Archives For Catholic 7

TGIF-ABC

-The Friars continue to surge, taking care of business with wins over St. John’s and Seton Hall, remarkably getting themselves over .500 in the Big East with one key game left in the season on Saturday afternoon against a battered and bruised Connecticut squad.

-The late-season success has everyone around Friartown (myself including) scouring the NCAA tournament prognostication outlets and experts looking for glimmers of hope, but the fact of the matter is that there really is no discussion to be had unless Providence takes down the Huskies first.

-Looking back a week, it was about a must win three game stretch to close the regular season just to inch into the conversation and that has not changed.

-If they beat Connecticut who knows how many more wins it would take to get to the big dance?

-Best bet for the Friars is to just keep winning.

-Leave no doubt.

-Or as Jake Taylor said in ‘Major League’, “Well I guess there is only one thing left to do. Win the whole fu**ing thing.”

Jake Taylor: Motivational speaker...and chicken lover. (Photo: bleacherreport.com)

Jake Taylor: Motivational speaker…and chicken lover. (Photo: bleacherreport.com)

-Easier said than done, of course, but I would not put it past this team to be playing for NCAA tournament seeding next weekend.

-All that said, it wouldn’t hurt to have as many favorites in the smaller conference tournaments win out and keep the at large field as bubble-friendly as possible.

-Regardless of what happens over the next week-plus, you realize we are just scratching the surface here, right?

-Given the stakes and the consistent intensity Providence has shown I would not expect anything to cause a letdown on Saturday.

-But, just in case, hopefully Ed Cooley held study hall during the Connecticut at South Florida game and banned further access to the score because the Huskies got handled and looked like the will had been beaten out of them.

-Injuries played a big part (sound familiar?) and Connecticut will definitely be short-handed on Saturday, but just how much is to be determined.

-Enosch Wolf (suspension), Tyler Olander and Niels Giffey (injuries) are definitely out.

-But the killer for the Huskies could be in the ‘questionnables’.

-Star guards Shabazz Napier (who missed UCONN’s last two games with a foot injury) and Omar Calhoun (wrist injury that clearly bothered him versus South Florida) are likely to both be game time decisions.

-Interesting how the player availability gods have leveled things out for the Friars lately.

-Providence College did a nice job with “Senior Night” for Vincent Council, who certainly deserved the fitting sendoff.

-Here’s hoping he has a little more to add to his great legacy.

-Since the beginning of February Council and Kris Dunn have a combined 3.06 to 1 assist to turnover ratio (Council 3.05/1, Dunn 3.1/1).

-As a point of comparison, Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams’ is 2.43 to 1 during the same period.

-So the football schools get $100 million while the  Catholic 7 get their independence, $10 million, the Big East name and Madison Square Garden for their tournament in the break-up.

-A fitting appropriation as it has always been about money for football as opposed to quality of product, national relevance and legacy for basketball.

-I can’t wait to go to that new movie theater, the America 12.

-Although they apparently only show mediocre movies and it takes a really long time to get from one screen to the other.

-Referees are the only people I like to bother while they are working.

-Speaking of referees, is there any way we can get Mike Aresco to keep the current Big East officiating crew for our $100 mil?

-The wheels fell off the St. John’s express pretty quickly, huh?

-I am not going to put the entire state of the Red Storm program on a supposedly insubordinate D’Angelo Harrison or a free swinging Sir’Dominic Pointer but let’s just say by comparison I like the way Ed Cooley handled the people and character aspects first before turning the focus toward winning at basketball.

-Small knives are going to be allowed on planes again?

-There’s progress for you.

-I don’t know what a Vanderpump is and I don’t want to know what a Vanderpump is.

-Hopefully Kadeem Batts returns for his senior season (No reason to believe he won’t but it will be fifth year and he has pro potential so there are no guarantees). If he does he should be a Big East Player of the Year Candidate.

-Looks like the Catholic 7 will be departing for next year so it seems appropriate that the Friars would end this Big East with Connecticut, a good rivalry and the one upper-echelon Big East team Providence has been consistently competitive with over the years.

-It makes sense that they would continue to play beyond the conference split though too and I hope they do.

-A public service announcement from Friarblog.com and FriarFrenzy.  If you see a deadly scorpion on the ground, don’t pick it up.

Have a great weekend Friartown.  Be safe.

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.