Video: LaDontae Henton POSTERIZES Biruta

dave@friarblog —  February 1st, 2012 10:31 PM —  Comments

Early in the 2nd half of the Providence Friars win over Rutgers, LaDontae Henton dunked with authority on Gilvydas Biruta on a great feed from Vincent Council.

The Friars went on a big run to close out the 1st half against Rutgers to set them up for their 2nd BIG EAST win of the season. Here was a sweet play by Vincent Council to set up a lay in by Gerard Coleman.

After Rutgers head coach Mike Rice talked, Ed Cooley was joined by the double-double boys Bilal Dixon and Vincent Council following PC’s 78-67 victory.

The Providence folks join about 8 minutes into the video below.

Watch live streaming video from providencecollege at

On BIG EAST Media Day back in October, Mike Rice said that he hated the Ed Cooley hire, and he was going to start a petition to get him fired. Rice was joking of course, because he felt his job would be that much harder with another strong coach in the conference. Cooley would probably say otherwise in regards to Rice, because he is getting a look ahead at a similar rebuilding project and culture change for a team that has struggled over the years despite having so much local talent. The Scarlet Knights are a Dr. Jekyl / Mr. Hyde type team, but Rice gets the young team to play hard and with tough defense. It’s sounds absolutely crazy to say, but wha

There are a lot of distractions right now, with new players coming in, and several players speculated to transfer out of the program after the season. While it’s fun to look ahead to the bright future, these remaining games can help the guys who will be here next year, and help Cooley grow as a coach. More importantly, the team needs to show it hasn’t take back in it’s progression like PC’s teams over the last few years. Once the calendar strikes February, things have generally fallen apart. Over the last two seasons, Providence has won TWO games after February 1st. Interestingly enough, those were home games against South Florida and Rutgers, the two best chances PC will have for wins in their remaining 9 games.

If the Friars stumble tonight, they may be looking at another visit by this guy below.


Game Time: 7:00PM EST

Opponent: Rutgers (12-10, 4-5)

Location: The Dunk

Spread: Providence -2.0

ESPN Accuscore: Providence 66.0, Rutgers 65.1 (Rutgers wins 53.2% of over 10,000 sims)

CBSSports Daily Picks: Providence 75, Rutgers 71

Fun Fact: Mike Rice got his first victory as head coach of Rutgers against Ed Cooley and Fairfield in November 2010.


Four Factors

Hit up the rest of the preview after the jump.

Continue Reading…

In case the word from Friarblog wasn’t good enough (and I can’t blame you), there is now official word that big man Sidiki Johnson will be be transferring to Providence.

Five-Star Basketball: BREAKING: Sidiki Johnson Finds A New Home

Five-Star Basketball has learned that the former 6-9 Arizona Wildcats freshman power forward Sidiki Johnson – who announced that he would transfer in December – has officially found a spot to land.

Providence College – who already has commitments from Five-Star guards Ricardo Ledo and Kris Dunn, along with sharp-shooter Josh Fortune – is where Johnson will make his presence felt next year.

“It’s a good fit because it’s closer to home,” stated Johnson. “Coach Cooley is a real good guy and I like the way he’s rebuilding the program up there.”

From ZagsBlog:

Per NCAA regulations, the 6-foot-8 Johnson must sit out a year and will become eligible in December.

While Johnson has had some issues in the past, I, for one, welcome our new front court overlord. Have we gotten so greedy with Cooley recruiting success that we want to turn down Top 100 ranked forwards? It’s definitely a risk Cooley needs to take here.

Ed Cooley and Providence add quality size in Sidiki Johnson. Friars desperately needed more on the interior and this will help.
Jon Rothstein


Friars Links 1.30.12

dave@friarblog —  January 30th, 2012 10:42 PM —  Comments

ESPN: Conference Power Rankings: Big East

Well Pitt, it was fun being ahead of you while it lasted.

16. Providence: The young Friars have lost seven of their past eight and three in a row. To get out of the cellar, Providence needs to up the ante on defense. BIG EAST Men’s Basketball Honors – Jan. 30

If it wasn’t for Moe Harkless going nuts against Duke (see, it wasn’t just us who couldn’t stop him!), Buckets would have easily won his third Rookie of the Week. We’ll take his first Honor Roll appearance.

LaDontae Henton, Providence, F, Fr.
Averaged 22.5 points and 9.0 rebounds in two games. Set Providence’s freshman scoring record with 33 points in an 81-76 loss at USF.

ZagsBlog: Orlando Sanchez Remains Wide Open

The Friars are reportedly in good shape with the JUCO big man.

Orlando Sanchez, a 6-foot-9, 205-pound face-up four man from Monroe (N.Y.) College, remains wide open in his recruitment.

“I don’t know what school I want to go,” Sanchez, a native of the Dominican Republic who played last summer for Kentucky coach John Calipari on the Dominican team, told Sunday. “I need to talk to my coaches.”

NetsDaily: Nets Say Brooks Has A Broken Toe; No Timetable Set for Return

With the Friars struggling, it’s been refreshing seeing Marshon do great things as an NBA Rookie (even if the Nets were losing at the same alarming rate as PC). Now this has to happen. Poor Marshon.

The Nets have announced via Twitter that MarShon Brooks has “a broken little toe on his right foot. No timetable for his return”. Brooks will see a foot specialist later Monday.

Brooks tweeted “sigh” shortly the news was announced. He arrived at practice Monday morning with swelling in his toe. He was given an x-ray which revealed the fracture. Avery Johnson said there’s no indication when Brooks broke his toe, that in fact it could have been several games back.

ESPN: PG Kris Dunn adds to his legacy (Insider)

At this point, I kind of want him to stop doing any physical activity until he gets to campus.

The most notable difference between Dunn now and six months ago though is his physical frame. He’s added what appears to be over 10 pounds of sheer muscle as his upper body is really starting to jump out in his chest and shoulders.

For as good as Dunn is, one of the most exciting parts about his game is that he’s really only starting to scratch the surface of his potential. Once he learns some of the intricacies of how to play pick and roll, further polishes his quarter court skill set, and continues to develop into more of a mismatch problem in the backcourt his value and overall impact will shoot through the roof.

National Prep Invitational: Cox Sports 14th Annual National Prep Invitational

Be sure to catch Ricardo Ledo Thursday at 5:45.

On February 2-5, Cox Sports will present the National Prep School Invitational, a basketball showcase featuring 30 of the top prep schools in the country. Games will be available to watch free at, including South Kent’s game on February 2, featuring Providence College recruit Ricardo Ledo.

This is Cox Sports’ first year presenting the event. Fans who cannot watch the games live online can catch replays on Cox Sports (Cox channel 3, 1003 in HD). A full schedule of replays can be found at Announcing duties for game coverage will be handled by Scott Cordischi, Adam Finkelstein, Mike Mancuso, and Christina Sheehan.

Biggest Fan of the Big East: Challenge #6

dave@friarblog —  January 30th, 2012 10:24 PM —  Comments

As you may or may not know, I have been picked to compete against bloggers from all 16 schools of the BIG EAST in a season long contest to win a Volvo S60. Part of it is the fan poll (if you haven’t already, please cast a vote for yours truly!), while the other piece consists of challenge posts throughout the entire season. Here is the next challenge.

What are your favorite places to watch your team when you can’t be at the game?

Living in New Jersey and New York since graduating PC, I usually only get to attend a few Friars games a year depending on if they play Rutgers and Seton Hall on the road. That leaves plenty of games to follow elsewhere. While I have been fortunate that a lot of BIG EAST games have been on SNY and the BIG EAST Network, I’ve been forced to rely on the good ‘ol internets for viewing my beloved Friars. So, I don’t necessarily have a favorite place to be to watch the game, as long as I can watch or listen in any way possible and shoot the shite with other fans from all over the country using technology. I know, a totally anti-social and nerdy answer, but that’s me!

So what have I done throughout the years? Here is my Top 5 List of Ways I’ve Followed the Friars:

5. Right after college, the only good way to catch the games not on TV was by purchasing a subscription to the internet radio broadcast. This is how I was introduced to the greatness of John Rooke and Joe Hassett. “Holy Moly!” is now in my regular vocabulary, and my first instinct when I see a referree is to scream at them and tell them how horrible they are.

4. Slingbox App: Before all the other big network apps came out, this was a life saver. The box hooked up to my TV, and I could watch wherever I was through my BlackBerry (which is what I had at first) and now my iPhone. Oh honey you want to go shoe shopping during the game? LET’S DO IT!

3. JustinTV: When the Friars were actually in the hunt for an NCAA Tournament birth in 2009 (seems like a million years ago doesn’t it?), they had a big game against Cincinnati that was on ESPNU. Since Comcast didn’t get the channel yet, I was SOL. Thankfully, a buddy of mine had Verizon and hooked me up big time. He pointed his laptop camera at his television screen and fired up JustinTV so I could watch it (along with a few other Friar fans on the net).

2. Shady Internet Streams: From, to adthe, to FriarTV, there’s always a rogue stream somewhere that gets the job done. The quality makes it sometimes hard to see who actually has the ball, but beggers can’t be choosers. My favorite is when the feeds were hooked up to the video scoreboard, so every time they played something after a basket, you would see only that on the screen. Anyone remember this creepy thing from playing George Washington several years ago? It still haunts me in my sleep.

1. WatchESPN iPhone/iPad App: Most of the BIG EAST games are on here, so I usually watch the first part of most games while on the train commuting home from work on the iPhone. I watched the whole Marquette game last week while in the car while my wife drove home from NJ. Technology is great — Except when 3G decides to not work. Which reminds me of the Louis CK bit of internet on planes.

“I was on an airplane and there was high-speed Internet on the airplane. That’s the newest thing that I know exists. And I’m sitting on the plane and they go, open up your laptop, you can go on the Internet.

“And it’s fast, and I’m watching YouTube clips. It’s amaz–I’m on an airplane! And then it breaks down. And they apologize, the Internet’s not working. And the guy next to me goes, ‘This is b___s___.’ I mean, how quickly does the world owe him something that he knew existed only 10 seconds ago?”

What about everyone else? How do you like to follow the game when you can’t be there?

The front court changeover is continuing to take shape, as the Friars have landed 6’8 forward Sidiki Johnson. Johnson was the #94 ranked player in last year’s class by ESPN and signed with Sean Miller and Arizona. However, he only appeared in 3 games (and only averaged .3 points and .7 rebounds) this season because he was suspended for “violation of team rules” in November.

The details are still being worked out and it’s not quite official, but it sounds like both parties are down. Once he joins he will most likely be eligible to play 2nd semester next year.

From ESPN’s scouting report last year:

Johnson is a physical specimen with a long and athletic build, good muscle tone and definition, and plenty of room left on his frame to add further muscle. He is a good athlete who plays well above the rim and has good mobility for a big man. Offensively, he is most comfortable facing up and going to the rim with limited dribbles but also gets easy points by finishing plays around the rim, running in transition, or going to the offensive glass. He also shows flashes of being able to score with his back to the basket and make mid-range jumpers.

Johnson’s best attributes are his physical gifts and although he is fairly skilled, he spends too much time away from the basket and has a tendency to settle for jumpers. Generally speaking he must learn to play harder with more consistency as his motor tends to run in spurts which can affect his productivity on the glass and defensive end of the floor in particular. He would do well to refine his offensive repertoire with his back to the basket and continue to improve his mid-range jumper.

Johnson also had some controversy with his high school teams, playing for 4 different high schools and even leaving Oak Hill in February of 2011 for either violating a team rule or returning home to help a family member. Sounds like Ed Cooley will have his work cut out for him here, but if anyone can get this talented kid to reach his potential it’s Big Ed.

Here is a new video from Kris Dunn’s game over the weekend in which he broke Tyson Wheeler’s New London all-time scoring record.

via @TheCrusader22

Kris Dunn is a McDonald’s All-American!

dave@friarblog —  January 30th, 2012 9:27 AM —  Comments

The official roster hasn’t been announced yet, but John Rooke reported on GoLocalProv that Kris Dunn has been selected to the McDonald’s All-American team.

During the trip, the Friar coaching staff reported incoming recruit Kris Dunn (New London, CT) was named to the prestigious McDonald’s all-American team – the first Friar recruit to receive the honor since God Shammgod in 1995. Dunn and Rhode Island’s Ricky Ledo were both selected for the Jordan Brand all-star game as well

Dunn becomes just the 3rd Friar recruit ever to make it to the famous high school All-Star game, joining God Shammgod (1995) and Michael Smith (1990). Delray Brooks played in the game in 1984, but he was a transfer.

The full roster will be officially announced on February 9th at 5PM on ESPNU. The actual game will be in Chicago on March 28th, and will air on ESPN.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to track down some hash browns and sausage McMuffins to go celebrate.