T.G.I.F: Thank God It’s Friartown 11.22.13


-With a new season just underway, thought it might be a good idea to give you new readers…ok, reader… a reset of what T.G.I.F is all about.

-Think of it like when you were in high school and the junior varsity basketball games were always played before the varsity.   On Saturdays you will get great stuff from Bill Reynolds in his legendary Providence Journal ‘For What it’s Worth’ column, and from John Rooke in his always entertaining and informational ‘Thinking out Loud’ feature on GoLocalProv.com.

-On (most?) Fridays you will get T.G.I.F….the JV game of quick hitters.

-Four games, four wins and the focus remains on the roster.

Kris Dunn came back with a flourish providing the spark the Friars needed to keep a surging Vermont team at bay and help to put them away.

-Perhaps more impressive than how physically strong Dunn looked in his 21 minutes of action was how his offensive game has seemingly lifted compared to last year.  Dunn exhibited improved control and floor vision while flipping passes with big-time confidence and crispness.

-21 minutes is a small sample, and certainly nothing to make broad-based predictions about, but it’s really hard not to say the only thing holding Kris Dunn (and the Friars) back from a big year is the threat of a setback with the shoulder.

-Moving along to the still unsettled personnel….According to several accounts, Friar freshmen Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock, who remain suspended indefinitely for what the Providence Journal’s Kevin McNamara has reported as an ‘on-campus incident’, are with the team in St. Thomas for this weekend’s  Paradise Jam, but have yet to have their status upgraded to active.

-That said, you have to figure Austin and Bullock would not have been allowed to make such a trip if Ed Cooley did not plan on suiting them up at some point during this tournament.

-In other words, don’t think Cooley was looking for two more Tommy Bahama’s on the sidelines.

-Not to mention, those things are pricey and we are on a budget here, right?

-As for the on the court action until the rotation and continuity are stabalized you get the ‘different guy every night’ feel which is great because the Friars have the depth and the unselfishness to defer to that game’s hot hand.

-What can you say about Bryce Cotton?  He’s a flat out star and the versatility he has displayed already this year, being able to stand out even if the threes are not falling (yet) with typical Ice-ness, is remarkable.

-The other pillar so far has been LaDontae Henton.  Always boarding but it looks like he has returned to his freshman form from the outside, both in shot selection and accuracy.

-Hard to leave out Kadeem Batts too, who has been rebounding at a more consistent rate thus far against teams that had sneaky formiddable front courts for the most part.

-Brown is going to be really good this year.

-The Bears have bigs with size and ability (Cedric Kuakumensah and Rafael Maia) to go with a prime time guard in Sean McGonagill that will give the Ivy League fits.

You still can’t play but look at the bright side! (Disclosure: This is not a real Tommy Bahama because real Tommy Bahama’s are awesome).


-Vanderbilt, tonight’s Friar Paradise Jam opponent, went on the road Tuesday night and took Butler to overtime before losing.  (Thanks @teachMEhowtoOB for keeping me honest…give him a follow on Twitter y’all!).

-It appears as though referee and team adjustments and acclimation to the new foul rules has already started to take hold.

-Using Providence games as an example, there were 55 total fouls called in the season opener against Boston College and an average of 35 in the three games since.

-Our friends the refs are also allowing themselves to call more charges and offensive fouls of late, whereas everything early on was going against the defense.

-Boston College is 1-4.

-Don’t worry Eagles.  It’ll get easier in the ACC.

-Wasn’t that the plan?

-To be fair, BC’s losses have come against good teams off to good starts. Providence, Massachusetts, Toledo and Connecticut own combined records of 12-0 coming into today’s action.

-Speaking of Massachusetts, who host the Friars in late December, they are 4-0 and have not scored fewer than 85 points in a single game.

-The Minutemen have a date with New Mexico this afternoon in what has the makings of an early season gem.

-Getting back to rough starts, Georgetown is 1-2, including a loss last night to Northeastern.

-Too bad there were not any substances to enhance A-Rod’s performance on the radio earlier this week.

-Then again, the scientists would have to come up with something other-worldly to make him believable.

-What’s next?  The “Chewbacca Defense”?

-Check back with me in March but here goes…. The Big East is wide open and the Friars have as good a chance as anybody provided they stay realatively healthy….and out of trouble.

Hey, you might not have liked this post, but it was better than last week’s.


-Have a good weekend Friartown.  Be Safe.

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