- The Washington Times - Monday, January 26, 2004

Seen and heard last night at Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I.:

THE RANKED FRIARS — After the new Associated Press Top 25 poll was released, the Hoyas found out they were playing their third ranked team this season. For the second time this season, Providence broke into the poll — this time at No. 23. Three weeks ago, the Friars appeared for one week at No. 25 but fell out after consecutive losses to No. 16 Texas and Rutgers.

TALENTED GOMES — Providence forward Ryan Gomes was named Big East player of the week after leading Providence to a 3-0 record. The 6-foot-7, 245-pound Gomes, whose game is similar to that of departed Georgetown forward Mike Sweetney, is the conference’s second-leading scorer (20.3), fourth-best rebounder (9.8), and top free throw shooter (87.9 percent). Gomes’ prowess at the foul line needs mentioning because he plays in the same league as Syracuse guard Gerry McNamara. McNamara, who is a career 90 percent free throw shooter, is second behind Gomes at 87.5 percent.

LET THREEDOM RING — Hours before the game, Providence students were seen placing cardboard placards on all the courtside seats. Upon further inspection, the placards revealed the number 3 on each. What a difference a season makes. Last year, the Friars were one of the Big East’s worst 3-point shooting teams (11th), connecting on an average of 5.44 a game. After 16 games this season, the Friars are averaging 8.4 3-pointers and are 134 of 353 (38 percent) from behind the 3-point arc. In an 89-59 blowout of Loyola-Chicago, the Friars attempted 32 3s, two shy of the school mark.

Ken Wright

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