Archives For Big East

I’m not happy about writing this. I want to make that very clear right now. I – like most of my fellow Friar journalists – didn’t even want to write about Ledo in the draft this year. If we could have it our way we all would’ve been watching Ledo next season in a Friar uniform. Obviously that didn’t happen, so instead we all wanted to write about Ledo beating the odds – to be the exception to the proverbial rule – and get drafted in the first round. Shake the commissioner’s hand, put on the hat, having highlights of…some game he was in play while all the analysts say their bit.

This was a particularly good highlight of Ledo's ball handling skills.

This was a particularly good highlight of Ledo’s ball handling skills.

There might’ve been some sort of redemption in that story, right? But instead we’ve ended up with the brilliant kid in high school who could get into Harvard no problem if he just was patient and applied himself, but instead chose to believe he was a shoe in based on what he was told.

Guess what? He didn’t get in. He got called at 43 overall, with talent that people have barely heard of going well before him. He’s going to be playing on the Bucks next year (or the Mavs. Or the Sixers. Or the Hawks. Look I have no idea honestly, it’s chaos right now. But I think it’s the Mavs.) and that’s assuming he makes the team. We all know the story of second round picks.

But you know what? I want to look at this from a different perspective. All we’ve heard since April 15 is “Ledo, Ledo, Ledo, Ledo, Ledo, Ledo…Ledo.” What about us? The fans? The coaching staff? The program? The Ricky Ledo saga is officially over, but what’s this mean for everyone else?

Let’s talk about it.

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TGIF-ABC

-It was a good run while it lasted but it was not to be. The Friars ran into two good teams in Connecticut and Cincinnati who played well while Providence sputtered a bit, for various reasons. All in all it is a season (hopefully not over) that Friartown can be proud of and certainly one to build upon.

-The NIT can be a funny beast when it comes to selections but you would have to think the Friars will be in.

-Their resume is acceptable and they have the added bonus of being one of only a couple of Big East teams that will be considered and should draw well at The Dunk.

-Getting an NIT bid would be a very positive step for this program, especially when you factor in where it was two years ago.

-Perhaps things would have been different if the injury and depth situation was not so extreme early on, causing the chemistry to be off well into conference play but I am not so sure.

-Certainly the Connecticut and Cincinnati games indicated that the Friars were not quite an NCAA tournament caliber team just yet.   Connecticut and Cincinnati are.

-Yes I know Connecticut cannot play in the NCAA tournament this year. Stop it.

-It is one thing to get beat physically or because of a talent discrepancy but the Friars did not play well mentally in the last two games.

-They played the opponent’s game and were not able to impose their own style consistently enough.

-It had plenty to do with who they were playing but the Friars were rushed and it led to poor shot selection.

-A lot of the open shots were not falling either, which happens, but could have not come at a worse juncture.

-In a previous TGIF installment I talked about not being sympathetic about the Big East breaking up because I did not think it made sense to give the schools that caused the breakup a pass.  I said it did not have to happen.  They did not have to leave.   Well…

-Like the Big Tuna once said, “I reserve the right to change my mind.”

-Sort of anyway.

-I still think traditional Big East schools like Syracuse and Pittsburgh bolting for ‘greener’ pastures is selfish and deserves no positive ink.  They can go pound sand (or tobacco) as far as I’m concerned.

-But what I failed to separate was the schools’ out of touch decision makers from their basketball programs and traditions.

-Because these programs helped make the Big East the greatest college basketball conference that will ever exist.

-And the Big East tournament the ultimate showcase.

-Seeing this last Big East tournament as we know it play out is the reason I have changed my tune (or tuna).

-So come Saturday when a champion is crowned it will be OK to hold on to the numerous memories created by the bevy of timeless classics this league has provided but it will also be time to move forward.

-And a very promising future awaits.

-Given the Friars performance in the Big East tournament over the years maybe it would have been better if the Catholic 7 did not retain Madison Square Garden for future tournaments.

-If you get the ball behind or under your offensive backboard don’t try to shoot.

-You have watched PC this year and you know those attempts get blocked like 98% of the time.

-Not going to rail too much on Vincent Council as his career and talent speak for themselves but he did not play well in these last two key games.

-It’s not all on Council either.  He and his teammates played hard against Cincinnati but no one really played well.

-Providence’s lack of depth showed itself as the season wore on.

-Offensive execution definitely regressed, including in some of the wins during the hot streak.

-See Bryce Cotton.  His numbers were actually better prior to the team going on its run in February.

-In all games prior to February 3 (Villanova), Cotton shot 46.6% from the floor and 40.3% from three point range.  The numbers did not really change when looking at only Big East games prior to February 3 (47.1%/39.2%) but they fall off dramatically from February 3 on.  During that stretch Cotton shot just 37.1% from the floor and 29.4% from downtown.

-That said congratulations to ICE on his First Team All-Big East selection.  It was earned and deserved without question.

-Same goes for Kadeem Batts’ All-Big East Honorable Mention and co-Most Improved Player accolades.

-Batts’ MIP partner, Michael Carter-Williams is a tremendous talent and had a big year but classifying him as ‘most improved’ does not seem to capture the spirit of the award as much as Batts does.

-I’ll watch the Friars play anytime but definitely understand Ed Cooley’s position on not playing in the CBI if no NIT bid comes to Friartown.

-Especially if you buy into the idea that the season long lack of depth is taking its toll now.

-An issue which the Friars should not have next year.

-Are the Patriots just going to put the number 83 jersey on Danny Amendola and hope nobody notices?

So you are saying I should sign "Wes Welker" on all autographs but I still get the $31 Mil?  OK! (Photo: msn.foxsports)

So you are saying I should sign “Wes Welker” on all autographs but I still get the $31 Mil? OK! (Photo: msn.foxsports)

-Amendola’s fantasy football value went up a bit this week though.

-Which is to say he has some now?

Have a great weekend Friartown.  Be safe.

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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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 hard to talk about this game in a way. It has nothing to do with the fact the Friars lost 66-72, nor does it have much to do with how they lost. It’s hard to talk about because it truly does feel like the beginning of the end of an era. There won’t be a “next year when we play the Cuse…” because there’s no promise we’ll play them next year (or ever again outside of tournaments), and there isn’t going to be a “when they come to the Dunk during the Big East season…” because there won’t be a Big East season for Syracuse ever again. The avalanche the Pitt and Syracuse chancellors started in August 2011 is stampeding towards the end-of-the-season finish line at this point. Kind of sad if you think about it.

Year in and year out in the Big East, nobody could mach Coach Boehiem’s dress style. Are you taking notes Jay Wright?

But enough nostalgia, let’s talk basketball!

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T.G.I.F: Thank God It’s Friartown 12.21.12

@FriarFrenzy —  December 21st, 2012 10:17 AM —  Comments

TGIF-ABC

Thoughts and prayers continue to be with all impacted by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Wish it never had to be, but the Providence College community should be proud of the tribute paid to the fallen on Tuesday night. Classy, on point and not overstated.

There were some damp eyes in the house during the very heavy moment of silence following the well stated video remarks of Ed Cooley and Bob Driscoll.

I know I was looking at it all through a pair.

Appeared to affect the players coming out of the gate as well. How could it not have? The game was way down on the list for everyone in the building at that point.

Eventually the focus turned to Providence versus Colgate and, from a basketball standpoint, hope was tangible in Friartown.

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Friartown News and Notes 11.20.12

dave@friarblog —  November 20th, 2012 9:30 PM —  Comments

All the notable news, links, pictures, and video in and around Friartown and college basketball all in one digestible, tasty place

picture Vincent Council Instagram

I don’t have a hamstring injury, but can I get this treatment? Looks rather comfy.

vinceleg

notes The early signing period is coming to a close tomorrow, so Brandon Austin wasted no time making it official by signing his National Letter of Intent. Do these kids still really fax in their letters? They must have to go find a Kinko’s or something, because who has a fax machine?

quote_1 “Brandon Austin is a tremendous athlete and we are excited that he is going to be a Friar. He has been part of winning programs and knows what it takes to have success. Those qualities are important to us as we build Providence College basketball. He will be a key part of our success.” – Ed Cooley

youtube YouTube: Providence College Men’s Basketball Participates in The Program

Wonder why the Friars have been so tough and resilient this year?


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Friar Daily 8.21.12

dave@friarblog —  August 21st, 2012 9:48 PM —  Comments

All the notable news, links, pictures, and video in and around Friartown and college basketball all in one digestible, tasty place.

linkGoLocalProv: PC at Brown – The Toughest Ticket In Town!

This year the Friars will be playing Brown in their 2,800 capacity building. C’MON BROWN!

How did the game wind up at Brown? “It’s my understanding that Providence called us because they had an imbalance in their schedule as far as home and road games so they asked us if they could play at Brown this year,” said Bears’ first-year head coach Mike Martin.

Needless to say, Martin is thrilled with the idea of having the Friars inside the Bears’ den. “This will be a great night for our program being able to host Providence at Brown,” he said. “We wish our students could be on campus to enjoy it too, but none-the-less it should be a great atmosphere and environment that our players will enjoy.”

linkFriars.com: Help Us Grow Our Friar Family

I am not a season ticket holder, but feel free to submit my name. I like getting phone calls!

Providence College Athletics is implementing a new season ticket referral program. With your help, we can bring this program to National prominence and grow our Friar family.

Any current season ticket holder who submits names of friends, family, or neighbors whom they believe belong in the Providence College Athletic Family will be rewarded.

imIM Chat

friarblog: “How can we stir the pot today?”

friarblog: “I heard Ledo was seen on his phone looking up plane tickets to Germany!”

WarriorFriar: ”ledo is headed to the court at providence…place mall”

WarriorFriar: “ledo is geared up to head to the dunk…in donuts a block away from him. loves that mocha iced coffee!”

WarriorFriar: ”ledo last seen with the friars finding out he’s eligible…to get to heaven”

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The Players: A Look at the 2011-2012 Friars

@FriarFrenzy —  October 24th, 2011 10:50 PM —  Comments

Following our recent discussion on themes to keep in mind for this year’s Friar squad, let’s take a look at the players.

Projected Starters

Vincent Council (Jr – PG):  The leading returning scorer will likely be relied upon to blow away the 13.7 points per game he turned in last year, but Council is truly at his best when he is not forcing his offense and when he is getting into the paint. He improved to become a capable outside shooter as a sophomore but he needs to resist the urge to fire when he can get himself, or a teammate, something better.  Council should see some time at the two as well particularly if newcomer Kiwi Gardner is ready to take on significant minutes at the point.  Council is their best player and he will have to perform despite being a focal point for opposing defenses.

Gerard Coleman (So – SG):  Look for a breakout year for Coleman both statistically and as an emotional leader.  The talented slashed was an afterthought offensively last year and still managed to average double figures despite long stretches without quality touches.  This year his workload will increase and the empowerment will only help his confidence.  While it is reasonable to expect an improved jumper (23.5% from 3 last year) Larry Bird is not coming through that door fans.  While he is not a natural jump shooter from downtown, Gerard shot a solid 47.2% from two-point land a year ago, and that’s where he needs to live this year. Coleman should also improve upon his disappointing 53.7% from the free throw line simply by getting to the stripe more often with his explosiveness to the rim and developing a rhythm.  Hopefully we will also see improved strength and ball handling.  If so, Coleman will be tough to stop.

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