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-The Friars are 4-4 in their last eight games and showing signs of life in the Big East.  Record aside, the most encouraging development is the overall improvement on defense.  They are bothering teams with their ball pressure, playing much smarter as a team on that end of the floor and building the foundation for a very good up tempo, pressure defensive approach.

-When is the last time Providence won two straight Big East games without scoring 60 points?

-It was good to see the Friars getting an early lead and playing from out in front for a change against Cincinnati.

-A week off at this point in the season should benefit the Friars’ minute-heavy rotation but you just hope the time off does not set them back from an execution standpoint.

-And it is no time for a letdown as Providence will surely find themselves dealing with a hungry South Florida team in a place where the Friars have not enjoyed tremendous success.

-It’s not that they have been all that sharp offensively lately anyway, shooting just 41% (39-95) over the last two games.

-I mean, the crew over at The Dunk might want to check the rims for chips after Wednesday night’s ‘shooting’ display.

-That said, the Friars executed well on offense in general and got good shots.  They simply did not fall, which happens sometimes.

-And also is what made it even more satisfying to get the win based on their defensive efforts.

-Speaking of offensive execution, Lee Goldsborough deservedly received accolades for his defensive performance but another thing he did well was provide a few excellent entry passes to the post.

-Perhaps lost in the action were Vincent Council’s eight assists versus one turnover.

-VC needs just 11 assists to pass Friar legend Ernie DiGregorio’s all time lead of 662.

-And congratulations to Bryce Cotton on joining the 1000 point club.

-ICE 1000

-I think you can close the case.  Nemo has been found.

-Since when are we naming snow storms anyway?

-Or is this just snow’s effort to expand it brand?

-The two straight wins could not have come at a better time for Ed Cooley.  He would make no excuses and want zero sympathy, but you have to feel for the guy.  Seemingly anything that could have gone wrong from a personnel standpoint this season has gone wrong, with Sidiki Johnson’s leave of absence representing the latest chapter in the saga.

-It is hard enough to coach and win in the Big East, never mind having to do it without knowing who will be in your lineup from game-to-game.

-You can also throw in the story about Ricky Ledo still deciding whether or not to turn pro, although I think this was more validation of what we, and certainly Ed Cooley, already knew to be the case as opposed to a revelation.

-Of course we all want to see Ledo suit up for the Friars next year, but in the end I just hope he listens to the right people and makes the best decision for his future.

-You’d have to think some of it would depend on who else leaves early.

-Take a guy like St. John’s JaKarr Sampson.  If he declares for the draft, Sampson may be more attractive to an NBA team than Ledo due to being more of a known commodity given his year, and progress, with the Red Storm.

-R.I.P Monopoly iron.

-I am more of a car or thimble guy anyway.

The thimble is underrated, and you know I own Boardwalk. (Photo:

The thimble is underrated, and you know I own Boardwalk. (Photo:

-Phill Simms generally does a good job in my opinion, but he had a very rough night calling Super Bowl XLVII.

-I’m down with the cWo.

-The pink feather boas were a nice touch on Wednesday as well in support of the ‘Pink Out’.

-They are going to build a $30 million amusement park in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the town in which Osama Bin Laden saw his last day.

-Sounds like money well spent to me. 

-Hey, at least it’s not snowing there.

-Happy shoveling!

-Remember, use your legs, not your back.

Have a great weekend Friartown.  Be safe.

Friars Links 11.11.10

dave@friarblog —  November 11th, 2010 2:32 PM Davis’ first recruiting class had more misses than hits

Davis says it’s difficult to hit on every player in such a large recruiting class, but missing on Permenter and Wright will badly hurt the painfully young Friars this season.

The article also mentions the two signings yesterday by Kyan Anderson and Markus Crider.  I thought this quote by Keno was worth noting.

You have to take players who are better than what you already have and we’ve done that with these two kids.

Should be a nice little motivation for the current players. The Week Ahead: The Season Opener

Keno Davis kicks off his third year at Providence with a Saturday night tilt against what should be a very beatable Dartmouth squad.  Hoping to rebound from a difficult 2009-10 season, the focus in Friartown will be on effort and potential as much as wins and losses, but the early season slate offers up very winnable games for a team welcoming seven freshmen into the mix.

Kevin also discusses the red shirt question, and thinks that Brice Kofane is the most likely candidate.  It sounds crazy, since he should be able to bring some good defense to the team, but he might not just be ready to contribute this year. For high-scoring Providence, the focus turns to Big East worst defense

“I don’t think we played as hard as we possibly could last year,”Brooks said. “I didn’t think we were in the best shape last year. We gave up a lot of easy layups and you can’t do that against quality teams.”

Brooks called it “organized pickup.” But can this team continue to score even with the loss of Jamine Peterson?

Not in the best shape? Let’s hope wind sprints have been plentiful in practice.

The Arena Pulse: Power Ranking New England (Preseason)

6. Providence – The Friars will match-up with a number of New England teams during non-conference play, although that may not ultimately help them in Big East play. They finished 12-19 a season ago and lost their two leading scorers from that group. Senior Marshon Brooks needs to have a monster season.

After the way URI played Pittsburgh earlier in the week, that game will definitely help them in BIG EAST play.  Playing Boston College at Chestnut Hill will also be a good test.

ESPN: Spurs cruise past injury-riddled Clippers

The Clippers lost.  Again.  Ryan Gomes had 11 points before fouling out late. One of his fouls included a big flagrant foul during a crucial Spurs 9-0 run.  The call was “LUDICRIOUS”, according to the Clippers Blog Clips Nation. I didn’t see the play, but I agree.  Gomes would never do such a thing. Seedy agents a problem in college basketball and football

“I don’t know that it’s as much of a problem in basketball, but it’s made me aware even more,” Providence coach Keno Davis said when he was asked if he had followed the football problems. “You’re always worried about agents that would try to get in touch with young men before they finish their college eligibility. There’s more money involved now, there’s more to trickle down now.”

PC-Bentley Highlights [Video]

dave@friarblog —  November 7th, 2010 3:05 PM

The Providence Friars edged Division II Bentley 83-76 on Saturday night at the Dunk.


Not that this should dissuade Friartown from wanting a verbal from 2011 PF Tyler Harris, but the ESPNU Rankings were just updated and he is now out of the Top 100. The previous rankings had him at #74 overall. The 6”8’ 185lb lefty is now just rated 22nd at his position, and was downgraded from a 95 Scouts Grade to a 91 (and now at 3 stars down from 4).

According to their grading scale, here is where Harris now falls.

89-91: Mid-major plus prospect
Player is a fringe high-major recruit who contributes or a standout mid-level recruit.

These rankings fall in line with where Harris was rated on other scouting sites, such as Scout and Rivals.

I still think he sounds like he would be a solid get for Keno and staff (I’ve never seen him play, just going on what I’ve been reading from people who know way more about basketball than I).  The Top-100 tag is definitely a nice thing to tout (for attracting future recruits higher in the rankings and as comfort for us fans), but he is still the same player the staff initially targeted.  He also has a full senior season to put in.  We’ve also seen a few Top 100 guys come PC’s way (or in Joe Young’s case, not come our way) and not pan out (Brewington, Brown, DeSean White etc), so who knows with these young kids?  A 6”8’ wing who can shoot and score with the potential to add some more weight and develop into a really good player? Sign me up.

Tyler Harris will announce his decision on Friday.  His final choices are PC, NC State, and Iowa. 

H/T Dave Telep via Twitter

Another one of my favorite general College Basketball Blogs is “Rush The Court”. They are doing some cool preview pieces this season, including releasing their rankings of every Division I team from worst to first as tweets leading up to the season.  Wednesday morning they landed on the Providence Friars at #132 (last season they were ranked #96 preseason). 


Hmm, guess they didn’t catch any Vincent Council or Bilal Dixon last season. Obviously there was a huge amount of roster turnover this offseason (and last season it was because of graduation and TW), but to say that Marshon Brooks is all that is left is simply not fair.  VC was on the All-BIG EAST Rookie team (and Bilal probably should have been on there as well). Gerard Coleman might have something to say about that as the season progresses as well.

So far, 10 of the 14 Out of Conference opponents (counting whoever they end up playing in the 2nd game in Cancun – Missouri or Wyoming) have been ranked below the Friars.

(click on the link for the Tweet for each team)

#139 Northeastern 

#141 La Salle 

#150 Morgan State 

#252 Wyoming 

#262 Brown 

#278 Yale 

#292 Central Connecticut 

#320 Sacred Heart 

#339 Prairie View A&M 

#340 Dartmouth

Only Missouri, URI, Alabama, and Boston College have not been ranked yet and will be ahead of Providence.

As in line with pre-season conference polls, only 2 other BIG EAST teams have been ranked below PC

#160 Rutgers 

#167 DePaul

Friars Links 11.3.10

dave@friarblog —  November 3rd, 2010 1:27 PM The Week Ahead: Opening the Dunk

On Saturday night, the Friars take to the Dunkin Donuts Center floor for the first time in 2010-11 in an exhibition against Division II power Bentley. With a slew of freshmen making their Dunk debut, highlighted by Boston native Gerard Coleman, positional battles will be in full force as this is a roster littered with unanswered questions. Only three weeks into practice, Davis will soon have to determine how to incorporate seven new players into the rotation, and if any should be redshirted for the season.

WCBD-TV2: After Tough Summer, Providence Moves on

“In the past we’ve had some one-way players,” Davis said. “But this year, with recruiting, we made sure to focus on guys that can play on both ends of the court.” College Basketball Preview: Big East Conference

The squad is still comprised mostly of underclassmen, which means it will have some growing pains this year, but in the future it should pan out much more favorably.

Go Friars: Friar Freshman Lee Golsbrough and Dre Evans

Cox posted this little interview video of Lee Golsbrough and Dre Evans (with a little Keno Davis sprinkled in). Imagine that English accent at Louies? Keno’s Trivia Gets Tougher

For the life of me I couldn’t track this down.  Yes I spent almost 30 minutes at work Googling and researching like crazy and still came up empty. The Biggest Fan of the Big East. Vote for Matt!

The Big East and Volvo have teamed up for a campaign to find the biggest fan.  Here is Providence’s candidate Matt.   Louisville and St. John’s already have a hefty lead, but let’s get our PC alumn some votes!

The unique sponsorship engages alumni that are “social media influencers” from each of the Big East’s 16 member institutions. A selected representative from each university attended Big East Basketball Media Day in New York City on October 20th to officially launch the promotional campaign for his/her school. Following the event, each school representative will now responsible for providing daily posts on a custom micro-site – throughout the upcoming basketball season. All 16 alums will also win a weekend trip back to their alma mater where they will be provided an all-new Volvo S60 to drive around campus, take to basketball game and enjoy throughout their stay. Officials of the Big East and ISP Sports, the exclusive multimedia rights holder for the conference, will monitor all postings over a four-month period and then select one fan who will win an all-expense paid trip to New York for the Big East Championship Tournament.

SportingNews: Marquette goes from Big East boon to burden

The news of the BIG EAST deciding to expand to 10 football schools was everywhere you looked yesterday.  Here is an interesting take on how Marquette fits into the conference.  Yeah so they produced a bunch of NBA players, went to the NCAA Tournament almost every time blah blah blah.  They are screwing up the balance! Who invited these guys anyway??

And Tuesday, the day the Big East gathered and decided to pursue somehow expanding its membership to 10 football-playing schools, the conference’s longstanding members must be regretting adding the Golden Eagles a short while back.

Ray Floriani on BIG EAST Pace

dave@friarblog —  November 2nd, 2010 3:15 PM

Over at the great blog “College Chalktalk”, Ray Floriani goes over some pace numbers for the BIG EAST, and speculates how fast teams with new coaches coming in will be (Rutgers, SHU, St. John’s, DePaul).  He uses Keno Davis as example of a coach who came in and produced different possession numbers than their previous gigs.

Big East Notebook: Setting a Pace

Providence’s rather brisk pace is notable. In his one year at Drake, PC mentor Keno Davis finished 28-5. His club was 15-3 in the Missouri Valley that year but his possession numbers were quite different than his first two seasons at Providence.

Year: 2007-08; Pace: 62; Offensive Efficiency: 114

Davis’ Bulldogs favored a pedestrian pace but you can’t argue with the results. Judging by the record and an off-the-charts offensive efficiency (points per possession multiplied by 100) of 114.  At Providence, Davis evidently believes the best opportunities are not in a half court game but extending the floor and number of possessions.

Coaching changes often bring about a question of philosophy. Will the new coach employ the same tactics as he utilized at his former school? Very often, the Keno Davis exception aside, that is the rule.

The question of the Friars’ pace heading into this season could be as interesting as those teams with new coaches.  After what transpired last season, one would think that Coach Davis would think twice about his run-and-gun style and how it affects the defense.  However, based on interviews I’ve seen this off season, Keno is going to stick to his (run and) guns and hopefully get a complete 180 on defensive effort.  Keno said it last season controversially as things were crumbling, and again on BIG EAST Media Day — he thought he didn’t have the right personnel to be successful last season.  The young team might still be a year or two away, but I think it’s safe to say we are in for another season of 70+ possessions (the Friars had 73 in Keno’s first two seasons of BIG EAST play).  That style of play is enticing to recruits, and Keno needs to keep slowly upgrading the talent over the next few years to translate his philosophy into W’s.



BEST PLAYER ON THE COURT: Providence forward Marshon Brooks

- Stony Brook was without three of its top players.

Scrimmage info!

Friars Links 11.1.10

dave@friarblog —  November 1st, 2010 1:30 PM To Redshirt or not to Redshirt

As always, a great from Kevin on PC’s recent red shirting results.  I always love a good Jeff Parmer reference to make me want to bang my head on the keyboard on a Monday morning.

With a potential frontcourt glut, (a dangerous assumption considering four of the six have never played D1 basketball and Ray Hall hoisted a grand total of nine shots a season ago) and Keno Davis’ history of redshirting freshmen at PC, talk will heat up over the next two weeks about who will be redshirted this season. Providence College Friars basketball preview

Peterson’s productivity cannot be replaced.  Senior swingman Marshon Brooks will be relied on to be the Friars top scoring threat.  The 6’5” Brooks averaged 14.2 points per game last year.  He reminds me in many ways of NBA player Josh Childress.  Brooks will need to become more aggressive and not just rely on his outside shooting in order to be a legitimate threat.

Twitter: Keno Davis Trivia Question

Some Friar fan I am.  I incorrectly guessed that Kadeem Batts was the youngest scholarship player on the roster  - even though he redshirted last year, I could have sworn I read somewhere he was still the youngest.  Good work by those Friar Tweeps who were correct. 

Projo: PC to play a closed scrimmage Saturday at Stony Brook

I’m posting this article from over the weekend that was put out before the scrimmage, because that’s pretty much the only details available on the internet.

No media or fans are allowed in to watch or chronicle what happens. Davis cannot say who or when he’s playing, but the Friars will spend Saturday afternoon playing at Stony Brook in Long Island, N.Y. 

From various stalking sleuthing on Social Media, I can report that the Friars did beat Stony Brook.  A source also told me that sophomore guard Duke Mondy did not play due to the same injury that kept him off the court for the Mal Brown game.  However, he was back practicing Sunday so I’m guessing he will be ready to go for the other exhibition game next weekend.

LA Clippers Lose, Again

The Clippers are now 0-3 after their latest loss on Sunday. Ryan Gomes started again, but only put up 7 points and 5 rebounds in 25 minutes.

Gomes is averaging 5.3 PPG and 3.7 RPG so far.

(Photo Yahoo! Sports)

I know I ranted about this last year, but a recent post over at the blog Rush the Court brought up all the Vegas Odds for the winners of the six major conferences for the upcoming season.  Once again, for some inexplicable reason every BIG EAST team but four have their own odds listed.

There’s something particularly disdainful about not being considered good enough to get your own line-item odds in a conference listing.  Yet DePaul, South Florida, Providence and Cincinnati– take a bow.   You’re part of the Big East “field.”  Hey, give us Gus Gilchrist, Marshon Brooks, Yancy Gates and Cashmere Wright to start a team with, and we might just come in sixth in this league. 

Rutgers may have the worst odds (+1800), but hey at least they have their own listing!

Here are the full odds for winning the BIG EAST regular season title (in money lines)

Connecticut    +1500 

Georgetown    +650 

Louisville    +800

Marquette    +1200 

Notre Dame    +1000

Pittsburgh    +250

Rutgers    +1800

Seton Hall    +1000

St Johns    +1200

Syracuse    +500

Villanova    +250

West Virginia    +800

Field    +1000

For those feeling really lucky, one can also place a bet on the Providence Friars to win the National Championship.   We are looking at a nice +20,000 money line, which is the exact same line we had to start last season.   That means, if you put down $100 bucks on the Friars to win it all, you would win $20,000 if Keno cut down the nets in April.  Hey, it’s better than the +50,000 line PC had two years ago!  It seems 20,000 is their stopping point nowadays, as numerous other teams have that (including fellow BIG EAST team Seton Hall).

So, who’s feeling lucky?

Sources Conference Championship Futures NCAA Championship Futures