Archives For January 2012

Friars Links 1.20.12

dave@friarblog —  January 20th, 2012 11:26 AM —  Comments New London High School To Play Mt. Pleasant High School At Providence College’s Alumni Hall

Kris Dunn is coming to Friartown early! OK, so it’s for his high school team. Either way, come on down and you’ll probably be treated to a triple double.

The New London High School (Conn.) boys basketball team will take on Mt. Pleasant on Saturday, February 4 at 2:00 p.m. The game will be played in Alumni Hall on the Providence College campus located next to the Concannon Fitness Center Big East basketball news, notes and Star-Ledger Power Rankings for Jan. 20

The big news in Friartown has been the suspension of star guard Vincent Council. Head coach Ed Cooley benched the junior for last Saturday’s game at Syracuse for “accountability” issues. But Cooley said that he will be lifting the suspension for Saturday’s game against Marquette. “I definitely will play Vince this Saturday,” Cooley said. “We’re looking forward to having him back in the lineup.” … Despite being 1-5 in the league, Cooley said his team is still buying in and remaining positive in the face of adversity. “I try to accentuate the positive things that our program has done,” Cooley said. “This will be our sixth ranked opponent in the Top 25. We’ve been right there. … I think our kids have been resilient in a lot of games.”

Card Chronicle: Your Team Sucks: Big East Power Rankings Week Two

Good read on the state of all the current teams in the BIG EAST.

HH: Marqeutte’s next opponent, PROVIDENCE, might not win another game this year if PG Vincent Council, second in the Big East in assists and ninth in scoring, can’t fix whatever issues held him out of PC’s loss at Syracuse Saturday. The Friars lost Kadeem Batts for the entire fall semester due to “issues unbecoming of a student athlete” and now Council–whose absence Saturday was listed as a “coaches decision”–seems to have fallen into the same pit. According to our friend Dave who runs Friarblog, this likely stems from the lax culture cultivated during previous head coach Keno Davis’ tenure at Providence. Dave thinks it’s likely Council will return this Saturday which is good because I don’t see them winning their next two games vs. Marquette or at Pitt without him.

S: The Friars are a little lucky that they have a break this week so they can at least get used to life without him. They played incredibly poorly without him on Saturday. They were also playing Syracuse, so that was probably to be expected. If they can get Council back, that would be a huge help. Obviously not knowing what the issue is, publicly, makes them a hard team to peg.

Rivals: Penny Hardaway Hoop Fest Storylines

We need bigs so bad, I almost don’t care.

5. Is Obekpa more than just a shot blocker?

It’s not that there is much doubt about whether or not Christopher Obekpa belongs on the list of the nation’s premier shot blockers. We are just curious to get another couple of looks at the athletic 6-foot-8 insider from Centerreach (N.Y.) Our Savior New American. In addition to getting another look at his shot blocking and rebounding prowess, we’ll be looking to evaluate his offense more closely. While he didn’t finish particularly well last weekend at the Hoophall Classic, he showed some touch and form on his jumper, along with quick spin moves to suggest that he’s not quite as offensively limited as some have made him out to be. Nets’ MarShon Brooks showing signs of improvement in defense, passing

Keno is all, “Wait he can do those things?!”

Coach Avery Johnson said Thursday that Brooks’ defense in the game stood out, too.
“He probably had his best defensive game (Wednesday),” Johnson said of Brooks.
“He helped us out more in transition, because there are times he goes to the offensive glass and that compromises our transition defense. He didn’t do that (Wednesday).î
“I’m just trying to work on it all,” Brooks said of developing a better all-around game. “I’m just trying to make my weaknesses my strengths. I watch a lot of tape, so I just watch my decisions I make and what shots I take, which ones are good, which ones are bad. And I just try to get to those certain spots on the court, and if they help, I try to make the right play.”

Friars All-Access Videos From Cox Sports

dave@friarblog —  January 19th, 2012 10:19 PM —  Comments

Cox Sports posted more clips of their Friars All-Access show.

Vin Parise and Coach Cooley talk Providence College basketball and take a look at what Coach did to get the Friars in shape for a new basketball season under the new head coach.

Vin Parise sits down with Coach Cooley and freshman LaDontae Henton and talk about Coach’s high expectations for the 6’6″ forward.

Here is the episode 2 preview

via Cox Sports

Friartown is obviously excited about what Kris Dunn and Ricardo Ledo will bring to the Providence basketball program, but hardly anyone ever talks about the third recruit, Josh Fortune. Will he ever be a Friar on Fire?? Dave Johnson of Virginia’s Daily Press wrote a nice feature on the shooting guard.

Kecoughtan’s Josh Fortune: “A silent weapon”

Fortune is a typical shooter who is capable of scoring in bushels (24 points in the first half for Boo’s team last summer) or hitting a cold stretch. But when he hits that cold stretch, Fortune knows the only way to snap out of it is to keep firing.

His stoke looks like it came straight out of a Ray Allen instructional video. The jumper is his calling card, but Fortune has gotten better at putting the ball on the floor and shooting off the dribble.

“He definitely has NBA range, but I’ve seen his game grow,” said Warwick coach Lamont Strothers, who used to conduct individual workouts with Fortune. “His jump shot has opened the door for everything else, like taking it to the basket with his right or left hand. His jump shot has elevated his game.”

Johnson also goes a little more into the health of Fortune, who missed his last game due to back spasms. However, he is expected to return tomorrow night.

On the BIG EAST coaches teleconference call today, we got official confirmation that Vincent Council will play on Saturday against Marquette.

Sporting News: Providence lifts suspension on star guard Vincent Council

“I definitely will play Vince this Saturday. We’re looking forward to him back in the lineup,” Cooley said on the Big East coaches teleconference. “He gives us a totally different dimension … someone who is a triple-threat every time he touches the ball. We’ll definitely welcome him back this weekend.”

Cooley said following the 78-55 loss to top-ranked Syracuse that he wants to build the Providence program on a foundation of “character and integrity” and wouldn’t play favorites.

“If you can’t be a company guy and do things the right way, it doesn’t matter who you are to me,” Cooley said. “I want to build a team where it’s about trusting each other, and if you don’t do that you’re not going to play.”

Marshon Brooks keeps getting better and better, and this time it helped the New Jersey Nets defeat the Golden State Warriors 107-100. Brooks finished with a career high 22 points (8-14 shooting, 2-4 from downtown, 4-4 from the line), 8 rebounds, and a career high 6 assists.

From Nets are Scorching:

Fadeaways, bank shots, runners, threes, floaters, fakes galore; Brooks ran the second half, knocking down shots and setting up teammates (particularly Kris Humphries). Added up to a career-high in points and assists, and his play did not mirror flukiness. Defense is still a ways away — he was often beat off the dribble by Monta Ellis, understandably so, but offensively he makes the difficult look routine nightly.

Here are his highlights:

Here is a post game interview with him:

Thanks #netsnation !!! We owed y'all that one...
Marshon S. Brooks

In addition to the W, what else did Marshon win? A shoutout by Kris Humphries on Twitter.

According to the Marquette Tribune, Vincent Council is expected to return Saturday against Marquette

Marquette Men’s Basketball: Road beckons MU with a familiar foe

The Friars are expected to have junior guard Vincent Council back after the point guard sat out against No. 1/1 Syracuse for undisclosed reasons on Saturday. Council leads the Friars in points (16.4) and assists (6.7) and averages 16.3 points and 5.5 assists in four career games against Marquette.

Wilson, who has provided valuable minutes on the defensive end, said stopping a player like Council is vital to slowing Providence’s offensive rhythm.

“If you play him hard enough and pressure him constantly, that shakes up their offense and wears him down,” Wilson said. “Any team falls apart when their point guard isn’t playing as well.”

We still don’t know any of the details of what Council did to trigger the mini-suspension, but I’m sure Ed Cooley has everything under control. After all, it’s Ed Cooley Bobblehead night. You can’t disrespect your own bobblehead night by not playing your only point guard.

Perhaps we’ll learn more from the Ed Cooley Radio Show tonight, which airs from Chelo’s Hometown Bar & Grill at 7 PM.

Ed Cooley is one of 48 coaches participating in the Infinity Coaches’ Charity Contest.

Infiniti is a proud corporate sponsor of NCAA Men’s Basketball. We’re donating $5,000 to each of the charities involved in the Coaches’ Charity Challenge. The coaches’ charity with the most votes will receive $100,000.

For his charity, Cooley chose the Rhode Island Foster Parents Association. The coaches are all grouped into regions, and one winner from each will be voted into a Final Four round of voting. Coach Cooley is in the EAST region, with some fierce competition featuring some of the greatest coaches ever.

You can vote once a day until February 27th, so head on over to register and VOTE because:

  1. Ed Cooley does a lot for the city and the basketball program, so help him out with something he deeply cares about.
  2. He will beat Calhoun, Boeheim, and Krzyzewski in the coming years to get to a Final Four, so let’s start here to make a habit out of it.
  3. We can’t let Villanova win at anything this year, even if its for charity.
  4. His profile picture on there is badass.

Biggest Fan of the Big East: Challenge #5

dave@friarblog —  January 18th, 2012 9:56 PM —  Comments

As you may or may not know, I have been picked to compete against bloggers from all 16 schools of the BIG EAST in a season long contest to win a Volvo S60. Part of it is the fan poll (if you haven’t already, please cast a vote for yours truly!), while the other piece consists of challenge posts throughout the entire season. Here is the next challenge.

What are the best traditions for your alma mater and why?

The first thing that comes to mind when talking about tradition and Providence College is obviously the “Civ Scream”. While not necessarily related to the basketball team in any way, it’s something everyone experiences when going to PC. For those that don’t know, all students are required to take to two year long program called the Development of Western Civilization. On the night before the final exams in December and May, everyone gathers in the quad to let off some steam from studying and well, scream.  Oh, and some people get naked, run around, and get tackled by security. Hilarity and shenanigans ensue. Deadspin even mentioned it in one of their posts several years back.

The more modest streakers would don a mask (Darth Vader’s boobs bouncing around in the crisp spring air was surely someone’s fantasy) which was probably the smarter idea anyways, since the ubiquitous balloons of piss would inevitably end up hitting someone in the face, to massive applause. One year a girl decided it was a good idea to bring her pogo stick along as well. I’m positive that the Dominican fathers that founded our fair institution would have been thrilled to see a topless girl pogoing down the quad, forgetting the key fact that it’s always a terrible idea to pogo when you’re drunk. Inevitably she completely busted ass (also to massive applause), balloons were thrown, and somebody’s video of it made it to Collegehumor (I scoured that site and sadly couldn’t find it or the dignity I left behind).

There are various videos of this phenomenon on the internet, but very few are appropriate enough to post (man ass on the site just isn’t my thing). Here are a couple though:

Instead of naked dudes and foul language, you have to listen to the Venga Boys. I haven’t decided which is worse yet.

Last May during the Civ Scream, news broke that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. The screams turned to chants of USA! USA!

Getting back to the basketball team, there’s not much to go on in regards to tradition which is kind of sad to be honest. When I attended the school, there wasn’t really something we stuck to every game (other than drinking). Luckily, Ed Cooley wants to change this as part of his rebuilding of the program. One thing he has started this season already was how the team prepared for home games.

According to the Providence Journal a few months ago:

Before every home game, Cooley’s players leave campus for their home-away-from-home, The West-in Providence. They eat a pregame meal together in a conference room and retreat to guest rooms where they grab a power nap if needed.

After dressing in suits and ties, the team walks together from the Westin into the Rhode Island Convention Center and to The Dunk via the indoor walkways that connect the buildings. While thus far he’s only seen some bystanders tossing arched eyebrows the Friars’ way, Cooley would love the team’s walk to grow into something akin to the ceremonial pregame walks that football teams in the South enjoy.

I think this is a great idea, and something I’m looking forward to seeing when I take my trip to PC for the Georgetown game in February.

This commercial is apparently a few weeks old (I don’t watch live TV, and when it’s a college basketball game I’m usually tweeting some pure utter nonsense), but I saw some chatter lately on NBA’s recent Sprint Commercial. It features a bunch of players passing the ball down the court (which is also the longest basketball court EVER).

LeBron James to Rondo to Steve Nash to Westbrook to Luol Deng to Jason Kidd to….RYAN GOMES! And Gomes makes the last pass to Josh Smith for the dunk! Thanks for all those great passes you All-Stars, but Ryan gets credit for the assist.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Ryan Gomes. However, his playing time and production are clearly on the downward trend unfortunately. He is averaging 3.5 points per game in only 16.2 MPG of action off the bench. This is coming off a season where he put up his worst shooting numbers of his career, and failed to average double figures in scoring for the first time since his rookie year.

Maybe the quadruple teams are a reason for his decline in scoring?

Maybe some Sprint exec wanted Marshon and was all, “Hey, get me that player from Providence!!” Surely there can’t be more than one!

Here are some other twitter reactions:

I still don't understand why Ryan Gomes is on that nba commercial
Kyle Gross
Why the hell is Ryan Gomes in that Sprint NBA commercial. Dude doesn't even play
Dave Marusic
Ryan Gomes is the RANDOMEST NBA player in that Sprint commercial lmao
This Sprint commercial cracks me up every time because 1) D.J. Augustin throws the ball away and 2) Ryan Gomes is in it.
I just want to know how Ryan Gomes got in that NBA sprint commercial.
JR Smith 2.0
That sprint commercial has all kinds of NBA stars....and Ryan Gomes?
Cory Shipplett
How does Ryan Gomes end up among all those players in that NBA/Sprint commercial? #TitoJacksonStatus
Nestle Snipes

Marshon Brooks Highlight Mix

dave@friarblog —  January 16th, 2012 7:46 PM —  Comments

Check out this cool Marshon Brooks highlight mix for his first 11 games so far.