Archives For Bryce Cotton

TGIF-ABCCall me cold-hearted but, while I will miss the regular meetings with programs like Syracuse and appreciate the history of the Big East as much as anyone, I just don’t feel sentimental or sympathetic about their (or any other school’s) departure at all. They chose to leave. It did not have to be this way but it is what it is.

That said, I respect Jim Boeheim for being honest about where his heart is, rather than putting some BS spin on it like some other coaches have.

And I respect Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports.com for reserving the right to change his mind about Ricky Ledo.

It is obviously always tough to deal with losing, but on the heels of the DePaul clunker it was encouraging to see a game Friar squad stand up to an extremely talented Syracuse team.

While the effort was much better, the turning point in the Syracuse game was similar to that of the DePaul contest in that the Friars completely hit the skids down the first half stretch and lost any momentum they had built. Versus DePaul the Friars scored two points in the final 3:19 to turn a one point lead into a seven point halftime deficit, and never recovered. Against Syracuse the Friars did not score in the final 4:49 of the first half and saw a nine point lead shrink to three. They did better coming out of the locker room on Wednesday than versus DePaul but could obviously have used a bigger cushion against a team the caliber of the Orange.

Despite the positive fast-paced desperation flourish the Friars exhibited to close out the DePaul game, Ed Cooley said he would not try to run with Syracuse. Controlling the pace was the right decision given the matchup, and the Friars executed well for the first fifteen minutes as they remained aggressive despite trying to shorten the game.

However Providence took it down a gear too far in the last five minutes of the half when they were up nine.

As if it were the second half and they were trying to nurse the lead home for a win. They became too stagnant.

It led to Bryce Cotton, who probably would have cooled off some under any circumstances, to get out of rhythm.

That said it is not reasonable to expect a solid forty minutes from this team yet. They are going to have to work around some of the pot holes if they want to win.

It’s taken the Boston Celtics 30-plus games to seemingly figure it out. So there you go.

But is there anyone better at getting fouled on three point attempts than “ICE”?

Cooley’s approach to go big and shorten the rotation a bit was also sound and had a positive impact.

Sidiki Johnson got the start on Wednesday and followed up his outstanding effort against DePaul with another very good game. After an erratic start to his Friar career, Sidiki is now playing to his strengths and staying within himself.

The Friars got killed on the glass.

Perhaps if not for the early foul trouble that limited Sidiki’s first half minutes the results may have been closer.

Have not seen any video of the game but to the naked eye both of those foul calls appeared to be questionable.

Michael Carter-Williams is special.

Which is why I am not worried about Kris Dunn at all.

Dunn is dealing with a difficult situation at less than 100% without the benefit of preparation. It is completely understandable that he would not be at his best yet.

But Kris Dunn is a gamer and I am betting he will make an impact sooner than later provided his shoulder continues to improve.

Carter-Williams did not face serious injury and, albeit on a much more talented team, did not even get into eleven games as a freshman while averaging just 10.3 minutes, 2.7 points and 2.1 assists per game.

Happy to see the site back up and active. One thing I learned during the brief hiatus is that I need the outlet. My wife loves the Friars but who knew she really does not care to hear analysis about Sidiki’s defensive positioning at the dinner table? What’s up with that?

The difference between great zone defense and decent zone defense? You couldn’t shoot a bee bee through the middle of Syracuse’s zone but Providence’s middle was open for business all night long.

In other words, size matters.

The Catholic 7 are 7-11 in Big East play if you are scoring at home.

Which means absolutely nothing by the way.

Although Catholic League detractors will use this type of thing to…well, detract.

But they will be wrong, because the decision to split was right.

$500 million anyone?

Congratulations to the Providence Journal’s Kevin McNamara who was named Rhode Island’s sportswriter of the year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA). An honor certainly well deserved.

In reviewing “NSSA” on the web I found that several organizations use the acronym, including the National Scholastic Surfing Association.

That said, Johnny Utah has nothing on KMac.

What up BRAAHHH!! (Photo credit: fitsnews.com)

What up BRAAHHH!! (Photo credit: fitsnews.com)

Speaking of the Providence Journal, I am a big fan of their digital “eEdition”. It’s easy to use and works well on multiple types of technology. I am an iPad guy and the app is great.

But I keep breaking my pencil trying to do the crossword puzzle.

Connecticut’s giving head coach Kevin Ollie a five- year extension was the right move, especially given instability around all things UCONN given the impending departure of the Catholic 7.

So the NCAA is contemplating a rule change that would seemingly make it more attractive for student athletes to transfer by eliminating the sit out a year requirement for transfers with a 2.6 or better GPA?

Do well in school so you can go to another one!

What’s next? Trades?

Fair or unfair, going into the Boston College and Brown games were the first time in the Ed Cooley era that his Friars faced elevated expectations.

It’s a work in progress Friartown. Keep the faith.

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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Friartown News and Notes 12.17.12

dave@friarblog —  December 17th, 2012 9:52 PM —  Comments

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

picture Friars.com

sandy-hook-splash

link A Jersey Guy: Big East ready to respond

So is this the Old Big East, or our basketball Big East? Can we use OBE and BBBE?

According to sources in the Big East, Arseco and company are planning on exploring  the following moves.

1.   Sell the name “”Big East”” to the basketball schools after getting some assurances from the NCAA that the cost of losing the Big East name will not cost them too much in the lucrative NCAA basketball tournament. If the name is sold to the new Big East, the old Big East will petition the NCAA to get a 32nd guaranteed spot for its champion.

Aresco’s contention is that a basketball league with Connecticut, Cincinnati, Memphis and Temple has a decent foundation to build.

2. Give East Carolina full membership (the original deal was football only) which would give the new league an Eastern group of Cincinnati, UConn, South Florida, Temple, East Carolina, Central Florida, Tulane and in 2015 Navy.

link College Basketball Talk: Cooley: “We’re excited” about move away from Big East

BUT WE ARE GOING TO BE THE BIG EAST

The Big East was changing every single day.  There were nontraditional schools being invited and I’m pretty sure it just wasn’t in the best interests of them all.  But we’re excited.  We’re real excited about the direction. I don’t know what’s going to happen from here, I just know it’s going in a different direction. And Providence College has solidified itself as far as what we’re doing to be a powerful player in whatever league we’re going to be in.”

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Friartown Roundtable: Inaugural Edition

dave@friarblog —  December 12th, 2012 9:26 AM —  Comments

knights_of_the_round_table_Welcome to the Friartown Roundtable, where all the best minds around Providence College Friars Basketball come together to discuss the latest topics around the team.

There is a ton of great reporting and analysis from various publications, blogs, and message boards to keep the Friar fan informed all throughout the year. I’d like to introduce a new feature here called the Friartown Roundtable that tries to bring all that together in one place to have the ultimate collection of expert opinion on the latest topics in PC basketball. In the future, I hope to also spur some discussion and debate around the same group. For the inaugural edition at the semester break, I just posed the following question:

What is YOUR biggest takeaway from the team after the first semester, and how do you see that changing with the guys coming back from injury/eligibility?

Kevin McNamara, Providence Journal; Twitter: @KevinMcNamara33

My biggest takeaway is the emergence of Kadeem Batts as a potentially high impact front court player in the Big East. No one, and I mean no one, had Batts scoring the ball with such productivity at this point in the season. He obviously has to prove he can remains major factor when the opponent meter jumps considerably in 3 weeks but all signs point to PC having a legit low post/high post big man scorer for the first time since Ryan Gomes.

John Rooke, GoLocalProv; Twitter: @JRBroadcaster

The biggest takeaway I have is this team’s ability to fight.  They’ve gotten mentally tougher, and just seem more willing to scrap and claw…which they’ve obviously had to do.  That, and Kadeem Batts’ improvement in the post.  He can go with either hand, has a dead-eye shot from 18 feet…and is now a difficult match up for alot of bigs.

I don’t think that changes alot for him with Sidiki’s arrival…but also hope that the fight the team shows continues.  I think it will, which hopefully bodes well for a successful conclusion.

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Friartown News and Notes 12.7.12

dave@friarblog —  December 7th, 2012 10:14 PM —  Comments

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

picture @PCFriarFaithful Tweet

Well done, students.

uri-sign

notes Next year the PC / URI clash at the Ryan Center is going to be a national story. Great, now the whole country will see the Friars beat the Rams for the 4th time in a row!

quote_1 Bryce Cotton quote via Woonsocket Call

“Coach, I’ll give whatever I can today. We’ve got to try and get us a win to get to the finish line”

I LOVE ICE COTTON

link Game Recaps: ESPN (AP), Friars.com, GoLocalProv, Sun Chronicle, Pawtucket Times, Friar Basketball, Rhody Rampage

notes Kris Dunn is officially scheduled to play on December 18th according to his father. I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL THE COLGATE GAME. That has to be the first time anyone has uttered those words.

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Anyone else got a case of the Moondays? The latest news in Friartown regarding the Friars next game against URI on Thursday surely will not help. Adam Zagoria spoke with Ed Cooley today, and apparently Bryce Cotton is going to be out of commission for a week with a really sore knee. Considering how serious the injury could have been, that is actually really good news. However, Ice will still miss the big rivalry game against the Rams leaving the team with no point guard yet again. There was speculation that Kris Dunn would make his PC debut considering the dire roster situation, but Zagoria also tweeted that Ed Cooley said only 6 players (The “Sexy Six”) will be available. Looks like Cooley is playing it safe regarding Kris Dunn’s shoulder, and he will give it another two weeks for a likely debut in the first game of the 2nd semester (December 18th against Colgate).

There hasn’t been much about when Vincent Council is expected to return, but there are rumblings that the injury may be a little worse than expected.

UPDATE: Apparently Cotton has NOT been ruled out, and neither has Dunn. *Throws hands up in the air*

Bryce Cotton: No Knee Damage

dave@friarblog —  December 1st, 2012 7:20 PM —  Comments

According to Kevin McNamara on Twitter, Bryce Cotton has no knee damage from his awkward land during the Mississippi State game today. Breathe a sigh of relief for now, Friartown.

Word is Providence's Bryce Cotton does not have knee damage. Will be evaluated all week in advance of URI game Thursday.
@KevinMcNamara33
Kevin McNamara

misstSaturday afternoon’s 73-63 win over Mississippi State was a roller coaster of emotions. From the get go, the Friars dominated the Bulldogs and it looked like they would coast to an easy victory in the Big East / SEC Challenge. We did this for you, BIG EAST! Then, Bryce Cotton was fouled on a three pointer late in the 1st half (seriously, do you know any player who gets fouled more on threes than Cotton??), and came down awkwardly hurting his knee. Ice didn’t return for the 2nd half, and is going to get an MRI to see what’s up according to Ed Cooley in the postgame. Without Cotton, the “Sexy Six” held down the fort and the laugher continued on strong with Providence leading by as much as 26 points. However, Mississippi State woke up late in the game, and came ridiculously close to a monster comeback that would have just kicked Friartown while they were down. In the end, PC held on to beat a very terrible Mississippi State team, but may have to deal with a serious injury to their best player to date.

Why Providence won: In the pregame, I mentioned that Kadeem Batts needed to produce and be more aggressive in order to take some of the pressure off of Cotton. Batts must be an avid reader of Friarblog (READER COUNT UP TO 4!), because he was fantastic from the get go. Long range jumpers, aggresive drives to the hoop, baby hooks — you name it, Batts was scoring. Mississippi State didn’t have an answer for him, and they dug themselves into a big hole. The PC defense showed a lot of hustle, and forced their opponent to rely on long range shots they couldn’t hit. When the Bulldogs came roaring back in crunch-time, the Friars held it together and executed under pressure while shorthanded once again.

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In the first half of the game against Mississippi State on Saturday afternoon, Bryce Cotton was fouled taking a three pointer and came down awkwardly on his knee.

He stayed in to hit his foul shots, but asked to be taken out of the game immediately after. A couple of minutes later, he headed to the locker room to be evaluated.

UPDATE: Cotton will not return for the 2nd half.

Here is the play.

In the early part of the college basketball season, a lot of our time is spent trying to find signal amid the noise — be it the small samples of what our eyes see on the floor or what the numbers are saying. We’re seven games into the Friars’ season, and while that’s not nothing, it’s still not a great sample, especially considering the opposition PC has played this season.

Still, it’s enough information to try to make some determinations based on limited information. So, let’s play the famous icebreaker “Two Truths and a Lie.” I’m going to parse the information based on the games I’ve watched and what the stats are showing to determine two things that we’re seeing that are real and one that is not.

Truth No. 1: Bryce Cotton is the man.

It’s hard to convey just how good Bryce Cotton has been this season. This game log gives us some idea, but it doesn’t tell the full story. Get this: Bryce Cotton is sixth in the nation in Offensive Rating (through Tuesday’s games, courtesy Kenpom.com) among all players responsible for at least 28 percent of his team’s possessions when he’s on the floor. He’s one spot ahead of preseason All-Big 12 selection Pierre Jackson of Baylor and one spot behind preseason All-Big Ten selection Deshaun Jackson of Ohio State.

Replacing Vincent Council as the team’s primary ballhandler (and thereby becoming the team’s only ballhandler), Cotton has put up assist rates just slightly lower than Council’s last year while taking even better care of the ball than the Friars’ injured senior. (It’s only fair to note that Cotton’s competition has been much worse than what Council faced over the course of last season) He’s put up these performances while missing only two minutes of action in the six games he played, much like Council did last season (indeed Council only sat 10 total minutes in the 18 Big East games he suited up for). It’s probably just a mild exaggeration to write that Cotton has been a better-shooting version of Council.

cotton

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