Call 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.
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.