In the previous four games for Watson, he posted at least 12 points in each. He had his best performance of the regular season in the upset win over the Boston College Eagles, where he posted 19 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks. If Watson does stay out of foul trouble in this game, he’ll look to make a huge impact in the front court.