T.G.I.F: Thank God It’s Friartown 11.30.12

@FriarFrenzy —  November 30th, 2012 10:05 AM —  Comments
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TGIF-ABCThe Friars are 5-2, with the two losses coming on an acrobatic tip in at the buzzer and in overtime. As they say ‘close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades’ but given the circumstances these are very positive results.

Beyond the record, it is clear this group has benefited from a full off season in Ed Cooley’s program. They are physically and mentally stronger. The defensive statistics are telling and that is what many will focus on throughout the year given past ills, but there is clear advancement on the offensive end in terms of organization and execution as well.

Yes, there are turnovers and forced shots but show me any sampling of college games that do not have these.

We will see what happens as the caliber of opponent increases but, no matter what, if this team is going to be competitive in conference play they are going to need to get better on the defensive glass.

Sidiki Johnson should help in that department.

Bill Reynolds had a great feature in the ProJo this week on Bryce Cotton’s emergence and how he taught himself to remake his jumper between his freshman and sophomore years.

The Legend of Ice continues to grow.

Speaking of Cotton, his reverse scoop first half buzzer beater against Fairfield earned ESPN’s Top Play #10 that evening.

Reverse scoop? “Ice” Cream?

It is unfortunate that Ed Cooley had to plead with fans through the media to get to The Dunk.

Yes, it is typical historically for November and December games to have light attendance, but that does not make it right or good.

The culture Cooley is trying to change goes beyond his locker room.

Want the program to meet your lofty expectations? You can help.

If you don’t think recruits are impacted by sold out and frenetic arenas like Rupp Arena or Carrier Dome for games against also-rans, you picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.

As stated here before, it is student presence that makes The Dunk a tough home court and thus far they have not shown up.

Noon on Saturday would be a good time to start.

URI on Thursday. Enough said there.

PC, URI is a great rivalry no matter what but I would rather see it played on Saturday afternoon every year.

Still basking in the glow of my big RI Lottery match game win at the Holy Cross game. Of course the winning squares (two and six for those of you scoring at home) were Ice Cotton. It was destiny.

The digital display board outside The Dunk (facing Route 95) is in the process of receiving a much needed upgrade.

Another week of Big East undulation with news of Louisville bailing for the ACC, and that Tulane (all sports) and East Carolina (football only) will be joining the league in 2014.

Now I know why the Providence Journal’s Kevin McNamara has been pulling double duty covering URI the last couple of years….

Certainly the massacre of the Big East as we knew it is no laughing matter but you have to love Commissioner Mike Aresco’s ‘this is a recording’ press releases every time a school exits.

Not that there are many options, but Aresco’s strategy to counter the defections is to manufacture a football league through a television camera’s lens.

Which is to feed the belly of the beast and take what was a tradition laden league with an eastern core and remake it as a national conference with emphasis on media market appeal.

The former television executive is betting this will attract network dollars which, along with its perceived reach and exposure, will raise the profiles of the East Carolinas, Tulanes and Central Floridas of the world enough to shed their mid-major status. The tail wagging the dog.

Sort of how reality shows make stars out of otherwise unknowns.

So it could work.

And we will know something sooner than later because Aresco’s report card will be coming in the form of a television contract.

What we do not know is when the bleeding will stop, but it appears the basketball schools are content to wait and see.

Ryan Gomes has signed to play in Germany for the Artland Dragons.


Gomes working out with his new coach in Germany

During the St. John’s, South Carolina game last night the ESPN commentators were saying that Orlando Sanchez, once a Friar recruit who has yet to be deemed eligible by the NCAA, is the best player on the team.

Bryant beat Boston College last Sunday. You know this already but it’s just so fun to write.

Speaking of BC, did you see where football coach Frank Spaziani was fired on the same day as his predecessor Tom O’Brien, who was let go by North Carolina State?

If a coaching tree falls in the woods, does anybody hear it?

If you slow down on the highway to turn and see some guy getting a speeding ticket, you have no right to complain about traffic.

But I have a right to complain about you.

Have a great weekend Friartown. Be safe.

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