Also, be sure to add #ThanksBrice to that list too!

Also, be sure to add #ThanksBrice to that list too!

You know what to do from here. But just in case you don’t:

  1. Log into Twitter
  2. Think of your favorite memory from one of the seniors
  3. Throw in the appropriate hashtag: #ThanksBryce #ThanksKadeem #ThanksGoldy #ThanksTedB #ThanksBrice (you only need the one you’re using for the senior you’re talking about)
  4. Add #pcbb
  5. Post

We’ll collect our favorite ones after senior night and post them, so make them a good memory! Protip: if it’s funny as well as nostalgic you get extra points. Another protip: points don’t matter, this is like “Whose Line is it Anyway?”

Edit: We’re adding Brice Kofane into the mix because fudge it, that seems like the right thing to do and the guy deserves it, even if he does come back next year. #ThanksBrice

Have fun and post away!

That was fun.

By now there’s no doubt a flooding concern on whether or not Providence College will find themselves on the right side of the bubble come selection Sunday. After starting off the Big East strong, Providence has dropped 4 of their last 5 games and are now at 6-6 in conference play. Now, on their last 1/3 of the schedule, the Friars need to find a way to keep their hopes alive.

It’s not going to be easy, and the margin of error for this is razor thin, but there is still a chance to right this ship. Here’s a breakdown of what needs to happen:

1) Providence needs to win 5 of their remaining 6 games. 

It can’t be just any five games either. As it stands right now the schedule looks like this:

  • vs. DePaul, Feb 15
  • vs. Villanova, Feb 18
  • @ Butler, Feb 23
  • @ Seton Hall, Feb 28
  • vs. Marquette, Mar 4
  • @ Creighton, Mar 8

So with three home games, three away games, and two ranked teams, the Friars need to make some magic happen.

Firstly, Providence needs to win out at home. They need to beat DePaul and Marquette and take care of business against the top team in the conference, Villanova. Of the three Villanova is undoubtedly the toughest. DePaul needs to be swept and given that it’s on Alumni Weekend there will be a good crowd atmosphere to help push for the win. Villanova coming three days later will be tough because we’ve all seen how Providence does with short gaps between games, but hopefully home court will help.

Of the three teams though Marquette is the biggest question mark for me in a lot of areas. DePaul is down after losing Cleveland Melvin earlier this week, and I don’t know what to predict against Villanova other than that it will be a rough fight because of their talent, but Marquette is an enigma. They started the season down, seemed to have found their footing, and what’s worse they’ve had the Friars’ number for the past few seasons. They know how to wear down PC and, given our lack of depth, that’s going to be a huge challenge to overcome. Marquette is on Senior Night however, so good crowd support and some energized seniors looking to leave their home court with a win could be the push needed to get the Friars over the hump.

The road leg is a different beast entirely. Fortunately with first two games there’s enough spacing where the Friars will be able to get some rest. PC will have four days off between Villanova to Butler, as well as Butler to Seton Hall, which could be a godsend for this team’s NCAA hopes. Both teams are beatable – Providence beat Butler this season and Seton Hall, while getting the best of PC in double OT in New Years Eve, isn’t invincible on their home court, but fresh legs and clear heads will be needed for both these games. Kadeem Batts can’t play like he did at points against Georgetown and Bryce Cotton can’t play like he did at points against Xavier. These are games where leadership brings home the victories, and both players will need to be focused for the win to come.

Providence will need to find a way to win in unknown conference territory to keep their NCAA hopes alive.

Creighton is going to be the ultimate test for the Friars. Coming after a three day breather from Senior Night the Friars need to head to Omaha to an arena they’ve never played in before and take on a team that will be thirsty to send their senior All American candidate out with a win. To make the best case for their NCAA Tournament resume, Providence needs to win this game. A road win over a top-of-the-conference team will do a lot more for this team than wins over DePaul, and while winning over DePaul is critically this is equally important.

So where’s the one loss come from? Real talk? Seton Hall. I think that is the only game that is forgivable enough as a “bad loss” where if you win the other five it won’t matter as much because at that point you’ll have two solid road wins, three home wins and two wins over top-25 teams. I don’t think losing to Butler is as forgivable. That’s not a knock on Butler so much as it is the fact that we’ve already beaten them once and they’re also dead last in the conference.

Alternative: if you lose to Villanova or Creighton and you clean up the rest of the schedule we’re still in. It can’t be both and if it has to be one it should be Creighton over Villanova. Creighton on the road is much more understandable in my opinion than Villanova at home when you’re comparing the two.

2) Gardens and Records

By the time we head to Madison Square Garden we need to be at 21-10 and 11-7 in the Big East. 20-11 doesn’t cut it. 21 is the magic number.

But say we do have 20 wins going into MSG, what then? It’s hard for me to make a prediction on what we’ll need at that point because I don’t know who we’ll be matched up against in the Big East Tournament. If we get a third stab at Seton Hall in the first round and win that’ll help. If we get paired with Nova and beat them that may be the answer. It’s a coin flip because, truthfully, I don’t know how much weight is put on postseason tournaments compared to regular season resumes.

Looking at how the new bracket is set up, our matchups would look like this if the tournament started tomorrow:

Big East

So, we’d have to get through Marquette in the first matchup and then Seton Hall, Villanova, or DePaul in the second. Assuming we beat Marquette and the matchups play out as you might expect, we’d have Villanova in the semi-finals. If we have 20 wins and we’re the runner up in the Big East Tournament I believe that will be enough to make the push for the NCAA tournament. Clearly not an easy feat, but when is it ever easy?

3) No Excuses

We need strong leadership. It’s a given. The past two games have not demonstrated that for a full 40 minutes. Xavier completely shut down Cotton and Kadeem looked like his talent was stolen from the Martins in Space Jam at points against Georgetown. The thing is both these performances are atypical of these players. They can and have played much better.

We’ve discussed fatigue before so this is the only time I’ll mention it: fatigue affects them. There.

What I’m now saying is that there needs to be one final push from the seniors if they want to get this team into the tournament. I understand exhaustion, I understand the effects it takes on players. Now I’m saying it needs to be thrown out the window. If they can find a way to push through the exhaustion they’ll get to the tournament, if not then we’ll all be filling out NIT brackets.

In the past I’ve discussed how they’re exhausted from a limited bench. It’s a disappointment but it’s time to move on from what we don’t have. This team has proven they can win without the ammunition they thought they’d have, now they have to continue doing so.

It’s very simple: to make the NCAA Tournament this team needs to push through exhaustion and make it happen. Be like Nike: Just do it. We can justify quite easily why this team shouldn’t make the NCAA tournament by throwing out these reasons, but if they want to make it, they have to overcome these things.

Nothing in life worth having ever came easy, the same goes for this tournament bid. It’s an uphill battle but the grit and fortitude of this team and fanbase will need to persevere to get to what we want. It won’t be handed to us and it won’t come easy, but if there’s a shred of hope for this bid – and as we live and breathe right now there still is – everyone needs to get on board and believe in it. Go Friars.

It’s no secret if you know me how obsessed I am with the Game of Thrones show/Song of Ice and Fire series. And really, who isn’t? That world has a following unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, and I can really only compare it to what I imagine Star Wars was like for people.

For those of you who don’t know about the show, allow me to summarize: There’s Seven Kingdoms on the western hemisphere (Westeros) of this world that has a number of noble and lowborn families. Noble families are referred to as “houses” and govern over lowborn families in specific areas of the world. They’re all governed by a royal family whose king got his throne by overthrowing the former royal family, whose last remaining members are hiding out on the eastern hemisphere (Essos), which is divided by water. Everyone in this world is out to get whatever’s best for them, and usually doing the right thing means you’re going to get screwed. Put simply: people die. A lot of people. And it’s usually the ones people like the most. But there’s also boobs. Sooooo there’s that. Oh and there’s two seasons: summer and winter. Winter is supposedly on it’s way but I just don’t believe it at this point.

So let’s have some fun with this and imagine what the world of Westeros would look like with Big East teams. I took every current Big East team and assigned them one of the houses and gave a little reason why. Biggest thing about this? There’s no spoilers in here from the books or season three. None. I promise. In fact there isn’t really anything from the show at all except one part where I reference one small detail from season two, but it’s very minor, doesn’t reveal any major plot points, and clearly marked. There is, however, backgrounds on the houses, both introduced and unintroduced in the show, so for those of you who are fans you may gain some casual/superficial insights on the history of your favorite houses.

Got it? Great. Hit the jump and let’s do this.

Continue Reading…

Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard it before. “Perennial Big East bottom feeder is a ‘must win’ game because the loss is much more damning than the win is helpful.”

Nothing to gain, everything to lose. That’s the way people usually describe games like these. After all, this is an opponent who made headlines for winning back-to-back Big East games the first time in five years. Why would this win be the most important one we’ve had this season? Am I really trying to tell you that beating the Blue Demons means more than Creighton, Xavier, Georgetown, St. John’s on the road…anyone?

Yup. Hit the jump and let’s play.

Continue Reading…

You knew this was coming.

Whether this is long overdue, premature, or right on cue, I think it’s about time we all had a discussion about the student section…or lack thereof. If you haven’t already you should look at Craig Belhumeur’s post on Friar Basketball on the same subject. My goal here is not to tread on the work Craig has done as he’s one of the most insightful fans I know (fun fact: he and I were both founding members of Friar Faithful and worked together for a number of years on getting student attendance up). I simply want to throw what I know into the ring for your consideration. In order to do that I want to break this down into a couple different sections: What I’ve experienced, where some of the problems lie and what I believe should be changed.

First let’s talk about what I’ve experienced…

For those of you who don’t know I was not originally a Providence College student. My first year of college was spent an hour and fifteen minutes north of Providence at Merrimack College, a < 2,000 undergrad institution with DII athletics sans for college hockey. Most of the kids at Merrimack treated the college like it was their second or third choice, wearing Boston College hoodies over a Stonehill t-shirts and Providence College sweatpants. Needless to say we didn’t dress well and school spirit was scarce. Basketball was played in a gym that rivaled my high school’s in size, and other than when Merrimack played Bentley (who was #1 for a few seasons in a row prior) getting more than 70 students to a game was considered a success. The real money maker was with hockey.

During my time at MC I was a class representative in student government, supported and attended several club meetings, pledged and was a brother in Tau Kappa Epsilon and was the mascot of Merrimack College: The Merrimack Warrior. Why is this important? For a small school that’s a few huge demands on top of the usual coursework, and everybody else had equally hefty schedules. And everyone made it to the hockey games to support our school.

Mind you it’s not like we were a great program – that season we won six games, which doubled the prior season’s total wins. It had been that way for awhile and nobody knew if there’d be a light at the end of the tunnel. That didn’t matter. They still showed up. It was the thing to do. If you weren’t at the hockey games you were a square. You’d leave your classes at the latest on 4 on a Friday, meet up with your friends, start drinking, walk over and scream your ass off. They would lose more often than not, everyone would leave, and they’d funnel that into the night. The big thing here was going to the games was a part of the Merrimack experience, not an interruption from it.

This is a more recent photo of the student section. It’s different now, but i remember it being just as wild back then.

Remember all this stuff because I’m going to reference back to it.

Fast forward to Providence College. I was new on campus and so was head coach Keno Davis. After a decade of Welsh students showed up to support the AP COTY and their seniors. During that time Friar Faithful formed to help make more of an impact, but the students were already interested in the team. That of course was helped with some key wins over teams like Syracuse and Pitt, and the hype transferred to the next year. At least at the beginning. About halfway through the season we had a big win over UConn and then…well…nothing. We went on a losing streak so bad that there’s no poop joke worth making about it. Students lost interest. Then students got resentful because of some dumbasses who thought they were above everyone else and could get away with fighting, underage drinking and bringing in hookers. Truth be told though these were the crashing waves of something that was festering below the surface for awhile – some elitist attitudes carried by some players rubbing students the wrong way. Nobody condoned these actions, but the people who were responsible for watching these players and keeping them in check weren’t doing their job either. My senior year – Keno’s last year – was more of the same, only now not only were we not winning but students also were pissed off because of recent events.

It’s important to note that during this time students were giving a lot of other reasons for their lack of attendance as well. In addition to being incredibly pissed with the team they also said that the workload was too demanding, there was too much else going on, or they simply didn’t want to see the team lose. Call those whatever you will – reasons, excuses, whatever – but it was the feedback that was given. We worked our asses off during this time to give students other reasons to go. The hard thing about this is that there was an image we were combating that didn’t cater to what was or wasn’t the situation. Perception is reality, and the perception was that this team loses and they act like a bunch of punks when they aren’t on the court. Harsh? Maybe.

This dude fucked it all up.

The good news was we had support from the athletic department to change this. Athletics is great and they were willing to try a lot of different things to change this perception. I can’t say for certain if we tried everything, but there was a lot of stress-filled 1 AM phone calls from me to other members of Friar Faithful trying to make sure we really were trying everything. I was pretty fortunate to be working with a great group of Friar Faithful board members who really put their passion into their work and tried their best to help get the students back. Oftentimes it felt like an impossible uphill battle, but you couldn’t ask for harder workers.

The season ended, Keno was fired, and Ed Cooley was hired. This was a godsend because Cooley was committed to changing the culture of PC hoops. Great! I remember thinking, this will definitely help students want to go to games! My only regret was I had to graduate that year and would never be a student while Cooley was coach. 

Fast forward to this past Saturday. Cooley’s team won their fifth league game in a row over an NCAA team, and the buzz is finally starting to reach national levels. Talk of Providence’s first NCAA appearance in a decade are becoming more realistic, and despite early-season adversity the team is overcoming obstacles and winning games.

Not that the students would know because they weren’t there to see it.

Let’s talk about this problem…

What the hell? The team is winning, the players (from what I’ve heard) have way better behavior and no longer act like they’re above anybody else, and the games are at way more convenient times on weeknights and weekends so work shouldn’t be that interrupted. What happened?

One take on it is this: The students are promised a certain level of quality now that Cooley is around. The first season Cooley had the same record as Keno’s last two seasons but things were looking up. Still though, win/loss columns appear to be everything so let’s give that season a bye because fuck it, we got enough on last season and this season to talk about anyway. Last season the students were promised two highly touted guards by the names of Kris Dunn and Ricky Ledo. They got Dunn for half the season and Ledo for none of it, adding some disappointment to the season early on and changing expectations from “we’re definitely an NCAA team” to “we’ll be lucky to get post season.” The team did get post season and performed well above what anybody (students or fans otherwise – I’m calling out some of you pessimistic message board posters here) could’ve expected given circumstances. And to top it off there was more talent incoming for next season!

This season rolls around. That talent is now suspended – first indefinitely, then for the season – and Kris Dunn is again out, this time for the season, due to injury. All that preseason buzz about NCAA shoe-in’s and whatnot turned into “oh god this will be a long season” both from students and fans alike. And hey, that workload hasn’t change a bit! Moreso, now the students have a reason to be a bit annoyed. Yeah, nobody is getting beat down or bringing prostitutes around, but what the hell? We were told there would be top recruits again and they’re not playing again. The logic here? “Why bother showing up if we’re not getting what was advertised to us?” See? The students have reasons not to show up!

No. Sorry students. There is no more petty excuses. But I don’t think the solutions being offered for the excuses are necessarily great either. Let’s break this down, one argument and solution at a time:

  • The team doesn’t ever win! Why would I go all the way downtown just to see Providence lose? Well, couple things right off the bat: they’re not losing, they’re winning (and winning pretty handedly at that), and who cares how they do? Everyone wants to see their team win, but stop acting like that win is owed to you. Remember when I mentioned Merrimack losing all but six games in their prominent sport? Yeah, students still showed up to support their team and socialize. Nobody expected a win, but they wanted to be there whenever this team did win because the win was made more rewarding from every loss they showed up to before. Just like the team, the students earned the right to see wins, it wasn’t given to them.
  • I have way too much to do! I don’t have time to go to a basketball game! Oh shut up. Just shut up. You have a lot to do? Really? Again, refer to what I said about Merrimack. When I pledged TKE we had to go to three hour mandatory study hours four nights a week, followed by pledge events, and on the weekends we had to help set up, act as security and then as the clean up crew to parties. This was in addition to any weekend pledge events we had, which usually consumed half a day Saturday and half a day Sunday if we were lucky. And that was one thing we had in addition to classes and other extracurriculars. “But that’s a fraternity! It’s different!” It isn’t. It’s the exact same thing as anything else any of you have going on. I saw it happen when I got to Providence too. And I’m just talking about the fun stuff that we chose to do, that doesn’t even include the demand on classes at Merrimack or Providence. But somehow we found a balance. I’m going to refer back to this point so keep it in your head.
  • I can’t go because of A/B/C thing going on! Hold that thought cause we’re coming back to this one too.
  • We were told we’d get to see Brandon Austin play! I want to see Brandon Austin play! Tough. We were all expecting that, we were all disappointed when Austin/Ledo/Bullock/Dunn/whoever else didn’t get to play because of [reasons]. Life ain’t perfect, you gotta take things for what the are. And hell, this is one of the good parts of life. This is the thing you do to have fun and get away from the fact that life ain’t perfect, not the place you go to whine about how you don’t get too see a player that you were hoping to see. I get the disappointment but what about the other players all wearing the same school name on their jerseys that happen to represent you and your school on the court night in and night out? Why aren’t you supporting them too? Cause ESPN didn’t have a number next to their name while they were in high school? Get over it man. Those kids out there are your classmates. They represent you. Give them your support if you can’t give it to the kids who aren’t there.
  • How could I possibly support the team if [something] happened in the past! Easy – get over it. Yes, it hurt this community severely at the time and it’s still a scar in many ways on the school to this day. THAT SAID it’s time to move on and put it in the past. You’re not some social warrior by constantly bringing it up, you’re a moron. I was there when all these things happened, and yet somehow I – along with many, many, many of my peers – have put it in the past. Time you did the same.
  • I’ll show up when the team gets to the NCAA tournament! Fucking bandwagon fan.

So there. Every reason you have has gone the way of disco, and now what? Just admit the fact that you’re apathetic maybe?

Let’s talk about a solution…

Fuck no. Have you been listening? This isn’t just a “hurr durr, PC students sux” post. I want this to be something worthwhile. There’s plenty of bullshit flak on the internet berating student apathy to death without actually understanding what or how to change it. It’s counterproductive and, honestly, makes the fans who just bash the students look petty. Yes it’s fair to be critical of the students. No it’s not helpful to do so without offering a solution. Yes I realize that this post makes me partly the type of asshole I just described. No I don’t care. Here’s why:

Two things need to be looked at with this problem: cultural perception and reasons for attending. Cultural perception is a very fluid concept when it comes to something like this, and it’s hard to definitively say at any given time what exactly this team is perceived like, especially when you’re not a student. I have limited insight to this, and I’m relying mostly on what I’m told and my experiences as a student to formulate this opinion, so I’m not going to get too hung up on what this team is and isn’t perceived as. I will say that it will take time, and in the case of “what came first – attendance or wins” that wins will always come first. This may mean that students who show up after Cooley bolsters this team (or any team) to the NCAA tournament are considered bandwagon fans, but let’s challenge this idea for a second.

If we’re giving the argument that the team represents the students, that makes the team one facet of the student’s identity as a member of the Providence College community. If there’s 32 games a season and a student is there for four years the student will have the chance to see 128 PC games as an undergrad. If PC is constantly losing those games then that means that part of that student’s identity becomes a loser perception, and the attitude of “I want to wait until they win” isn’t so much about the team as it is about themselves. If they have the choice between building an identity off a loss or something else that they perceive as a more positive use of their time, which way do you think they’ll go? I know what you’re thinking - Warrior you just said the team isn’t losing! - and that’s true, they aren’t, but what about the perception of the team? If the students feel like “it doesn’t matter if they beat Creighton because that’s a fluke, they’re going to lose to Butler” then that’s not a matter of winning and losing, it’s a matter of perception. That is what takes so long to change, and unfortunately isn’t something that happens overnight. So are they bandwagon fans waiting for the wins or protecting their identity? The answer is both, and that won’t change until some time passes and the consistency of success that I know for a fact Ed Cooley will deliver becomes hard evidence for a student, not a relative idea.


Remember when I first mentioned Merrimack? There was a fantastic reason for that, and here’s where it comes into place: the second thing that needs to change are the reasons a student has for attending a game. If you’ll recall I said that, at Merrimack, every club was talking about going to the hockey games that weekend and every person felt like they had to go otherwise they were going to miss out on something,despite the team not winning often. Merrimack’s atmosphere was focused on the social components, with the games being interwoven with the day/evening events rather than an interruption from them. If you didn’t have a party to go to, you went to a hockey game and found out what was going on. If you wanted to hang out with your friends from 7 to 10 on a Saturday, that’s where you went to. If you wanted to feel like you were a part of the Merrimack community? Guess where you’d go?

Hint: It was here.

The challenge that athletics and Friar Faithful both face is that Providence basketball is no longer seen as an interwoven part of the day’s events, it’s felt like an interruption from them. The social aspect of going to the game has been replaced. By what you ask? Bars. House parties. Homework. Studying. Honestly, does it matter? Really anything that the student has to put on pause while they go watch this team, and there lies the problem. All those “debunked excuses” above wouldn’t make a difference in the world because that’s only one part of a much larger process, the bulk of the process resting on convincing a student that going to games should be a part of their college experience rather than an interruption from it.

That’s a big challenge, but it’s one that’s actually much more managable and one that already has the pieces in place for success. We’ve seen it at points this year already. Look at the BC game this year: there was a beer garden, so students showed up. They were they for the beer garden and the game yes, but what did that mean for the students? It meant a college experience they could reflect back on positively, regardless of wins or losses. The benefits of going weren’t just “you’ll get to go to a game and see the team,” it was “you’ll get to go to a game with your friends and see the team while you get to socialize with your classmates.” It makes sense too. How bad of a cars salesperson would someone be if they said “the benefit of owning this car is that it moves.” Yeah, no shit, that’s what a car is supposed to do. You’re supposed to see a basketball game when you go to a basketball game. That logic is so basic it’s borderline stupid. What’s the benefit of going though?

“Not only does it go forward, but it also goes backwards! Ooo, very luxurious!”

The objective is to make these games feel like a social atmosphere. It’s a place where you can create memories, meet new people and have something from it while you’re spending your college time there. As I’m typing this and looking back at my three years at PC I don’t remember a ton of outcomes to games. I do remember meeting literally my best friends at these games. The friends that I still talk to almost every day, write about and think of first whenever something worth sharing in my life has come from going to these games. And that’s what these experiences need to get back to. But it won’t come just by sitting around waiting. Friar Faithful and athletics are moving towards it, but the students need to take ownership of it too. And they’ve proven with the BC game that they will, it’s just a matter of making sure that the opportunities are there and the students are aware of it. Then we will have a student section that fans are proud of, the school is proud of, and most importantly that the students are proud of.

So there it is, in a plain 3,500 word thesis, what needs to happen. We’ve gone through what I’ve seen work and not work, what the excuses are, and what needs to go right now. Students of Providence College: I’m challenging you directly. Friar Faithful involvement or no involvement, make these games a part of your experiences by having them be experiences you want to look back on fondly. Work with athletics. Work with Cooley. They’re there to help you, and I’d bet anything they absolutely will. Fans and alumni you be ready to help out if called on too. We’re a family, and we’ll build this thing together if need be.

Make it happen students. Make me proud of being in the Providence College student section. Make us all proud. You can, I know you can. Like the old saying goes: just do it.

Well well well, it’s been a long time my old friend.

I don’t want to spend a ton of time writing this. I’ve been writing for the better part of the weekend and I’m working on a few articles for this website right now so I’m a bit wiped. I just wanted to provide a quick update since I haven’t been here in a long time.

First and foremost: I probably should’ve posted this a lot sooner. It was a bit of a dick move to just not say anything for months on end. My bad.

Next, I’m still around, going to games and staying very involved with the team. Just because I’m not posting doesn’t mean I’m not there. I’ll still be doing work for Scout from time to time, and I’d like to help revive this site after it’s hiatus. That said, there is a reason I haven’t been posting or doing anything with FriarPod.

Providence basketball has meant a lot to me. For those of you who’ve read some of my posts in the past or know me personally you know that this team is kind of a big deal for me. It’s been something that I can do and feel centered, like working out or taking a drive. Having the opportunity to cover this team as a journalist is a dream come true for me, and in the past two and a half years I’ve been doing that it’s been a huge blessing. That’s not to say it hasn’t been a challenge – it’s hard to look at this team critically, cheer them on as a fan, and then switch back to analytical and go into “jouranlist mode” again. There’s nothing easy about maintaining that balance but for awhile I thought I had it figured out. I could analyze this team and enjoy them because I loved what I was doing. I still love what I do, but as it stands right now, I need this team to be somewhere I can go and escape all the day-to-day bullshit I run into, not a place where I go and wear my “work” hat over my “fan” one.

Normally I’m a very open person about the things that go on in my life. Truthfully I’m more open with this fanbase than I am with most people in my life. Kinda screwed up if you think about it, but hey, it is what it is. That said, right now I need this team to be what it was for me my junior and senior years in college: an outlet, not a work environment. I love covering this team but it sucks when we have a huge win and I have to tone down my excitement or delay it/cut it off early because I need to go home and bang out 750 unbiased words on the win. I don’t feel particularly comfortable going into all the personal things right now, so just take my word that the best thing for me is to enjoy the good feeling I have when I’m around fans and watching the games without having to think about what I’m going to say later.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop posting though. Part of what I need is a creative outlet. I’ve started doing that with some other aspects of writing (for those who don’t know I’m a novelist, right now my biggest priority has been getting my fourth book done after 4 years and to begin outlining books five and six) and getting my personal website, unrelated to sports, back up and running. And in addition to working on that book, I also want to treat this site like my own personal fan journal. I mentioned I’ve been working on some posts (right now one related to just what the flipping fuck is up with our lack of student participation) and I want to share some of my experiences as a fan as the year rounds out. Observations on the team, the fanbase, the experiences I have are all going to be from a fan perspective. At least for right now.

Next year, probably over the summer, I’m going to relaunch some of the more traditional Friarblog stuff you’re used to while keeping these things up. There’s a greater purpose for why I’m introducing the “fan” element to this blog, and in due time it will make a hell of a lot more sense. For now just trust me on all this.

I need this team like I need to eat. I need to talk about this team like I need to breathe. Friarblog allows me to do all of those things. But I needed to take a step back over the past few months and figure out some of life’s questions that tend to kick you in the nuts when you hit your mid-20s. I don’t have those answers, but I’m getting there. At least I’m far enough along now where I can ease back into this.

But hey, in the meantime, enjoy the stories I’m going to tell on this site. I’ll be in Chicago this weekend for the DePaul game, and you can bet there’s going to be some great tales from that journey. We still got plenty of games to go nuts at, and every part of that experience at those games are what makes me a fan, so you’ll get to hear about those. I’m sorry again I didn’t post this sooner. Hopefully you all understand and continue to be patient with me.

- Warrior Friar, AKA Danny James

T.G.I.F: Thank God It’s Friartown 11.29.13

@FriarFrenzy —  November 29th, 2013 11:40 PM —  Comments

-Is there anything better than Thanksgiving leftovers?


-Yes, leftovers and a “Black Friday” Friar game. at The Dunk.

-With Kris Dunn on the shelf for the afternoon to rest his ailing shoulder, PC took care of business against Fairfield, riding 38 made free throws (on 45 attempts) to a nine point victory.

-So who are the Friars playing next?

-It was not pretty but 2-1 and a finals appearance in the Paradise Jam can be considered a success. 

-The team lacked continuity in each game, and has yet to put forth a consistent effort, but they were able to win two of three anyway and that is the mark of a good team. 

-Good to see Providence jump out to an early lead on Fairfield, bucking a recent trend of slow starts.

-Falling behind early on a consistent basis is an obvious concern and all the energy spent clawing back against Vanderbilt and LaSalle down in St. Thomas took their toll on the Friars in the final against Maryland, as the Terps came out of the gate swinging and looked like the faster, stronger team throughout despite Providence’s late attempt to make a game of it.

-This team is still searching for an identity as they integrate new talent into the rotation, deal with suspensions and adjust to the reality that Kris Dunn will be playing at less than 100 percent, and sometimes not at all, this season. 

-A great place for a team to find itself is on the defensive end of the floor and the Friars have been more than solid there so far, holding opponents to 60.4 points per game on 40.6% shooting heading into today’s Fairfield contest. 

-As for Fairfield, they did manage 68 points but only shot 39% overall and only hitting six threes out of 20 tries. 

-Like the Friars, the Stags made their living at the line, going 21 of 24, which enabled them to hang around.  

 -While the Providence D has shown up on most nights, their offense has been inconsistent and has lacked flow. 

-One notable offensive trend that has continued from last season is an inordinate number of missed shots from layup distance. 

-LaDontae Henton, who has been a force on both ends of the floor this year, notched his 1000th point on Friday.

- Josh Fortune had a good shooting game against Fairfield (4-7 overall, 2-4 from three) and the Friars are going to need more consistent production out of him, especially as the Brandon Austin suspension approaches the one month mark and has no sign of ending. 

-Also good that Bryce Cotton was able to find the mark from three-point land as he led a late charge against Maryland ,but you have to think not practicing in order to rest his surgically repaired knee could have a lasting impact on Cotton’s shooting touch. 

-That said, Ice always finds a way (as he did on Friday by shrugging off a tough shooting day by going 18 of 19 from the line while dishing out seven assists and grabbing four boards) and, outside of health concerns, Bryce Cotton is the last guy you need to worry about Friartown.

-Similar thought on Dunn.  As noted, he will have to deal with pain and discomfort all season and it will likely contribute to some uneven performances, as evidenced by his 14 turnovers in four games, but Dunn will adjust and be a huge part of what the Friars accomplish this season. 

-Getting back to Cotton, he has played so many minutes over the last three years it might be time to modify his nickname to ”ICE-40”.

-If Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock travel to St. Thomas and nobody sees them, does the tree make a sound?


-The Wildcats’ wealth of talent is well chronicled, but if you are looking for someone to really be concerned about, see Julius Randle.   

-He’s big (6’9”, 250 pounds) and tremendously skilled for someone his size.

-Oh, and Randle has messed around and got double-doubles in all seven of Kentucky’s games this year. 

-The new Sakonnet River bridge has a ten cent toll.

-Can we change the name to the Bill Raftery Bridge?

-Because we are getting hit with the old nickel-dimer.

Dropping Dimes. (Photo credit:

Dropping Dimes. (Photo credit:

-Congratulations to the Providence Cross Country team.  National Champs!

-And to the Men’s Soccer team for advancing a round in the NCAA tournament before bowing out.

-This space reserved for the #4 hockey Friars upcoming post season accomplishments.

-There’s something happening here.

-Speaking of rankings, a friend of mine recently told me about how a family member was cared for by the number three heart surgeon in the country. 

-That’s awesome, and we are blessed to have brilliant doctors who do amazing things every day, but where can I find those doctor rankings?  Rivals? ESPN?

-Interesting article on old friend Kiwi Gardner who made the NBA D League’s Santa Cruz Warriors after participating in an open tryout.

-In the article, Kiwi said that Ed Cooley, upon gaining commitments from Kris Dunn and Ricky Ledo, called him between his freshman and sophomore years to say that there was no longer any room for him on the team.

-Whether the conversation happened that way or not, it’s ironic because with the lack of guard depth the Friars have endured over the last year plus, especially at the point, there would have been plenty of minutes available for Kiwi to earn.

-Point guards are like pitchers.  You can never have too many. 

-Always liked boxing and would love to see a revitalization of a dying sport, but  Andy Enfield vs. Tim Floyd is not going to do it for me.

-Great upcoming week concludes at URI on Thursday. 

-Time go make a leftover turkey, stuffing and cranberry sandwich. 

Have a great weekend Friartown.  Be safe.

T.G.I.F: Thank God It’s Friartown 11.22.13

@FriarFrenzy —  November 22nd, 2013 8:47 AM —  Comments

-With a new season just underway, thought it might be a good idea to give you new readers…ok, reader… a reset of what T.G.I.F is all about.


-Think of it like when you were in high school and the junior varsity basketball games were always played before the varsity.   On Saturdays you will get great stuff from Bill Reynolds in his legendary Providence Journal ‘For What it’s Worth’ column, and from John Rooke in his always entertaining and informational ‘Thinking out Loud’ feature on

-On (most?) Fridays you will get T.G.I.F….the JV game of quick hitters.

-Four games, four wins and the focus remains on the roster. 

-Kris Dunn came back with a flourish providing the spark the Friars needed to keep a surging Vermont team at bay and help to put them away.   

-Perhaps more impressive than how physically strong Dunn looked in his 21 minutes of action was how his offensive game has seemingly lifted compared to last year.  Dunn exhibited improved control and floor vision while flipping passes with big-time confidence and crispness. 

-21 minutes is a small sample, and certainly nothing to make broad-based predictions about, but it’s really hard not to say the only thing holding Kris Dunn (and the Friars) back from a big year is the threat of a setback with the shoulder.   

-Moving along to the still unsettled personnel….According to several accounts, Friar freshmen Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock, who remain suspended indefinitely for what the Providence Journal’s Kevin McNamara has reported as an ‘on-campus incident’, are with the team in St. Thomas for this weekend’s  Paradise Jam, but have yet to have their status upgraded to active. 

-That said, you have to figure Austin and Bullock would not have been allowed to make such a trip if Ed Cooley did not plan on suiting them up at some point during this tournament.  

-In other words, don’t think Cooley was looking for two more Tommy Bahama’s on the sidelines.

-Not to mention, those things are pricey and we are on a budget here, right? 

-As for the on the court action until the rotation and continuity are stabalized you get the ‘different guy every night’ feel which is great because the Friars have the depth and the unselfishness to defer to that game’s hot hand. 

-What can you say about Bryce Cotton?  He’s a flat out star and the versatility he has displayed already this year, being able to stand out even if the threes are not falling (yet) with typical Ice-ness, is remarkable.

-The other pillar so far has been LaDontae Henton.  Always boarding but it looks like he has returned to his freshman form from the outside, both in shot selection and accuracy. 

-Hard to leave out Kadeem Batts too, who has been rebounding at a more consistent rate thus far against teams that had sneaky formiddable front courts for the most part. 

-Brown is going to be really good this year.  

-The Bears have bigs with size and ability (Cedric Kuakumensah and Rafael Maia) to go with a prime time guard in Sean McGonagill that will give the Ivy League fits.

You still can't play but look at the bright side! (Disclosure: This is not a real Tommy Bahama because real Tommy Bahama's are awesome).

You still can’t play but look at the bright side! (Disclosure: This is not a real Tommy Bahama because real Tommy Bahama’s are awesome).

-Vanderbilt, tonight’s Friar Paradise Jam opponent, went on the road Tuesday night and took Butler to overtime before losing.  (Thanks @teachMEhowtoOB for keeping me honest…give him a follow on Twitter y’all!).

-It appears as though referee and team adjustments and acclimation to the new foul rules has already started to take hold. 

-Using Providence games as an example, there were 55 total fouls called in the season opener against Boston College and an average of 35 in the three games since. 

-Our friends the refs are also allowing themselves to call more charges and offensive fouls of late, whereas everything early on was going against the defense. 

-Boston College is 1-4. 

-Don’t worry Eagles.  It’ll get easier in the ACC.

-Wasn’t that the plan?

-To be fair, BC’s losses have come against good teams off to good starts. Providence, Massachusetts, Toledo and Connecticut own combined records of 12-0 coming into today’s action.

-Speaking of Massachusetts, who host the Friars in late December, they are 4-0 and have not scored fewer than 85 points in a single game.

-The Minutemen have a date with New Mexico this afternoon in what has the makings of an early season gem.

-Getting back to rough starts, Georgetown is 1-2, including a loss last night to Northeastern. 

-Too bad there were not any substances to enhance A-Rod’s performance on the radio earlier this week.

-Then again, the scientists would have to come up with something other-worldly to make him believable.

-What’s next?  The “Chewbacca Defense”?

-Check back with me in March but here goes…. The Big East is wide open and the Friars have as good a chance as anybody provided they stay realatively healthy….and out of trouble.

Hey, you might not have liked this post, but it was better than last week’s.


-Have a good weekend Friartown.  Be Safe.

-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.

As the buzz continues to grow surrounding Providence College, the school hosted its Late Night Madness last Friday, which not only served to increase both optimism regarding the future of the program, but also provided yet another avenue for improving the Providence College name in the eyes of recruits. With the event being hosted by television personality Nick Cannon and the energy that the slim Ed Cooley created at the event, it is not a surprise that countless recruits flocked to be a part of the festivities that saw freshman Brandon Austin stun the crowd with a 360 between the legs dunk to win the dunk contest. 2014 commits Ben Bentil, Jalen Lindsey, and Paschal Chukwu were all in attendance while countless underclassmen were also present including 2015 recruits Donovan Mitchell, Ryan Fazekas, and Jarred Reuter, 2016 recruits Tyrone Malone and Tyree Weston and 2017 recruits Jermaine Samuels, Tomas Murphy, and Kimani Lawrence among several others. Ed Cooley and his staff continue to attract talent to Providence College events and build relationships with the areas top talent very early in their high school careers.

One recruit, 2015 G Donovan Mitchell, was very positive regarding his experience at Late Night Madness and his overall recruitment with Providence. Ed Cooley and Providence will certainly continue to pursue the talented Brewster guard, but will soon have stiff competition as Mitchell shows his talent during the prep season. Mitchell has stated a desire to play for a school with a great fan base that will provide him with a great education in addition to immediate playing time. Providence could certainly be a great fit for Mitchell. In addition to the positivity from Mitchell and other underclassmen regarding the event, all three 2014 commitments were very positive regarding the night and the program in general. It is certainly refreshing to see the immense amount of excitement that Ed Cooley has built regarding the program shown even from recruits who are a year away from playing for the school.

Although significant buzz was generated both during and shortly after the event from several recruits, but the largest recruiting news was made by 2015 F Ryan Fazekas, who verbally committed to the Friars on Tuesday. According to Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal, Fazekas’ trip to Late Night Madness was his birthday present from his parents and quickly told them of his college intentions following his return. Ryan Fazekas is known as a knockdown shooter who stands at 6’8” giving him the ability to get his shot off over most defenders. His long-range ability has drawn comparisons to players such as Michigan’s Nik Stauskas and former Purdue forward Robbie Hummel at that stage of their high school career. Additionally, Fazekas is only a junior and is said to still be growing and adding weight to his frame. If he continues to grow and build his body, Fazekas could turn into a prototypical stretch four man.

Prior to committing to the Friars, Fazekas was receiving interest from high major programs such as Butler, Michigan, Purdue, Xavier, Boston College, Valparaiso, Northwestern, and several other Big Ten schools. Although Fazekas plays AAU ball with the Chicago-based Mean Streets, he missed a portion of last summer due to injury, which had an impact on his rating by the major scouting services. While Scout currently rates Fazekas as a three star prospect and ESPN has him as a four star prospect, it would not be surprising to see Fazekas improve on that rating and find himself in the top 100 of his class by graduation with continued consistency from long range and improvement in other areas. With the departure of Bryce Cotton following the upcoming season, Ryan Fazekas could prove to help secure the future of the program in terms of three point shooting. This could certainly prove to be a case of Providence securing the commitment from a recruit prior to him “blowing up” on the national scene. Below is a mixtape of Ryan Fazekas that highlights his high upside.