Archives For 2012-2013 Season Preview

councilLeading up until the season, Friarblog is counting down and profiling the Friar players who will be seeing the court this season.

Here are the previous rankings

#9. Lee Goldsbrough

#8. Brice Kofane

#7. Sidiki Johnson

#6. Josh Fortune

#5. Kadeem Batts

#4. Kris Dunn

#3. Bryce Cotton

#2. LaDontae Henton

#1. Vincent Council

On the road to a potential All-BIG EAST First Team performance while breaking Vinnie DeGregorio’s all-time assist record at Providence College, Vincent Council will surely get his fair due of recognition in his final college basketball season. The question is, will Council be able to lift up and lead his teammates to more wins than the 4 BIG EAST games won in each of his first three seasons?

Resources: Friars.com Profile

Nickname: VC

Follow: @V_Council32 (private)

Animated Gif:

council

Stud stats: It was pretty amazing how Council held up despite being on the court for practically every minute of the season. With a much higher usage rate, VC got an assist on 43% of his possessions leading to 7.5 assists per game (4th ranked nationally, 1st in the BIG EAST). In nine games he had double digit assists, six coming in conference play.

Dud stats: Constantly driving at breakneak speed with not a lot of guys that can finish for you can have some drawbacks. Council’s decision making and carelessness sometimes led to games with large amount of turnovers. In the first three BIG EAST games, VC upt up 19 total turnovers. Overall he had 5 games where he turned the ball over at least 5 times, all resulting in PC losses. Additionally, Council didn’t have an all around great shooting year (29% from three, 39.1% overall).

I know what you did last summer: Played in some games at the Dyckman Tournament in NY.

Know your role: As the lone senior on the team who has by far the most game experience, Council is the leader of the team. The ball will be in his hands most of time, and the team will generally go as he does. PC now has several shooters capable of producing on offense, so Council will not be as pressured to carry the offense all the time. They just need to get open, and he will find them. One thing to watch this season is how Cooley uses him at the point guard position once Kris Dunn is healthy. If Council has improved his shooting, he can potentially play off the ball every now and then and be a lot less taxed towards the end of the season.

Relevant Tune: You Carried Us – Portugal. The Man.

You carried us all
Down from the stars
And up from the sea (Where everybody knew)
All you see, and all you hear
Is all you need, and all you breathe
While you create
And it’s in your mind

If Vincent Council was a TV Show: Fringe – In my opinion, one of the best shows out there. It’s very well received in the TV media community, but not everyone really knows about it. Sadly, it’s also in it’s last season but should go out with a bang.

Best case scenario: Council puts a stamp on his Friar legacy with tremendous all around season that leads to as many conference wins as the last two seasons combined. A vastly improved long range shot gives PC four players capable of consistently knocking down the shot, taking some of the pressure off of the front court. The addition of Kris Dunn in December allows Council to further grow his game, and helps him stay fresh March. The biggest part of the season for him comes at the Garden, where Council’s dominance helps PC win two BIG EAST Tourney games. First Team All-BIG EAST. Stats: 19 points per game, 8 assists per game, 46 FG %, 37% from downtown.

Worst case scenario: Council puts up strong overall numbers again, but shows some slight regression on offense to keep him from taking the step forward as the best in the country. His three point shot just doesn’t seem to click, and turnovers spurts keep the Friars from maintaining a consistent offense in BIG EAST play. Vince still needs to play 40 minutes per game, and he tails off towards the end of the season, culminating in another bad loss in the BIG EAST Tournament to close out his PC career. 2nd Team All BIG EAST. Stats: 39.999999 minutes per game, 16 points per game, 40% fg, 7.5 assists per game.

PC Big East Projection Crunch: Part II

rjsuperfly66 —  November 9th, 2012 7:02 AM —  Comments

sirius_xm_cs_big_east_conferenceIn case you missed, Part I of my Big East Projection Crunch took an in depth look at how the Friars will fare in their first 9 games.

Here are Providence College’s Next Five Games:

at Villanova

vs. Cincinnati

at South Florida

vs. Notre Dame

at Syracuse

Breaking Them Down

at Villanova: In Part 1, I wrote that I feel PC has Villanova’s number and that was my defense for PC beating the Wildcats at home. However, that does not mean I think that same thing will hold true on the road, where PC has really struggled most of the past three years. Despite last seasons debacle, PC consistently struggles in Philadelphia, and have not won there since 2004. All things considered, Villanova has more talent than PC, enough talent to come from down 19 with 16 minutes left to dominate PC down the stretch. Especially if PC wins the game at the Dunk, I think Villanova has enough ammo to give the Friars the LOSS on the road.

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blue-growth-chartThe Big East is a conference in transition, but most of the movement will happen after this season. The only change to the conference membership from last year is the departure of West Virginia. It’s no small deal to lose a team that has made five straight and seven of eight NCAA Tournaments. The other 15 teams that remain comprise what most believe is the second best conference in America (behind the Big Ten). The number of NCAA Tournament bids the league should expect come March will primarily be determined in non-conference action, though something like seven or eight looks right.

The subject of this blog, Providence, of course has not made the NCAA Tournament since George W. Bush’s first term, and that is unlikely to change until at least next spring. Still, it’s good to know the competition and where it appears the Friars fit among their conference mates. In this post, we’ll look at three models to project the Big East — from myself, Ken Pomeroy and Dan Hanner — and compare them to the league coaches and beat writers who voted in October polls.

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bucketsLeading up until the season, Friarblog is counting down and profiling the Friar players who will be seeing the court this season.

Here are the previous rankings

#9. Lee Goldsbrough

#8. Brice Kofane

#7. Sidiki Johnson

#6. Josh Fortune

#5. Kadeem Batts

#4. Kris Dunn

#3. Bryce Cotton

#2. LaDontae Henton

As Ed Cooley’s first ever recruit during his first few months on the job, Henton proved that recruiting rankings are sometimes garbage. The 6-6 forward from Michigan became an instant fan favorite due to his overall knack for the ball and ability to score from everywhere. In the offseason that saw lots of misses for additional big men, constant wondering about Ricky Ledo’s status, and lots praying for Kris Dunn’s shoulder, Friartown sometimes forgot Henton was still here and ready to build on one of the best freshman seasons in PC history.

Resources: Friars.com Profile

Nickname: Buckets

Follow: Twitter: @HentonBuckets23, Instagram: henton23

Stud stats: On the way to breaking Ryan Gomes’ freshman scoring record at PC, LaDontae Henton put up nine double-doubles (six coming in BIG EAST play). One of his most impressive performances came in a rare road win at DePaul. Henton had 24 points and 15 rebounds, including the game winning jumper with a few seconds left. Shot an impressive 39.3% from behind the arc.

Dud stats: The one area statistically that Henton didn’t really excel in was passing. He got an assist on only 6.5% of his possessions, leading to 1.1 assists per game. It’s not like he was a ball hog or anything, just a potential area of improvement to keep an eye on this season.

I know what you did last summer: LaDontae Henton was a late addition to the Global Sports Academy Tour in August. He played with Bryce Cotton in Germany, Belgium, and France. Buckets and Ice! You can read about their trip in an interview I did with their coach.

Know your role: With a lot of questions surrounding the other members of the front court, Henton is likely to see a ton of minutes once again. While the roster tries to survive the early part of the season, he will be counted on to help shoulder the offensive load along with Council and Cotton. Overall, Henton will be the team’s top rebounder who steps up in key moments on both ends of the floor against the best competition in the BIG EAST.

Relevant Tune: Say Yes! To Michigan! – Sufjan Stevens

Tried to change the
Made in Michigan
I was raised, I was raised
In the place, in the place,
part to remind me.

If LaDontae Henton was a TV Show: Person of Interest – I started watching this show on CBS when it debuted last season. I really wasn’t expecting much, but it had Ben from Lost so it seemed somewhat interesting. Well, it turned out to be AWESOME, and is now one of my favorite shows on TV right how. The main character kicks ass, there is a lot of action and drama, the story is amazing, and it even makes me laugh. It can do it all.

Best case scenario: Henton’s overall numbers as a freshman were very similar to Gomes’ first year as a Friar (which famously started late because he almost got redshirted). With increased efficiency in addition to his continued strong outside shooting, Henton follows in the footsteps of the Friar legend and comes very close to duplicating his 18/9 sophomore season.

Worst case scenario: An increased workload somewhat diminishes Henton’s production, and he isn’t able to build on his BIG EAST All-Rookie season. The three point shot doesn’t fall as often, and defenses are really able to lock down his inside game. The rebounding is still there, but Henton takes a step back and doesn’t play like the number two scoring option as he did last year. Stats: 32 minutes per game, 11 ppg, 8 rpg.

Will PC Ever Play Good Defense Again?

Brendon Desrochers —  November 7th, 2012 1:45 PM —  Comments
kofane

PC’s defense has been down. Can it get back up?

No Providence team has finished in the top half in the Big East in defensive efficiency since Marcus Douthit graduated. The best defensive team that PC has had since then was the 2006-07 season, when PC finished 10th in the Big East. That was Herbert Hill’s senior season, the one in which he was probably the Big East’s best player and finished 30th in the nation in shot-block rate.

There’s a common thread there — when PC has a top shot-blocker, it’s had at least a decent defense, and, in the case of the Douthit Friars, a great defense. When PC has not had a shot-blocker and imposing size on the frontline, it’s been torched. This is a run of bad defenses that has lasted eight seasons and is now on its third coach. We cannot blame Cooley much for the defense of last season, but it’s not as if this is all coaching. Defensive talent — size, speed, acumen — is as important to good team defense as offensive talent — quickness, shooting, seeing the floor — is to good team offense, and the Friars have simply not had many players with strong defensive skills.

Getting bigger — namely taller — is one of the measurable and simplest ways for a team to improve defensively. That size still has to possess athleticism, but all else being equal, height is the most critical physical factor in playing good defense. To wit, the only players at least 6-foot-10 to play for Providence since Douthit graduated are Ray Hall and Randall Hanke. (Hill was listed at 6-10 but was closer to 6-8 per NBA scouting measurements. Also, why does the second sentence of Ryan Gomes’ Wikipedia profile read: “Gomes was named an All-American power forward at Providence College, where he also played with Herbert Hill in the Big East Conference”? Random.)

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cotton

Can Cotton shoot 40% from three this year?

Leading up until the season, Friarblog is counting down and profiling the Friar players who will be seeing the court this season.

Here are the previous rankings

#9. Lee Goldsbrough

#8. Brice Kofane

#7. Sidiki Johnson

#6. Josh Fortune

#5. Kadeem Batts

#4. Kris Dunn

#3. Bryce Cotton

Last season Bryce Cotton exceeded all expectations and become one of the better long range shooters in the conference. Early on in the year there were questions if Cotton’s strong play would hold up as the competition level increased. How did Ice respond? Nobody made more threes in BIG EAST play (well D’Angelo Harrison had the same amount in less attempts, but technically nobody had more makes). The question this season will be if Cotton can follow up his impressive sophomore year with the same or more production on a more consitent basis with increased expectations.

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PC Big East Projection Crunch: Part I

rjsuperfly66 —  November 6th, 2012 9:02 PM —  Comments

sirius_xm_cs_big_east_conferenceI will start this with one statement: I THINK THE BIG EAST COACHES/MEDIA PROJECTIONS ARE SLIGHTLY OVERRATED.  I really do not care who a coach may think is the best or who you think is the worst, but it really just comes down to who you play and where you play them.  Look at our team, the Providence Friars.  They are possessions away from knocking off elite Big East teams at home on a regular basis, teams that if PC is slightly better or the opponent is slightly worse, they do. All it takes is a few bounces in your favor and you pull some additional upsets or pull off some tight victories. What about getting a favorable home schedule against some good teams who you may have their number? Are you telling me that if Louisville came to Providence after getting smashed on the past two years up here, you wouldn’t give PC more than a fair shot to win that game?

So to me, there is a lot more that goes picking a order you think the teams should finish in the Big East.  It doesn’t mean it is all bogus, but it is tough to look back at the end of the year and say a team over or underachieved because of Big East standings in comparison to preseason selections. That is why here at Friarblog we have gone into more detail.

What I have done is rip the Big East schedule apart. We will take a game-by-game look at every single Big East matchup. I will predict a winner for every single Big East game, using a combination of Mr. Ken Pomeroy’s rankings and past game trends since 2008 (and even further in some cases when applicable). That will best allow me to see if one team has another team’s number, regardless of how good they may be in any one season.  Obviously we will all likely disagree about certain games a long the way, but this will give us a hard look at how the conference actually could shake out.

The goal is to not just come out with an order in which I think the Big East will finish, but also announce to you a Big East regular season and post season winner, as well as who I think will be the Big East Player of the Year, as well as Coach of the Year.

Before I start, I think it would only be fitting to come up with a reasonable goal for the Providence Friars when it comes to the 2012-2013 season.

The Goal: To get a first round bye in the Big East Tournament. With the departure of West Virginia and the postseason ban of UCONN, only four teams will play on the first day of the tournament (11 vs 14; 12 vs. 13). I think a very positive goal for PC would be to at least stay in contention for that first day bye, and also hopefully compete for it.

Do I think that will happen though?

For that answer, let us get started…

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dunn

Dunn will likely spend 2012 on the bench

Leading up until the season, Friarblog is counting down and profiling the Friar players who will be seeing the court this season.

Here are the previous rankings

#9. Lee Goldsbrough

#8. Brice Kofane

#7. Sidiki Johnson

#6. Josh Fortune

#5. Kadeem Batts

#4. Kris Dunn

Kris Dunn was Providence’s first recruit to be an McDonald’s All-American since God Shammgod in 1995. Along with Ricardo Ledo, he headlined a highly rated recruiting class that unfortunately may not be completely realized until next season. As Ledo works out his partial qualifier status, Kris Dunn needs to heal from an injured shoulder that will keep him off the court until December or January (if everything goes as expected). His return will give Ed Cooley and the Friars a boost of talent and much needed depth, and hopefully provide fans a taste of great things to come.

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Improving PC’s Underrated Offense

Brendon Desrochers —  November 5th, 2012 1:13 PM —  Comments
cooley

Where’s the consistency fellas!?
(photo by Kevin Reilly)

As noted in my preview by-the-numbers on ScoutFriars.com, last season’s offense was better than average in the Big East, but it was also highly inconsistent, scoring at least 1.09 points per possession in seven conference games but less than 0.85 in six, including the Big East Tournament debacle vs. Seton Hall. The previous year’s team only went under 0.85 twice and over 1.09 three times.

The offense’s effectiveness was tied directly to its ability to make shots, and so Cooley often went with small lineups to get the best shooters on the floor, which included Bryce Cotton as a small 2 and LaDontae Henton as a small 4. This created more room for Vincent Council to penetrate and score or dish and for Gerald Coleman to get inside the defense. When either of those two shooters was off the floor, Providence was playing a non-scorer (Ron Giplaye or Brice Kofane) or a lane-clogger (Bilal Dixon) as well as Kadeem Batts, who had a very poor offensive season (more on that later). The big lineup might have been marginally better defensively, but it also compressed the offense and made it harder for Council to get his teammates good looks. Cooley sacrificed the defense in favor of the small lineup because his offense was simply not functional without all four of the key guys on the floor together.

The 2012-13 squad figures to have a lot of the same problems as last year’s team — lack of length, lack of depth, but maybe not quite the shortage of shooters. When looking at this squad’s offense, I want to focus briefly on the seven-man rotation that Providence figures to have for the first handful of games and then focus more extensively on the nine-man rotation we’re hoping it has for conference play.

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batts

Photo by Kadeem Batts via Instagram

Leading up until the season, Friarblog is counting down and profiling the Friar players who will be seeing the court this season.

Here are the previous rankings

#9. Lee Goldsbrough

#8. Brice Kofane

#7. Sidiki Johnson

#6. Josh Fortune

#5. Kadeem Batts

Exactly a year ago, Kadeem Batts was starting his 1st semester suspension for violating team rules. This apparent off the court issue set the tone for a disappointing season on the court. Heading into his junior year, Batts’ mindset appears to be quite different. He’s all-in on Ed Cooley, and looking to be a leader of the team.

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