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.
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.
WHAT TO: KNOW
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.
WHAT TO: VOTE FOR
Hit up the rest of the preview after the jump.
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.”
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.
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 ChannelSurfing.net, 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.
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.
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.