T.G.I.F: Thank God It’s Friartown 11.08.13

@FriarFrenzy —  November 8th, 2013 1:20 PM —  Comments
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-Who’s ready for some college hoops!

-Friartown is hungry and this season brings with it the hope of a bountiful feast, but don’t put your bib on just yet.


-The roller coaster ride that is Friar fandom has taken yet another dip in the last week with the re-injury to Kris Dunn’s well documented right shoulder, followed by the indefinite suspensions of freshmen Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock for not keeping with the program.

-Dunn was Providence’s number one class of 2012 recruiting priority (sorry Ricky, but it’s true) in large part because of his character and natural leadership skills. 

-Dunn’s ability to ‘shoulder’ the load is what made him stand out as a Friar target.  The fact that he has been slowed by a shoulder injury is symbolic. 

-This has been, and will continue to be, a test of Dunn’s will. 

-A test that he will pass with flying colors and one that will make Dunn and the Friars stronger in the long run.

-Couple the probable scratches of Dunn, Austin and Bullock with the fact that reigning Big East scoring king, Bryce Cotton, will be taking the floor tonight with an increased role (if that is even fathomable for the Ice man) at less than 100 percent due to knee tendinitis, and we are….

-…in familiar territory. 

-Which is actually comforting on some level.

-And this time, thanks to the tremendous recruiting by Ed Cooley and staff, reinforcements are here.

-That was the plan.

-Just for the record, Kris Dunn is said to be a game time decision but it is a long shot he plays, and if he does it will be on an extremely limited and specialized basis. 

-Yes, the backcourt will be thin for the time being but this not a dire situation.  Cotton and improved sophomore Josh Fortune have been there and done that before.

-Plus you can expect to see Ted Bancroft doing his thing as a long defender, and look for the versatile 6’9” Tyler Harris to play some guard as well. 

-And there is also the not-your-average-walk-on Casey Woodring who scored over 1,000 points in high school and was part of a Class AA New England championship in a league that features a who’s who of top 100 recruits. 

-Boston College will be limping into tonight’s action a bit themselves as junior guard Lonnie Jackson (29.3 mpg, 8.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.9 apg last season) and junior center Dennis Clifford (14.6 mpg, 2.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg last season) are out with injury, while junior guard Patrick Heckman (23.3 mpg, 8.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg last season) will be playing on an injured ankle. 

-That said, the Eagles to watch out for are healthy and they are sophomore guard Oliver Hanlan and junior forward Ryan Anderson.

-This is where Dunn’s loss will hurt the most on the defensive end as Hanlan is one of the better guards in the ACC and a guy who tore through the Friars last year to the tune of 17 points and 12 rebounds. 

-12 rebounds? Geez.

-Anderson went ham…salami and provolone on the Friars last year, pouring in 24 points (on 10 of 13 shooting) and grabbing seven boards. 

-However, Anderson will find tougher sledding tonight against Providence’s revamped front court that adds Harris and Carson Desrosiers to the likes of returning veterans Kadeem Batts, LaDontae Henton, Lee Goldsborough and Brice Kofane.

-Tonight will also mark the premier of the new and improved Big East on FoxSports1, featuring what should be an incredibly entertaining broadcast tandem of Bill Raftery and Gus Johnson.

-Bill, “With the Kiss!”

-Gus, “OHHH! Bill, I don’t know.  We are still getting to know each other!”

-Goal for the season: Get Bill and/or Gus to say, “Bryce Cotton with another three.  He’s turning Friartown into ICE-Land!”

-Not to mention, former Friar and NBA star Austin Croshere will be doing studio analysis for the “1”. 

-ESPN of course will not be laying down.  The mega-network is coming right out of the gate as well toinight and going mano y mano with FoxSports1 by airing Maryland versus Connecticut (Barclay’s Center) at 6:30 on the deuce. 

-Then hurry home to catch Oregon , featuring old friend Joseph Young, versus Georgetown at 8pm on ESPN.

-The Oregon/Georgetown game is being played in South Korea.

-There is a Dennis Rodman, North Korea joke in here somewhere but I am at a loss….

-Speaking of old friends, former Friar Gerard Coleman will make his Gonzaga debut tomorrow night at home versus….yep, Bryant University. 

-World Series trophy in the house tonight.

- I don’t get radio feuds.  Especially between personalities on the same station…or show.  

-If I want contrived controversy I’ll watch pro wrestling.

-Oneeee Coconut!!!

Classic.  #xWo

Classic. #cWo

-Also, if I wanted a tough, intimidating home court moniker gotta say that “Alex and Ani Court” is not making the list.

-Looks good on U (RI) though.

-You don’t get a free bowl of soup with that hat either. 

-Kudos to Ed Cooley for dropping 100 pounds. 

-It’s not likely to last long but you have to love the Big East’s ten team league.  It is great from a fan perspective with every team playing each other at home and on the road. 

-There will be some live nights in The Dunk to be sure.

-As you know, Bryce Cotton was selected preseason first team All-Big East with Kadeem Batts getting an honorable mention.

-Said it before and I’ll say it again.  Batts is a first-teamer and will play himself into a Player of the Year candidate.

-If you are looking for a Big East team that will underachieve versus expectations, see Creighton.

-Yes, they have the big time star in Doug McDermott and are an awesome home team, but the Blue Jays just have not seen this type of schedule before. 

-It is simply a different level night in, night out, and going on the road in the Big East is something I think they will struggle with initially.

-Overachievers?  Let’s go with the Friars provided these health and discipline issues are short-lived. Coaches have them 6th which is fair but most other pundits have them lower. 

-Who does the Help Desk turn to when they have a problem?

-Have a great weekend Friartown!  Be safe.

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