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If you are about to read this and are unaware of Jalen Lindsey’s commitment to Providence College, then Friarblog is most certainly not the site for you.

If you want to read about why he chose the Friars, Dave Telep of ESPN wrote a great piece here. College basketball Insider Reggie Rankin believes he has some Andre Iguodala in him and that he will be the first of a few commitments for the Friars 2014 class.

Lindsey put his trust in Ed Cooley’s staff over the likes of Rick Pitino, sorry slick, Thad Matta, sorry Brutus, and Billy Donovan, still love ya kid.

His father Walt, an Ocean State native, made it clear that it was how much the Friars wanted him that made Providence College stand out from the rest, including his home state Vols and Memphis Tigers.

We have all defended Providence basketball at one time or another, and it didn’t take long for Jalen to join the club.

Something he has already gained is respect from his elder Friars, one LaDontae Henton in particular.

 

Well Jalen, now that you have put your faith in Coach Cooley and the Friars, I want to put my faith in you that you will do and see these things during your time in Friartown…

{more to come soon}

What up Friartown!

I know we’re all bummed over the Ledo news yesterday (and believe me, an article on that is coming like a bat out of hell) but for now it’s best to distract ourselves from the tragedy and focus on the good. And the good is we’re still going to a new conference with a TON of opportunity for us to compete, with our without Ledo.

It’s this conference. I know, confusing if you haven’t been paying attention to how it all works.

So we should probably know who we’re competing against.

In our last entry in the three-part series we talked to Banners on the Parkway (@BannersParkway), the Xavier Musketeers blog that represents all things Ohio (you know, since we gave the other Ohio brethren the boot). Brad and Joel took the time to answer some of our questions about all things Xavier, so let’s see what they had to see after the jump!

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Happy Thursday Friartown!

We’ve made it past hump day (a word I’m becoming more familiar with as I work in an office) and sights are now set on the weekend, but why should the next day and a half drag on? We’ve got another interview with another blog on another new team in the Big East!

In the second of our three part series we got in touch with Butler Bulldog blogger David McConnell. He writes for Victoryfirelight.com, and can be found on Twitter with his handle @butlervictory. Butler is best remembered for kicking ass and taking names, specifically in 2010 and 2011 when they surprised everyone with their back to back trips to the NCAA championship game. Their performances earned them conference umps – first from the Horizon League, to the A-10, and then finally to the Big East.

Pictured here is the Butler bulldogs negotiating their admission to the Big East with the Georgetown bulldogs. Yes this is real.

Check out our interview after the jump!

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In case you missed the news (somehow) the Big East is kind of changing.

No, it’s not getting a new tournament site. No, records aren’t getting cleaned out – we still own those. I like to think of it more as a “return to the roots” type of change. We’re going back to what the Big East was built on. We’re going back to the vision that Dave Gavitt had so many years ago. We’re going back to basketball.

And we’re not doing it alone either. We’ve added quite a few buddies to come along for the ride. In addition to the “Catholic 7″ Creighton, Butler, and Xavier are all joining us next year in pioneering a basketball-only, high major conference.

So it seems only right that we should get to know our neighbors.

You knew this was coming. As soon as you saw the word ‘neighbor’ you knew it was coming and you LOVED IT.

In this three part series I interview the bloggers from the Creighton, Butler, and Xavier sites. First up is Creighton. CTO of White and Blue Review Patrick Marshall (@wildjays on twitter) got us in touch with Max Univers (@polyfro) to answer a couple of our questions about the Blue Jays. Give both those guys a follow on Twitter and bookmark the White and Blue Review for future reference guys – we’re going to be seeing Creighton a lot more! And after you’ve done that read our interview with them here, right now, after the jump!

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What better way to get things started than looking at the mascot of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (also known as N.C.-Charlotte, N.C.-Char, North Carolina-Charlotte, UNC, UNC-C, UNCC) 49ers?

Is it the 49ers mascot or a homeless man at Kennedy Plaza that keeps asking you for bus fare even though he has nowhere to go?

Charlotte played its regular season basketball in the Atlantic 10, although they will be moving to Conference USA as of July 2013, and finished with the same winning percentage, .500, as our beloved Providence Friars did. Wins over La Salle, Xavier and UMass headlined their resume early on in the season.

A one point loss at Temple and a seven point loss at home to VCU gave reason for some excitement because of the way they hung with and nearly upset two of the top two teams in the league and both NCAA Tournament selections.

Their best win of the year came against the forever known Cinderella of college basketball in the Butler Bulldogs. The 49ers were led by Pierria Henry, dropping 17 points including two late free throws, to end a twelve game win streak Butler had at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Just when you thought Ed Cooley had the best one or two liners after big wins or losses, look no further than Charlotte head coach Alan Major to change your mind.

“Does anybody have a stretcher?” Charlotte coach Alan Major said. “I may need to be carried out of here after that one.”

Just for future reference coach: a please wouldn’t kill you.

Sadly for Coach Major, most of you reading this wouldn’t mind him to utter these words after his team gets done at the Dunk Wednesday night.

They enter their NIT game against the Friars coming off a decisive loss at the hands of St. Louis in Atlantic 10 quarterfinals. At 21-11, 8-8, don’t expect Charlotte to succumb to the pressure of facing a school from a power six conference as the 49ers faced Miami and Florida State in their non-conference season.

Led by Chris Braswell, Pierria Henry and Willie Clayton, the 49ers are a deep rebounding time that isn’t afraid to hit the glass. Braswell averaged nearly 12 points per game to go along with 5.5 boards. The senior forward will do his best to keep his career alive and will try and go to work on the low block early on in the game. Henry is probably their most prolific scorer as the sophomore guard has shown he can score in bunches. He scored 17 against a very good guard defending team in Butler and a season high 28 points and 12 rebounds against Richmond in the A-10 tournament to put the team on his shooting hand, and free throw line as he scored his final 8 at the free throw line after the much talked about controversial ending and technical fouls.

There isn’t much that Charlotte can throw at the Friars that they haven’t seen this year, except maybe Norm The Niner.

Can we all acknowledge that in a mascot with a drugged out dragon, a bear in the Bloods, a cigarette butt and a nightmare-fuel pig, Niner is SOMEHOW the awkward one? Thanks.

In their quarterfinal game against St. Louis, Braswell noted the one thing that Charlotte could not contend with.

“They were just speeding us up,” Braswell said. “We were just rushing, trying to make home run passes.”

If there is one thing that Council, Cotton and Dunn can do to you is speed you up. It isn’t a style the Friars have seen much of this season as Ed Cooley prefers to milk some clock and run the different half court sets he has in place, but he has always said he is the type of coach that wants his teams to get up and down. Kadeem Batts should be able to hold his own and more against a heavily dependent front-court team in the 49ers.

One thing to keep an eye out for is the how the Friars start. It has said time and time again over the last few weeks that Cooley has been unable to get the start he, nor the fans, have been hoping for. After an emotional win against Richmond, Charlotte showed very little resistance against St. Louis.

Take a rewind back to November 2012. We had just found out that Ricky Ledo will most likely not be playing this year. Questions were being raised if Kris Dunn would be able to play this year because of his shoulder injury, or if he’d have to redshirt. We were fielding an already thin team with two key frontcourt players – Carson Desrosiers and Tyler Harris – ineligible this season due to transfer rules, and another frontcourt member – Sidiki Johnson – not able to play until Colgate for the same reason. Then, Vincent Council, our ONLY senior and ONLY true point guard at the time, got injured within minutes of the first game.

If any of you honestly said “you know, I think this team will definitely win at least 8 Big East games, get hot in February, and be just shy of the NCAA bubble” you were either:

  1. Lying
  2. Drunk
  3. On an illegal amount of Prozac and medical marijuana
  4. Both 1 and 2 but not 3

And yet, here we are, now 8-8, definitely .500 overall for the season, and currently listed as the 8th or 9th team out of the NCAA tournament (or, if you’re Jay Bilas, we’re in the top 68 but not really). Sure, nothing is set in stone for the NCAA tournament, but did you honestly think we’d even be having this discussion back in November?

Better question – is there any doubt about this team left?

If you said “yes” to the above, these words are dedicated to you.

You know how this works, let’s dive in!

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So…Bryce Cotton hit a game winner 3 point heave with 2.2 seconds left on the clock. This picture sums it up.

Credit to Twitter user @Bradling1215 for the pic! Give him a follow too!

Seriously, Bryce Cotton was a superstar. He hit the shot that got the Friars a second road win this season. Mind you, this was no easy feat – this same Villanova team took the loss to the Friars the first time around and used it to beat Louisville and Syracuse in the Pavilion. So this win was kind of a big deal.

How’d it happen? Let’s talk about it after the jump!

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TGIF-ABC

-The game versus Connecticut felt strange in a lot of ways but in the end it followed a similar theme, with the Friars yet again falling into an early double-digit hole only to dig out but ultimately come up short, and came down to the simplest common denominators, failing to put the ball in the basket effectively (33.8% from the floor for Providence) and not preventing their opponent from doing so (50% from the floor for Connecticut).

 

-It also felt like the Friars shot far less effectively from the line than the excellent 82.1% they posted, but that is probably because the bulk of the misses came at the worst possible time.

-As for the starting lineup change, I believe it was meant to be a statement about playing hard and consistent defense out of the gate and trying to avoid another slow start then it was about disciplinary action.

-However, Vincent Council’s seat on the bench was extended a bit (Ted Bancroft was subbed for and reentered the game before VC got his first action) and this was likely due to the fact that he broke a team policy not to talk about team matters via social media.

-Unless I missed a tweet or Vincent deleted something that I did not see, his comments were innocuous and matter of fact.

-Nothing inflammatory or negative toward the program was written, but he did give away ‘in house’ information in a public fashion and that needed to be addressed.

-Whatever the reasons it was clear that Council and LaDontae Henton got the message because they both played inspired basketball once they got into the game.

-Then again, if Kevin Ollie were spending time looking at Vincent Council’s Twitter feed for strategic purposes the Huskies would be in trouble.

-The puzzling move, or non-move, was the benching of Sidiki Johnson for the entire game.

-Unless it was disciplinary there does not appear to be a valid reason to sit Johnson.  He has made positive strides seemingly with each game, and was coming off a career performance.

-Given that lack of depth and continuity have been cited as the main issues for this team’s ills, now that there is some depth (particularly in the front court) and every game is an important step in building continued chemistry, why disrupt or derail any progress by sitting Johnson?

-Sidiki looked like something out of the Matrix trying to avoid that bat though.

-”The Matrix Rebounded” (?)

-Bats are blind, right?’

-So was the bat there simply to audition for a Big East refereeing job?

-I know the Big East as we know it is on its last legs but the refs seem to have moved on already.

-They have forgotten how conference games are typically played, and officiated.

-What is this, the NFL?

-It should come as a shock to no one that Buzz Williams has his Marquette team in the thick of the Big East race, currently tied for first at 6-1.

-One way to establish a defensive identity is to show some physicality in the paint early and set a tone even if means sacrificing a foul.

-Hey, did those of you who attended the Connecticut game hear Harry, The Dunk’s emcee (who does a great job); make a TGIF reference during one of the time outs?  NICE!!!!

-The students showed up on Thursday and really contributed to a great atmosphere.  Keep it up y’all.

-What’s the deal with putting like every radio show on TV now?

-Big East commissioner Mike Aresco said this week that he intended to keep the Big East name going forward once the Catholic 7 splits.

-Let the jockeying for po$ition begin.

-We also learned this week that the Big East/SEC Challenge will be no more.

-What, the SEC was not looking to expand its brand with a few road games in Alaska?

-I mean, that Anchorage market is ripe for the picking.

-Sarah Palin opposed the decision but said she would also support an international curling border clash with Canada’s best teams.

-Keeping with a (very) light political theme….Basically all of our pro sports leagues have some type of spending cap in the hope of creating a ‘more level playing field’. Shouldn’t there be one for elections too?

-And then maybe have any excess campaign contributions go to charity or some other worthy program?

-Speaking of charity.   It is a shame that ‘LIVESTRONG’ will likely suffer due to Lance Armstrong’s misdeeds. The organization has done plenty of good work even if it was fueled by lies, with most of that positive work being done by people who were none the wiser.

-Hopefully with Armstrong out of the picture they can continue to thrive.

-What’s next for Armstrong?  ‘LIVEWRONG’?

-In case you missed it, the National Prep School Invitational is taking place this weekend at the Murray Center on Rhode Island College’s campus.

-The event features some of the country’s best talent and you can bet there are a couple of future Friars in the mix.

-Another thing you can bet on is that our friends over at Friarbasketball.com will, as always, provide excellent coverage on the event and its participating Friar prospects.

-Former Friar Bilal Dixon is averaging 6.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game for a much improved Towson squad (11-12 overall, 6-4 Colonial Athletic Conference) under former Providence assistant Pat Skerry.

Have a great weekend Friartown.  Be safe.

Pregame Buffet: UConn

Daniel "The Warrior Friar" James —  January 31st, 2013 12:56 PM —  Comments

Welcome to another Friarblog Pregame Buffet, a new feature I hope to make regular on this site. This buffet comes with all-you-can-eat videos, audio, images, lists, and everything else you need to have a good time.

Like most buffets this is short on words, but long on content. Read/listen/watch on to get everything you need to fill up on before the UConn game at the Dunk tonight at 7:00!

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It’s a quiet Tuesday in Friartown, don’t you think?

While we have a lull in between Marquette and UConn I came across a post on Scout from user Sonar who had posted the full 45 minutes of the overtime win the 1987 Providence Friars had against Austin Peay in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Most you remember this tournament because of a little thing called the Final Four, which Providence was featured in against in-conference rival Syracuse. With Billy The Kid bombing away from three and a young Rick Pitino on the sidelines, this was truly a landmark era.

…Not that I was…you know…alive…for any of it…but hey, what can ya do?

Cause screw me, right?

So sit back, all the way back to March of 1987 to be exact (lulz) and let Bad Marvin’s Time Machine show you how a Providence Friars team competes in an NCAA Tournament game!

PC 90 Austin Peay 87 [OT] 1987 Southeast Subregional from Bad Marvin’s Time Machine on Vimeo.