Ever since the non-conference schedule was released for the Providence College Friars, it became clear that one week would be circled on everyone’s calendars. Coming into this past week, the Friars had a record of 5–2 but lacked any statement wins, missing opportunities against the University of Miami and Saint Louis University at the Hall of Fame Tip-Off. Those missed opportunities made it even more crucial for the team to pick up at least one win in games this past week against Texas Christian University and the University of Rhode Island.
The Friars opened the week by traveling to Fort Worth, TX to represent the Big East in the –Big 12 Battle. This game presented a tremendous opportunity for the Friars to pick up a signature win against likely the best team they have faced thus far; the Horned Frogs were sitting at No. 26 in the country in the most recent AP poll. From the tip, it was clear that TCU was a strong team, and the Friars struggled to play in their first true road game of the season in a hostile environment.
One Friar, however, stepped up to the plate in a big way: Devin Carter ’25. Carter came to the Friars from the University of South Carolina through the transfer portal after a strong freshman campaign with the Gamecocks. Expectations were high for Carter coming into the season, as many Friar fans hoped for him and fellow transfer Bryce Hopkins ’25 to create a formidable duo on both offense and defense. Carter was one of Providence’s strongest players against the Horned Frogs, putting up 17 points, which tied Hopkins for the game-high in the 75–62 defeat. The Friars needed scoring anywhere they could get it in that game, as TCU’s defense was often suffocating and Providence was forced into multiple shot clock violations.
In addition to the boost Carter provides on offense, his true value can be seen on the defensive end of the court. Carter is customarily assigned to guard the opposing team’s strongest guard, and oftentimes he matches up well with them due to his incredible speed and quickness. He held Mike Miles Jr., TCU’s lead guard, to only 12 points, which was well below his season average of just above 18 points per game. In addition to his defensive performance against Miles Jr., Carter was able to pick up a steal, three defensive rebounds, and a pair of assists. It was a well-rounded game from Carter, and going forward, it is likely that the Friars will rely on Carter to put up similar levels of production, especially as the schedule grows tougher in Big East play. Following their defeat against the Horned Frogs, the Friars would turn their attention to their in-state rival: the University of Rhode Island.
On Saturday, Dec. 3, Providence traveled to Kingston to play in another hostile environment in a road arena. The gym was packed, and amongst the crowd was Carter’s dad, Anthony Carter, who happens to be on the coaching staff of the Miami Heat. Sitting beside him were NBA stars Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry.
In front of his dad, Carter put on an absolute show. Midway through the first half, Carter produced what was likely the play of the game. He jumped in front of a pass to intercept it and took it the length of the court finishing with a ferocious dunk that stunned the crowd, prompting URI head coach Archie Miller to call a timeout. The dunk came in the midst of an extended run for the Friars that ultimately allowed them to take control of the game and secure the key road win by a score of 88–74 against an in-state rival. Although URI is suffering through what looks to be a rebuilding season in Miller’s first campaign, road wins in college basketball are rarely easy to come by, and securing as many as possible in non-conference play is critical come time for postseason selection.
Carter was crucial to the Friars’ success on both ends of the court on Saturday. Offensively, Carter had 10 points and added three assists while only turning the ball over once. On the defensive end, Carter shined even brighter, grabbing three rebounds, a pair of steals, and a block for good measure. Performances like that are going to get Carter in the conversation for the Big East Defensive Player of the Year award if he can string them together with some consistency. The Friars’ success going forward will likely be tied closely to Carter’s performance in big games, and this week Carter rose to the occasion, which is why he is this week’s Friar Athlete of the Week.