Archives For February 2012

In prep for tomorrow’s game against Georgetown, I exchanged some questions with the Georgetown Blog “Casual Hoya”. For our answers to his questions, head on over there.

Friarblog: What’s Georgetown been up to since we last met?

Casual Hoya: You mean other than Gym, Tanning, and Laundry? We played Syracuse and lost which sucked, but other than that we’re playing some good basketball, developing some casual chemistry, winning games we should win and avoiding any catastrophic losses. Things have actually been nice so far, and thank you very much for asking. You are very polite.

Friarblog: What were your impressions of Ed Cooley’s Friars after watching the first game in DC? What surprised you the most?

Casual Hoya: To be honest I was most struck at the resemblance between Cooley and The Wire’s Prop Joe, so for the first 30 minutes of the game I was quite distracted. I will say, however, that what impressed me the most about the Friars was that they didn’t quit and kept coming at the Hoyas, erasing a 14 point deficit and causing some panic within the fanbase that one of the aforementioned catastrophic losses might occur in what was Georgetown’s first Big East home game. The Friars have a good, young talented core and it won’t be too long before they’re back in the top tier of the Conference, which is good for everyone involved.

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New Nerlens Noel Video

dave@friarblog —  February 17th, 2012 9:04 AM —  Comments

Here is a new Nerlens Noel mixtape for your Friday enjoyment.

via Hoops Dream Magazine

PC is Still on Nerlens Noel’s List

dave@friarblog —  February 16th, 2012 3:10 PM —  Comments

Please disregard the last post saying that Nerlens Noel was not on Providence’s list. Jeff Goodman was incorrect in thinking that his list was cut. Carry on Friartown. Exhale.

I’m not quite sure what to make of this since I didn’t catch the beginning of the interview, but Jeff Goodman just had Nerlens Noel on his radio show on SiriusXM.

You can listen to part the interview here, but it didn’t include the part that Eric Hoffses tweeted about.

Just heard Nerlens Noel confirm on @ radio show that UConn is still on his list along w kentucky, cuse, unc, gtown, and florida

Wait, what? What about the Friars?

Nope. Nerlens didn't mention Providence. RT @: @ @ I missed the beginning. He didn't mention Providence?
Jeff Goodman

Not good. I even followed up with Goodman asking what his list was, and he confirmed it was those 5.

This sounds pretty sudden and strange, so we’ll try to find out more.

UPDATE: 3:20PM Nerlens Tweeted that PC is still on his list. Crisis averted.

Good news: There were no blown leads this game. Bad news: The Cincinnati Bearcats took control of the game from the get go to end up with a fairly easy 81-66 victory over the Providence Friars. Despite falling in a hole early on, PC admirably fought back late in the 2nd, but once again couldn’t get over the hump in the last several minutes of the game.

The Bearcats stretched the lead to 54-30 in the second half before Providence started hitting 3s. Council made a pair of 3s, two free throws and a fast-break layup during a 15-2 run that cut the lead to 56-45 with 11:01 left, giving Providence a spark.

Henton had a 3-pointer and a driving layup during a seven-point spurt that got the lead down to 66-59 with 4:25 left. Wright hit a pair of free throws that ended the comeback.

The Bearcats killed Providence on the glass, Yancy Gates scored inside and had numerous posterizing dunks, and Sean Killpatrick shouldered the bulk of the scoring with 22 points. Cincinnati didn’t shoot particularly well in the 2nd, but they got numerous 2nd chances and got to the line often to withstand the late Vincent Council run.

Bryce Cotton went scoreless (ICE, come on bro!), shooting 0-5 from downtown and 0-6 overall. Henton and Council were only two who produced offensively, accounting for 53 of the 66 team’s points. At least Henton apparently had a good time feeling up Cashmere Wright. So wrong, but it feels so wright. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (H/T @PCDen).

(AP Photo/Al Behrman)


If you can’t get enough Friarblog in your life, I’ve added a new page on Google+. Even if you are not on the new social network or use it regularly, you’ll want to join up in order to take part in some of their cool features. One cool thing about Google Plus is their “Hangouts” technology, which allows a group video chat for all to see. I figured I’d give it a try tonight before the Friars take on Cincinnati with the late 9 o’clock start. We’ll talk about the game tonight, recruiting, anything Friar related really.

I’ll try to kick things off at around 8:30 and see who is around. If you haven’t joined up Google Plus, give it a whirl and add the page below to your “circle”.

Friarblog Google Plus Page

Also, be sure to like Friarblog on Facebook too. Every like adds to the chances of Nerlens Noel picking providence. I swear.

The last time the Providence Friars won a BIG EAST road game, Sharaud Curry and Greedy Peterson were doing their anti-defense thing, and Marshon Brooks put up 17 points against a woeful DePaul team that won 1 BIG EAST game that year. Even Johnnie Lacy saw 17 minutes of action! I wonder what that dude is doing these days. Pumping gas? Anyways, if PC is going to crack their 2 year plus dry spell of conference road contests, they are going to have to overcome a lot tonight. While Providence has played good enough to win over the last several games, fatigue and poor play down the stretch have plagued the team. At some point, these things begin to get mental and become more than just tired legs. Throw in the fact that Cincinnati is in “must win” mode these days in fighting for an NCAA Tournament birth, the Friars are going to need some special nights from their overworked top players to pull off a win.


Game Time: 9:00PM EST

Opponent: Cincinnati (17-8, 7-5)

Location: Fifth Third Arena

Spread: Cincinnati -11

ESPN Accuscore: Cincinnati 74.1, Providence 63.6 (Cincinnati wins in 80.3% of over 10,000 sims)

CBSSports Daily Picks: Cincinnati 79, Providence 70


Four Factors

Hit up the rest of the preview after the jump.

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Biggest Fan of the BIG EAST Challenge #7

dave@friarblog —  February 13th, 2012 9:58 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.

In honor of 30 years of BIG EAST basketball at Madison Square Garden, the conference created the campaign “#Garden30” to determine: 10 Moments, 10 Players, 10 Teams – The best that the great tournament has ever had to offer. Here is my take.

10 Best Big East Basketball Moments of all time (BET)

1. 1994 – Providence Wins First and Only BIG EAST Tournament Championship – I’d like to think that 14 year old Friarblog, even though he was probably really into the Knicks at the time, unknowingly felt tremendous pride for this Friar squad. Michael Smith had a cool 16 and 16, and the Friars squeaked by the Hoyas.

2. Walter Berry blocks Pearl Washington at the buzzer in 1986 Final – I’ve written about this moment several times before, and it truly holds a special place in my heart. It’s my earliest sports memory ever, and I always think of my dad whenever it comes up. If only the flood didn’t ruin my mom’s basement where the VHS tape lay…

3. 2009 – Six Overtimes – I’m really glad that I worked from home at the time, so I could easily stay up to watch this one. I was either incredibly delirious, or just really annoyed with Syracuse that I actually wanted UConn to win. Wait, what?

4. Kemba Walker leads Huskies to 5 wins in 5 days in 2011  – A lot of times the most recent moments always seem to stand out more, but Kemba’s BET last season was just plain incredible. The step backs, the clutch shooting. FIVE DAYS! There are five days in the BIG EAST Tournament? I’ve only been as far as the 2nd day in my 13 years following PC basketball.

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Friars Links 2.13.12

dave@friarblog —  February 13th, 2012 2:33 PM —  Comments

Friar Basketball: Providence Takes Family Approach to Recruiting

We are family…

Cooley’s pitch takes a page from the Olive Garden: when you’re here, you’re family. That the head coach is repeatedly taking road trips to see the likes of Sampson helps separate the Friars, what may put them over the top is their family approach to recruiting.

Back in August, Cooley explained this approach to CBS’s Gary Parish, “When I sell my background to the kids and my vision to their families, I always tell the kids that if I get the opportunity to know them and they get the opportunity to see who we are as a family and what we do as people during the recruiting process, when it comes time to make a decision on a school, they will have a brutal time telling me no. They might tell me no. But they’ll have a brutal time doing it.”

Voodoo Five: Shaun Noriega’s Big Moments Against Providence

A USF blog breaks down the two plays (with analysis and screen grabs) that gave the Bulls the edge on Saturday. Then, I break down. And cry.

But with USF desperate for offense and down 46-41 with less than three minutes left on Saturday, Stan Heath decided to roll the dice and give Noriega a shot.

ESPN: Conference Power Rankings: Big East

You don’t even have to look at the article, really.

16. Providence: The Friars have just two wins since the New Year and the schedule offers little in the way of optimism. This week, Providence has to face a hungry Cincinnati team before hosting Georgetown.

Rumble in the Garden: Big East efficiency margins 2-13-2012: Louisville, Providence, Notre Dame and more

The Friars finished at -.10 (also 14th place) in efficiency margin in conference play last year.

And finally, the Providence Friars are the butt of everyone’s jokes, the losers of the league, the 98-pound weakling. But their season has shown a lot of promise. The Friars continue to play in close games despite playing six players most of the team’s minutes. Their efficiency margins have been going up each week.

But the Friars have been outscored in the second half for five straight games (including a win against Rutgers) – the fatigue factor seems evident.

Ed Cooley will want to find something different to do with his defense next year, however – the Friars can’t stop three-point shooting, don’t force turnovers, and aren’t getting defensive rebounds.

New England Hoops News: Dunn, Ledo ready to bring Providence back

According to Ledo the two prospects talk all the time via Twitter and texting. Cooley has also made a strong effort to attend many of their games.
Cooley has two headlining stars. To go along with Dunn and Ledo is knockdown shooter Josh Fortune and transfer Sidiki Johnson.
But Cooley isn’t done. Oh, he’s far from done.

YouTube: Andre Drummond visits Kris Dunn

“Hey Kris, can I join your team next year so I can actually play in the NCAA Tournament?” Heyooooo

Bryce Cotton Learns of Twitter Nickname

dave@friarblog —  February 13th, 2012 1:57 PM —  Comments

If you are not referring to Cotton as “Ice Cotton”, you’re doing it wrong. A few weeks back during one of the games, I attempted to spread  a new nickname for Bryce Cotton to all the #pcbb tweeps. Personally, I thought it was pretty badass and fitting for the calm sophomore guard who is shooting 40.9% from downtown and practically 90% from the foul line. With a potential nickname that is so obvious, surely it’s something he’s heard before from fans or teammates? Apparently not, as Cotton’s emergence on Twitter has obviously brought mentions from fans calling him Ice.

Ummmm... So why is everybody calling me "ice" lol. I'm lost on that one
Bryce Cotton

You’re welcome, Ice.