Archives For Instant Reaction

misstSaturday afternoon’s 73-63 win over Mississippi State was a roller coaster of emotions. From the get go, the Friars dominated the Bulldogs and it looked like they would coast to an easy victory in the Big East / SEC Challenge. We did this for you, BIG EAST! Then, Bryce Cotton was fouled on a three pointer late in the 1st half (seriously, do you know any player who gets fouled more on threes than Cotton??), and came down awkwardly hurting his knee. Ice didn’t return for the 2nd half, and is going to get an MRI to see what’s up according to Ed Cooley in the postgame. Without Cotton, the “Sexy Six” held down the fort and the laugher continued on strong with Providence leading by as much as 26 points. However, Mississippi State woke up late in the game, and came ridiculously close to a monster comeback that would have just kicked Friartown while they were down. In the end, PC held on to beat a very terrible Mississippi State team, but may have to deal with a serious injury to their best player to date.

Why Providence won: In the pregame, I mentioned that Kadeem Batts needed to produce and be more aggressive in order to take some of the pressure off of Cotton. Batts must be an avid reader of Friarblog (READER COUNT UP TO 4!), because he was fantastic from the get go. Long range jumpers, aggresive drives to the hoop, baby hooks — you name it, Batts was scoring. Mississippi State didn’t have an answer for him, and they dug themselves into a big hole. The PC defense showed a lot of hustle, and forced their opponent to rely on long range shots they couldn’t hit. When the Bulldogs came roaring back in crunch-time, the Friars held it together and executed under pressure while shorthanded once again.

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Providence Defeats Fairfield 66-47

dave@friarblog —  November 23rd, 2012 11:10 PM —  Comments

The Providence Friars had a nice win on Friday night at the Dunk, beating Ed Cooley’s former team Fairfield 66-47. It was their 22nd straight home non-conference win in a row.


Photo courtesy of @dbenson711

Why Providence Won: The first half was ugly for both teams, but the Friars took an 8 point lead into the locker room because of their offensive rebounding. PC had a 10-1 advantage on the offensive glass, and scored 10 second chance points. Right from the start of the 2nd half, Providence found their offense while Fairfield struggled to score. Fairfield got the first bucket of the half 20 seconds in, but took almost 8 minutes to sore their next points. During that cold spell the shots started to fall for the Friars, especially for Bryce Cotton. The Stags did a good job harassing Ice at the point for most of the game, but he managed to find room to hit a couple of threes and a layup during PC’s 17-0 run that broke the game open.

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Friars Defeat Bryant 81-49

dave@friarblog —  November 12th, 2012 10:20 PM —  Comments

The Friars moved to 2-0 with a nice 81-49 win over Bryant University at The Dunk. Playing with 6 scholarship players and without a true point guard, PC’s offense was incredibly sharp and efficient in the 1st half. Although they got sloppy and struggled a little bit in the first part of the 2nd, the Friars were able to keep Bryant in check defensively for practically the whole game.

Why Providence Won: The Friars built a huge lead in the first half behind the fantastic play of Kadeem Batts. He scored in a variety of ways — back to the basket with jump hooks, foul line and longer jumpers, and fast break dunks (one which reminded me a lot of the Louisville dunk from last year). It was good to see Batts in his beat-the-chest mode that we saw in that Louisville performance last year, taking a leadership role that he promised Friartown during the offseason. After the first twenty minutes were over, Batts was actually outscoring Bryant 23-21. The Bulldogs made a slight run with a bunch of three balls that finally went in, but they were never able to recover from PC’s onslaught in the 1st. Kadeem did the initial damage, and a combination of Cotton and Henton delivered the knockout punch.


Photo by Kevin Reilly

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The first half wasn’t pretty for anyone involved, but several Friars stepped up after a probable hailstorm of Ed Cooley curses at halftime when his team was actually trailing Division III RIC by one. After struggling to find any offensive rhythm to start the game with Ice Cotton out and Kadeem Batts limited, PC and Josh Fortune shot lights out in the 2nd to win 76-52 in their final exhibition tuneup.

Let’s dish out some pasta to grade the performances.


Vincent Council - Coming out of the locker room right before the 2nd half started (there were no warmups, as Cooley wanted to keep chewing them), Vincent Council really took charge and got the offense going. That’s what a senior and All BIG EAST First Team member does. I’m guessing Cooley “gently” reminded VC of this at the half.

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The Providence Friars finished up their 2011-2012 regular season by losing to Notre Dame 75-69 in South Bend.

Up three at the half, the Irish outscored the Friars 26-5 over the first 10 minutes of the second to take control in their regular-season finale.

Providence hustled and scrapped and cut it to eight with a minute left, forcing Notre Dame to re-insert Martin, who’d come out earlier for a curtain call. Gerard Coleman’s steal and layup got the Friars to within six with 48 seconds left.But Notre Dame was able to hold on as Grant hit two from the line with 8 seconds remaining.

The loss puts PC at 4-14 in BIG EAST play for the 3rd straight season, but there’s definitely a different feeling about that record with Ed Cooley running the team. Countless times this season it looked like the Friars were in for a blowout loss, but showed tremendous fight in making a run to make the game close. While it didn’t result in a win like it did this past Tuesday at the Dunk, Providence could have easily quit being down 25 points in a tough road environment in their last game of the regular season. While it’s probably true that Notre Dame let up a little bit with such a big lead, it was encouraging to see the Friars refuse to give up. There’s been some growing pains and some hard to swallow losses this year, but it’s hard to argue that this 4-14 seems anywhere close to the previous two.

Chances are, this resulted in a foul - (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

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The Providence Friars won their first BIG EAST road game in over two years, beating DePaul 73-71 to avoid landing in the basement for the time being. The conference just wouldn’t feel right without the Blue Demons in last, right? Anyways, good to see the players and Coach Cooley get a much deserved win, regardless of the opponent.

However, It almost looked like deja vu all over again, as PC led by 7 with four minutes to go. Providence allowed DePaul to stay in the game down the stretch when their milk-the-clock offense stalled. OH NOES HERE WE GO AGAIN, #pcbb-town growned as the Blue Demons inched closer. DePaul tied the game at 71 with 33 seconds left after hitting two foul shots, and Ed Cooley called time to set up the final play. Vincent Council broke the press and got to half court, stalling until the final seconds. After not finding an open shot, Council found Henton near the top of the three point line. Buckets hit the long jumper with just under two seconds left. However, he wasn’t done being the hero, getting a block on the other end of the court to thwart DePaul’s chances of tying the game.

Henton’s final ridiculous statline: 24 points, 15 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 steals.

Bryce Cotton also had a great game after some poor shooting performances, finishing with 19 points on 8-14 shooting (2-4 from downtown). Brice Kofane provided a huge spark off the bench after an ineffective Bilal Dixon sludged through parts of the first half. The big man had 7 points and three blocks, most of which were made with a volleyball-esque two handed block style.

Vincent Council, despite a poor shooting game, had another double-double with 14 points and 11 assists.

Unless DePaul can beat both West Virginia on the road and Seton Hall at home (with PC losing to UConn and ND), the Friars are looking at least a 15th seed, which will mean they play the 7PM game in the BIG EAST Tournament in early March.

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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)


Well, I guess those odds makers over in Vegas knew what they were doing in setting that 10 point line today. Pittsburgh finally got in the win column in BIG EAST play and broke out of their offensive slump in a big way against the Friars. The Panthers ended up a fantastic 11-20 from downtown, with a 7-12 performance in the 1st half to help pull away and never look back.

Pittsburgh 86, Providence 74

Ashton Gibbs scored 22 points — including 14 straight during a late first-half run — as Pittsburgh beat Providence 86-74 on Wednesday night to end an eight-game losing streak.Trayvon Woodall added 17 points and nine assists in his second game back from groin and abdominal injuries as the Panthers (12-9, 1-7 Big East) won for the first time in five weeks.

Pittsburgh was in control towards the end of the first half, and pretty much all of the 2nd. Providence was able to make it somewhat interesting halfway through the last stanza, but any time they threatened the Panthers easily scored multiple quick buckets to regain a comfortable lead.

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The Providence Friars absolutely destroyed the ranked Louisville Cardinals 90-59 on national television to give Ed Cooley his first BIG EAST win as head coach of PC. The game was pretty even for the first seven minutes, with the Friars then holding a small lead over the next 7. With about 6 minutes left, the wheels started to come for the Cardinals and PC pretty much ran them off the court for the rest of the game.

After the first four BIG EAST games this season, it feels great to finally be in the win column in conference play (what up Pitt!). Ed Cooley and the players certainly deserved this, and the fact that the blowout came against Rick Pitino makes it all the better. Honoring the 1987 Final Four team was great and a huge part of Friar history, but this is Ed Cooley’s team now.

Photo by @Friartown97

Why the Friars Won: Without Gerard Coleman in the lineup (out with a back injury), the Friars were going need everyone else to step up. And they did. Big time. Kadeem Batts had a career game, scoring 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Bryce Cotton simply could not miss, also throwing down 27 points by going a perfect 5-5 from behind the arc. Vincent Council had an absolute monster game with 15 points, 14 assists, and 8 rebounds. He pretty much did whatever he wanted to do out there, and Louisville had no intentions of stopping him.

Why Louisville Lost: While they ran into a team that could do no wrong, it was curious to why Rick Pitino continually sat in the zone and let shot after shot fall in for Providence. Things were quite the opposite when the Cards had the ball, as they couldn’t hit threes, dunks, foul shots, you name it. Peyton Siva also mailed it in, seemingly fouling out early in the 2nd half on purpose just so he didn’t have to deal with the debacle on the court. It was just that kind of night for Pitino and Louisville.

Turning Point:: With 8:25 left in the game, PC led 20-17. Then, Vincent Council decided “Hey, let’s make this a blowout”. Three pointer, layup, three pointer, layup. BOOM. ROASTED.

Player of the Game: Bryce Cotton (with Batts a close second). 5-5 from downtown, and 10-12 from the foul line. Seemed like his points came at a time that just broke the back of Louisville.

Play of the Game: Kadeem Batts had a fantastic fast break dunk early on in the 2nd half while Louisville was sleeping. You can watch a bootleg version here until it makes the SportsCenter Top 10 plays tonight.

Tweet of the Game:

I must have hit my head when I got home, Tim Welsh is on my TV telling me #PCBB beat Louisville by 30?!?!
Steve Quinn

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Despite this awkward form and the fact he was on the other end of the court, this Bryce Cotton shot probably went in.


Friars Lose to No. 1 Syracuse 87-73

dave@friarblog —  January 5th, 2012 12:38 AM —  Comments

How’d you do that? Heck, I’m not even mad; that’s amazing.” – The Great Ron Bergundy

I think that line sums up Friartown’s feelings on tonight’s 87-73 loss to Syracuse.

The Providence Friars gave everything they had late on Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough to topple #1 ranked Syracuse at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. After a great first half in which PC played toe-to-toe with the Orange, the deep Syracuse squad made shot after shot in the 2nd half to keep the home team from a chance at a big upset.

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Why Syracuse Won: The Orange held a one point lead coming out of the half, but quickly made it double digits with tougher defense and getting many easy baskets down low. Providence would get a few mini-runs throughout the rest of the game, but those opening minutes really gave Syracuse the decent cushion that the Friars simply couldn’t get through. Anytime PC threatened to make it close, someone was always there to calmly hit a three to pour some cold water on the ‘ol run. Brandon Triche was the big problem (4-5 from downtown, all of them seemingly coming in a row), but overall Syracuse hit 10 of 17 shots from behind the arc.

Why Providence Lost: The Friars needed to play a perfect game offensively, and they did a great job early on attacking the zone (hey, Kadeem Batts is playing!). Gerard Coleman bounced back, and the team was even hitting foul shots. Hey, this may happen afterall! However, they couldn’t get the stops they needed at the right times to support the offense (sounds Kenoish, but it wasn’t lazy, uninspired defense, so it’s all good). It’s tough to do when the opponent ends up shooting 61.1% from the field and HITS EVERY THREE. Despite the crazy shooting numbers from Syracuse, it shows how the Friars offense stepped up and kept the game competitive at various points in the 2nd half.

Turning Point(s): Providence had numerous chances to cut the lead to a few possession game. LaDontae Henton hit a huge three with 9:37 left to cut the deficit to 7. After Dion Waiters missed a jumper on the other end of the floor, PC had a great chance after Henton worked his tail off grabbing Coleman’s missed shots. He couldn’t get the putback to fall, but was fouled hard in the process. The freshman however missed both foul shots, and Syracuse continued their offensive attack. Brandon Triche made a layup on the next possession, and James Southerland hit a three after Council got a charge called him. A hearty 7 point swing. PC wasn’t dead though, coming within only 6 points with less than 6 minutes to play after Bryce Cotton drilled a three, Vincent Council scored on a transition layup, and Gerard Coleman throwing down a dunk. Dion Waiters ruined all the fun with 5 of the next points, and LaDontae Henton missed an open three to keep the Friars within reach.

Fun Stat I: After the horrid game that Gerard Coleman had, it was great seeing him bounce back with a 7-7 performance at the line. He still made some ill-advised shot attempts, but he didn’t take any threes and finished well at the rim to end up with 17 points.

Fun Stat II: Ed Cooley only played 6 players. Bilal Dixon, Ron Giplaye, and Lee Goldsbrough did not enter the game.

Fun Stat III: Another day, another double-double for LaDontae Henton. 11 and 13 tonight. Please leave your hard hat at the scorers table when you exit the court.

Not Fun Stat I: Vincent Council had 6 turnovers, to bring his 3 game BIG EAST total to 19. PUKE.

Tweet of the Game:

whatever happened to check ya teeth? layup cost you ya life when News in the house…c’mon guys, get after it
Jan 05 via Twitter for AndroidFavoriteRetweetReply

Media Tweet of the Game:

Love watching Ed Cooley on sidelines. Guy has as much passion as any coach I’ve seen. Was almost at halfcourt trying to get his kids going.
Jan 05 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply


ESPN: Recap

ESPN: Rapid Reaction: Syracuse 87, Providence 73

Composure: Syracuse went into a hostile environment in front of a packed Dunk and didn’t wince once. The Friar fans were hoping for a repeat of the last time a No. 1 team came to Providence, when Pittsburgh was taken down in 2009. There were a few fleeting moments in the first half, but the Orange never were in serious jeopardy of folding. Recap