Archives For January 2012

Despite Pittsburgh having their typical strong teams, the Friars have been able to inexplicably play the Panthers well over the last several years. After upsetting them at home when ranked #1, PC lost two tough games the last two seasons early on in conference play before the wheels completely fell off both seasons. Ashton Gibbs beat Providence on a buzzer beater in 2010, and a Gerard Coleman miscue helped Pitt escape late at the Dunk last year.

Tonight is quite different, as the Friars will face a reeling Piitsburgh team that has yet to win a BIG EAST conference game. We’ve been there old conference mate, and it’s no fun. Instead of trying to get a win over a ranked team to bring some excitement to the season, PC will be surprisingly playing Pittsburgh for something more important — the battle for the BIG EAST basement! Oh It’s on. It’s on like Donkey Kong.

WHAT TO: KNOW

Game Time: 7:00PM EST

Opponent: Pittsburgh (11-9, 07)

Location: The Pete

Spread: Pittsburgh -9.0

ESPN Accuscore: Pittsburgh 70.4, Providence 64.3 (Pitt wins 68.7% in over 10,000 simulations)

CBSSports Daily Picks: Providence 74, Pittsburgh 73

Four Factors

Hit up the rest of the preview after the jump.

Continue Reading…

Friars Links 1.24.12

dave@friarblog —  January 24th, 2012 10:01 PM —  Comments

ESPN: Recruiting Rank Changes

New rankings are up, and Ricardo Ledo (#18) and Kris Dunn (#23) have slight bumps – they were #22 and #29 respectively.

Daily Progress: Locals in college: Former Miller star making impact for Providence

Nice article on Brice Kofane, blocker extraordinaire.

Where he has made the biggest impact in his first season on the court is on the defensive end, becoming a strong presence, leading the team in blocks with 1.5 per game, while also being one of the top rebounders on the squad. For former Providence assistant coach and current Towson head coach Pat Skerry, the primary recruiter for Kofane, his success isn’t a surprise.

“Ed Cooley and his staff have done a really good job with Brice,” Skerry said. “He is having a good freshman year. I like his motor defensively…He is a really good teammate.

“He is a tough kid, he plays defense, he rebounds. He is a kid that is having a good career. They will get him better, too. I think [he is] a guy that can play a good role in a program that is on the upswing in the Big East.”

Friars.com: Providence College Men’s Basketball Alumni Game To Take Place Prior To The Georgetown Game On February 18

Oh snap, I’m making the trip up to Providence for that game on Saturday night, but not sure if I’ll be there in time for this. I doubt Marvin Barnes will be there.

The annual Providence College men’s basketball Alumni Game is set to take place on Saturday, February 18, at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center prior the Providence versus Georgetown game. The Alumni Game will begin at 2:45 p.m. with former Friars such as Ernie DiGregorio, Joe Hassett and Jacek Duda among others participating in the game.

New York Times: In Brooks, a Rookie, Nets Have a Refined Shooter

Marshon missed the last game due to a sore Achilles heal, but an MRI was negative and he’ll be a gametime decision for the next game on Wednesday night.

Brooks has scored in double-digits in 14 of 16 games this season, but also managed to shoot 47 percent from the field as the second scoring option on a bad offensive team. According to Synergy Sports Technology, he currently ranks in the league’s 88th percentile in half-court scoring efficiency. He’s topped 20 points on five different occasions this season (including a do-it-all scoring performance against the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday), but as a product of efficient shooting (he was 53 percent from the field overall in those five games) rather than thoughtless shot-hunting. Brooks creates much of his offense off the dribble, but somehow commits turnovers at the same low rate as an off-ball cutter or a spot-up shooter.

Twitter: @GavinKeefe

Another double-double for Kris Dunn. This time it’s with steals.

Providence-bound Kris Dunn had 32 points and 10 steals in New London's 95-65 rout of Woodstock. #pcbb
@GavinKeefe
Gavin Keefe

Friars.com: Men’s Basketball Team Fell To No. 21 Marquette, 79-72

With 11:36 remaining in the second half, Marquette took the lead 57-55 and would not look back. The Golden Eagles would lead by as many as 13 points in the final minutes of the game.

Marquette shot 53.7-percent from the field and was 9-for-11 (81.8-percent) from behind the arc which is the highest of any BIG EAST team this season. Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder each scored 18 points for the Golden Eagles.

ESPN: Recap (AP)

“We spend an inordinate amount of time in practice on our defense,” Williams said. “I think in the last 13 minutes we were good defensively — maybe our best all year.”

The Golden Eagles’ tough man-to-man defense combined with some solid shooting turned a close game into an easy win. Marquette shot 68.2 percent (15 of 22) after halftime.

“I don’t know why we start out slow, but in the second half we always pick it up and get the job done,” Gardner said.

Like its last game, Marquette started sluggishly, but responded with a quick turnaround. In the second half, Wilson took over, scoring nine points in a key stretch.

Providence Journal: Friars drop ‘winnable’ game

The second half, however, was a different story. Marquette, now 16-4 and 5-2 in the Big East, dominated most of the final 13 minutes and beat the Friars, 79-72. On defense, the Golden Eagles limited the Friars to one field goal in a nine-minute stretch as the game turned for good. Offensively, Marquette shot a sizzling 68 percent in the second half and 53 percent for the game and left Cooley talking to himself.

“Today was as winnable a game as we’ve had in about a month,” Cooley said. “Our lack of overall toughness from a physical standpoint and a mental standpoint defensively really, really bothered me today.”

GoLocalProv: Marquette’s hot shots top Providence, 79-72

In the second half alone, Marquette shot 68% from the floor (15 of 22 field goals made), adding 3-for-3 from the three-point stripe to the 6-for-8 performance in the first half. The Friars were also held to just seven offensive rebounds in the second half, after gaining 14 in the first period.

In total, those numbers were too tough to overcome, especially on a night where the Golden Eagles didn’t need much help from the free throw line…shooting their way to a fifth Big East win, and their first on the road this season.

The Sun Chronicle: Marquette tops defenseless PC

“He’s (Cooley) got those guys playing extremely hard,” added Williams. “They keep you off balance, they do a great job of getting fouls, a great job of offensive rebounding.”

The Friars out-rebounded the Golden Eagles 40-33 and outscored them (20-12) at the charity stripe, but Marquette shot a Big East season best nine of 11 three-point field goals.

Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel: Wilson leads Marquette victory

Wilson then went to work.

He broke the tie with a jumper and then hit a three and Marquette led by five. Wilson later picked up a loose ball off the court under the Marquette basket and scored. He then hit a jumper, giving him nine straight Marquette points, and the Golden Eagles led, 66-59, with 7:57 left.

Friar Basketball: The Marquette Model: Golden Eagles Ride Physical Play to Victory in Providence

You can be physical (see Jae Crowder) without being tall. Buzz Williams has built a roster short on length, but long on physical, bruising guards who are constantly in attack mode.

What they also have is a bruising small forward in Crowder and another long small forward developing in Wilson. The lengthy, tough, athletic small forward has been something that so many of the better Big East teams have featured recently, and it’s been a serious deficiency around these parts of late. JaKarr Sampson anyone?

Williams’ style of play allows his team to fall behind Providence 14-6, Louisville 18-2, and Pittsburgh 14-5, only to come back and win each time. His group is in constant attack mode, wears on their opponents and they are physical on both sides of the ball. The recent results have been a series of second half comeback wins. Longer term, it’s a formula that’s turned Marquette into a perennial top 25 team.

Anonymous Eagle: No. 21/22 Marquette 79, Providence 72

I know Keno Davis isn’t the coach at Providence anymore, but his fingerprints were all over the Friars’ defensive effort this evening. Marquette shot 53.7% from the field and 81.8% from 3-point land for the game. That includes a ridiculous 71% shooting in the 2nd half!

Photos:

Photo by @Friartown97

This about sums it up - (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

Ed Cooley bobblehead night! - Photo by @PCAthletics

 Tweets:

For every great run the Friars make, Marquett makes an even better...thank goodness Odom is finally graduating #pcbb
@RhodeIslandMark
Marcus in RI
Marquette can't miss, and refs are giving charges when guys are camped out in the circle. Other than that, it's going well. #pcbb
@PhillyFriar
Kevin O'Brien
The Providence fans haven't been happy with the officiating (as is often the case), but now it seems Ed Cooley isn't happy, either.
@PhilKasiecki
Phil Kasiecki

In another Nets loss, Marshon Brooks scored 14 points but didn’t shoot the ball particularly well (6-17 shooting, 0-4 from dowtown). However, he showed a little more than scoring with this assist to Kris Humphries that made ESPN as the #2 Top Play on SportsCenter.

The Marquette Golden Eagles defeated the Providence Friars tonight 79-72. Marquette shot lights out in the 2nd half (they hit 11 of their first 14 attempts and went a ridiculous 9-11 from downtown overall) to pull away from the Friars after a back and forth first half. Jae Crowder had 18 points, while Jamil Wilson had a career high 16 points off the bench.

Wilson gave Marquette a 62-57 edge with 10:45 to play when he hit a jumper from the top and followed that with a 3 from the left corner.

After Gerard Coleman had a basket for Providence, Wilson had consecutive baskets in the lane, pushing the Golden Eagles’ lead to 66-59 with 8:02 left.

Gardner then took over the scoring. He scored in the lane, hit one free throw and a putback made it an 11-point lead with 3:51 remaining.

Bryce Cotton had 28 points to lead all scorers.

Here is the Buzz Williams and Ed Cooley press conference following the game tonight.

Watch live streaming video from providencecollege at livestream.com


The last time the Friars played the Marquette Golden Eagles, it was quite the bittersweet moment. Sure, it was another disappointing showing at Madison Square Garden in the BIG EAST Tournament as Providence got blown out by Buzz’s boys yet again. However, it was also the final game of Keno Davis basketball we had to suffer through. The pain finally ended that night!

As Marquette heads to the Dunk in the snow this evening, they are without question going to see a different team than the one they’ve beaten now 7 times in a row. The Friars have been playing hard, have had a full week off, and finally have the regular starters all ready to play. Unfortunately for PC, they will be up against the usual kind of tough basketball from a team looking to make some noise in the top of the conference standings.

WHAT TO: KNOW

Game Time: 7:00PM EST

Opponent: Marquette (15-4, 4-2)

Location: The Dunk

Spread: Marquette -7.5

ESPN Accuscore: Marquette 73.8, Providence 70.7 (Marquette wins 59% of over 10,000 simulations)

CBSSports Daily Picks: Marquette 74, Providence 67

Four Factors

Hit up the rest of the preview after the jump.

Continue Reading…

It’s Saturday morning, the Friars are playing tonight, and my Giants are playing in the NFC Championship tomorrow night. To put some extra excitement in an already good weekend, John Rooke had the following to say in his “Thinking Out Loud” column on GoLocalProv.com

Let the good times roll? The Friars are inching ever-so-close to nailing down some big commitments from some big players…to add to a national Top 10 recruiting class for next year…

Wow.

Josh Fortune Scores Career High 35 Points

dave@friarblog —  January 21st, 2012 8:54 AM —  Comments

Josh Fortune, after missing the last game due to back spams, came back in full force last night scoring a career high 35 points. He drilled 6 threes and helped his Kecoughtan team defeated Gloucester 90-40.

If you plan on attending the Providence / Marquette game at the Dunk tomorrow and sit anywhere near the Golden Eagles’ bench, you better hope they didn’t make a pregame stop at Haven Brothers or NY System.

The Ed Cooley aired last night from Chelo’s Hometown Bar & Grill. Here are some notes and quotes:

Cooley talked about how when he first saw the team practice, he figured 6 BIG EAST wins were achievable. After the first exhibition game against Assumption, he told Bob Driscoll the team would win two – and he was being honest. On where the team is now?:

“Although we are 1-5 in the BIG EAST. We’ve played 5 top 25 teams, the #1 team in the country twice in a 10 day period. We’ve lost two of our starters in back to back games. I think from a program standpoint we’re where I want us to be at this moment. We could have snuck out maybe a win against Seton Hall, make a few free throws against Georgetown maybe on the road. I have to be realistic with the process it takes to build a national championship program and there are going to bumps in the road like it’s going now. But i’m satisfied where we are.”

On Bryce Cotton:

“I don’t think it surpises me (his play). I thought he worked really hard this summer. He was in the gym every day making shots”

“It suprses to me that he’s not confident yet. If the coach told me to shoot, he would have to tell me to stop shooting. He doesn’t take enough shots. I’m proud of his work and the effor that he’s put in.”

On Kadeem Batts:

“He’s working on his body. I told him in practice that if he doesn’t play well, I’m going to embarass him with my body, and take my shirt off.”

“We need him to rebound at a higher level”

Bilal Dixon:

“Bilal has bought in to just winning basketball games for the Friars”

On biggest challenge as the head coach:

“To attract high level players that’s going to believe in us where our program is right now.”

On Rick Barnes saying there are difficulties in recruiting without a football program:

“Rick wasn’t from here…he did an ubelieveable job, but Rick Barnes didn’t walk Smith Street. He didn’t walk Eaton Street. He didn’t know what it was to chill out on Federal Hill. That’s what you sell. I can sell something totally different than any coach in the past because this is home for me. It’s authentic. It’s real, It’s love, it’s pride. That’s what you sell.”

Cooley then talked about the lack of privacy being the head coach, saying sometimes he just wants to be alone and go get the paper in his drawers. John Rooke was getting a little flustered, so Cooley said “I bet you go out in a bikini…with boots”. HA!

Kadeem Batts joined the show.

He was able to focus on school in the first semester, and said he did well. Also did some things to give back to the community, which Ed Cooley always stresses for everyone.

Fatigue is not a problem because everyone grew up playing AAU ball, playing all day.

Ed Cooley butts in: “Oh come on. That’s a layup drill AAU basketball, nobody plays hard”

Coming together as a team has been the biggest development.

Former Friar Kevin Stacom joined the show, who is now a scout for the Dallas Mavericks.

Cooley on Marquette: They are well coached, play relentless defense. Undersized but make up for it in their tenacity. 3 game changers. Jae Crowder one of the most under appreciated players in the country. Friar fans are going to enjoy seeing him come to the Dunk, and the Friars have to make sure he has a miserable afternoon. It’s going to be an “old school” BIG EAST battle.