Archives For Sidiki Johnson

sidikiLeading up until the season, Friarblog is counting down and profiling the Friar players who will be seeing the court this season.

Here are the previous rankings

#9. Lee Goldsbrough

#8. Brice Kofane

#7. Sidiki Johnson

While it remains to be seen when Sidiki Johnson will suit up for the first time (he enrolled 2nd semester last year so must sit out until at least December 18th), early signs of his turnaround after a lost season at Arizona last year are very promising. Johnson, a former Top-100 recruit, will try to fill in the “void” left by Bilal Dixon and Ron Giplaye transferring out of the program.

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Friartown News and Notes 10.26.12

dave@friarblog —  October 26th, 2012 9:43 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 Ticket Office Tweet

If you have season tickets, you probably received this in the mail today. I am very envious.

ticketpack


link Providence Journal: Friars fans meet Ted Bancroft

Before the Frankenstorm hits the east coast, WHITE LIGHTNING will be hitting Rhode Island.

“Ted will be in the mix, for sure,” Cooley said. “He’s an energy, hustle guy who knows how to handle things on the floor.”

As for what he’s calling his `Iron Seven,’ Cooley knows his core must avoid sloppy fouls and everyone must be ready to contribute.

notes It seems that every day this week there was another ruling on a transfer getting either denied or granted a waiver to play this season. Tavon Sledge from Iona got a hardship waiver earlier in the week, but Manhattan was out of luck with getting Ashton Pankey eligible this year. URI also found out that Ifeanyi Onyekaba had to sit out all season. Is Sidiki Johnson’s name coming up soon? Kevin McNarama mentioned last week that the paperwork was just getting organized, so it’s a little confusing since Sidiki said at PC Media Day that they were awaiting word from the NCAA (and it was a 50/50 chance). Either way, at least Sidiki will be on the court in mid-December. Steve Hartnett of Scout.com tweeted that he’s really taken to playing under Cooley and has been the best transfer so far.

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Actual photo of Warrior Friar at 12:30 PM, Mal Brown game.

You know how that old rhyme goes. First comes fall, then comes madness, then comes a scrimmage before the season happens.

…Well it goes something like that anyway. No matter; this past Saturday was our first preview of the 2012-2013 men’s basketball squad. Featuring a renovated alumni gym, a slew of new players, and – finally – some basketball!

This being the only time some of the players would get to play in front of the public this season, there was definitely some curiosity for how the performance would be. What would Ledo look like? How are Harris and Carson D? Will Vincent Council live up to expectations? While it’s only an exhibition, I left the campus with some good impressions of this years squad – both playing and non-playing alike. Here’s my Five Factors from the Mal Brown scrimmage:

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Friartown News and Notes 10.8.12

dave@friarblog —  October 8th, 2012 9:24 PM —  Comments

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

picture @PCAthletics Tweet

While you were sleeping early Sunday morning in preperation of an NFL Sunday, the Friar basketball players were SWIMMING as part of “The Program” workout sessions.

swimming

notes The Friartown Twitterverse was in a little bit of a frenzy after 2014 guard Kahari Beaufort (who is attending Late Night Madness on Friday) went on a tweeting spree about how excited he was about LNM and PC in general. He tweeted at Coach Cooley, said he was wearing Friars gear, retweeted EVERY Friar fan who gave him love, and even talked about big news coming up. It sounds like he is definitely interested in Providence, but let’s temper the enthusiasm a bit until there is an official decision. Based on some things I was told, let’s just say his Twitter follower count could be a big factor here.

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Providence College Athletics held its winter sport season ticket holder event on Thursday evening on campus at Peterson Recreation Center. Men’s Basketball served as the centerpiece on a table filled with confidence and optimism.

The turnout was great. Best guess is nearly 1000 in attendance. The voice of Providence College Friar Men’s Basketball, John Rooke, served as emcee, opening the event with a few remarks to set the stage as the Friar Faithful feasted on a buffet that featured burgers and ribs. Yours truly did not partake as I had stopped by the Italian Corner Deli in East Providence prior to the festivities for what was a phenomenal eggplant grinder (Sandwich #9 on the menu board if you are scoring at home). There was also a cash bar (notice lack of mention of my not partaking here).

Italian Corner Deli

It’s All About the #9 (Photo Courtesy of Italian Corner’s Facebook Page)

The entire Men’s Basketball team was in attendance, including players currently not on the active roster but who figure immensely in the optimism: Ricky Ledo (backpack in tow), Sidiki Johnson (rocking an old school-themed Friar lid), as well as the hatless Carson Desrosiers and Tyler Harris. As @RayWolslegel33 pointed out to me, tonight was notable in contrast to the Keno era, where two years ago there were maybe two or three players at this event.

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The Friar Daily 9.26.12

dave@friarblog —  September 26th, 2012 9:26 PM —  Comments

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

picture @soccerhooligan7 Tweet

Who wants to play some Friars cornhole? I must have this.

A3wcYX_CEAArOAL

link ProJo: What you see isn’t exactly what you’ll get

Great article by Kevin McNamara on the upcoming season, including the great revelation that Ed Cooley calls Ted Bancroft “White Lightning”. Reminds me of that awesome cameo from Jesse Ventura in the move “Major League”. BLACK HAMMER / WHITE LIGHTNING. “Mine fell the hardest!”. “Mine are the deadest”. “HAHAHAHAHA”. Watch out BIG EAST foes, you are going to be the deadest with Teddy B on the court.

As for the seven players who will begin the season, Cooley is impressed and says the group is “light years ahead” of where the Friars were a year ago.

“Just the pace of what we do at practice, the way we run, the intensity and, of course, the skill level. We’re moving in the right direction,” he says.

notes The Kevin McNamara article also confirms some the suspicions lately about recruiting for 2013. The staff is heavily focusing on 2014, but they would like to add another PG to replace Council. I don’t think we are in for any big splashes other than possibly Russ “the Buss” Patterson or Dayshon Smith.

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Ed Cooley talked with Cox Sports’ Vin Parise after playing in the recent Cox-PC golf outing, and shared his thoughts on the new Friars and the upcoming season.

* Cooley doesn’t want to speculate when Kris Dunn will be back, and said he had a tough time in dealing with not being able to play. That’s understandable, and sounds like he had a great support system in his family and Ed Cooley.

* Ledo is “learning how to practice”, understanding what it’s like to compete everyday at a high level.

* Josh Fortune has been a great surprise so far, and he’s up 13-14 lbs since he got to campus. He’s “way ahead of schedule”. That’s great to hear, since the minutes will be there for him from the start.

* Not much on Sidiki other than that he will be another live body come December who can run and rebound. Let’s hope he plays interior defense.

* VC is the best point guard in the country. He’s become more of a leader and has grown academically. Seems like the days of missing games for “coaches decision” reasons are behind us hopefully. Can he get the recognition Marshon got despite not being on the best team?

* Defense, defense, defense.

Via Cox Sports

Providence fans are reaching for the Dramamine once again after yet another turbulent offseason as the Friars’, still unsettled, roster has experienced more ups and downs than a yo-yo riding the Tower of Terror. The collective queasiness is led by recent news that the two cornerstones of Ed Cooley’s nationally acclaimed recruiting class face a few challenges before they can get on the court.  McDonald’s All-America honoree Kris Dunn needs shoulder surgery and will be out for approximately five months, while hometown savior Ricky Ledo has yet to officially be declared an academic qualifier by the NCAA Clearinghouse.  Difficult circumstances to digest for sure but before we all head to the Mt. Hope Bridge for a final plunge let’s pause and assess the situation.

Will Kris Dunn be able to shoulder the load this season? (Photo: New London Day, theday.com)

This is why coaches never stop recruiting. All positions, all years, regardless of how secure things appear with a roster.  Some wondered why Providence has continued to recruit guards in the 2012 and 2013 classes given what was a seemingly crowded backcourt featuring commitments from Ledo, Dunn, Josh Fortune and Ian Baker to go along with key returnees such as Vincent Council and Bryce Cotton, despite a more pressing need for bigs.  Well now you know why.

More than ever in college basketball there are increasing variables and moving pieces with regard to players, so coaches have to maintain a pipeline to draw upon when the expectedly unexpected happens.  This spring and summer for PC has been a case study.  Some of the roster movement (see Bilal Dixon and Ron Giplaye) was certainly perpetuated by the new staff and their desier to mold a damaged program in their own image.  However, in addition to the anticipated turnover Cooley and company saw the foundation wobble as Council considered going pro while Cotton pondered following his former backcourt mate Gerard Coleman through the transfer door.   Fortunately both players remain in the fold now that both Dunn and Baker (torn ACL) are sidelined with serious injuries and Ledo is in academic limbo.  I also saw on Twitter the other day that Vincent Council was going to play some soccer. The way things have been going, here’s hoping he was talking about FIFA ’13 and not the real thing. Free Kiwi!

So what happens now?  Kris Dunn’s injury, while disappointing (mostly for Dunn to be sure), is not career threatening and the worst case scenario is that he red shirts this year.  However among the many things Dunn has going for him, he is a young, highly conditioned athlete and in this day and age people like him tend to heal quickly.  So, barring any problems with the surgery (no, a URI doctor is not operating on him….I think), or setbacks in his recovery, it is a more than fair expectation to see Dunn on the floor at some point this season.

With regard to Ricky Ledo, on the plus side there have been positive signs, rumors and reports out there saying he has made positive strides and accomplished what he needed to qualify from a grade, core course and testing standpoint.  In contrast, Ledo’s fate is in the NCAA’s hands now and they are about as well thought out as Snooki.  So we simply have to wait and hope they do right by the young man.  As far as the worst case scenario? Well, it is definitely that for Ledo.  By all accounts he is committed to being a Friar and playing a key role in the resurgence of Providence basketball.  However if Ledo does not qualify and faces a year away from competition, he could very well opt to explore other options and never step foot on the Dunk’s floor as a Friar.  On the other hand, if the NCAA delivers good news the upside is huge and a reinfusion of energy instantly surges into the program.

Ledo’s presence would provide instant dividends (Photo: GoLocalProv.com)

 

Ian Baker has a torn ACL and it appears likely he will sit out the year.  Baker did not sign a letter of intent and there has been speculation around his status, but he was recently reported to be heading to campus for July classes.

Even if the worst case scenario plays out and both Ledo and Dunn miss the season, a Friar backcourt featuring Council, Cotton, Fortune and Kiwi Gardner will be thin, again, but certainly formidable.  Yes, there is also a possibility that former Virginia and URI guard Billy Baron will opt to come to PC as a non-scholarship player which would add some additional depth. Insert Ledo in there from the jump and things go from good to great because, barring any initial jitters about the perceived magnitude about playing for his city and state, Ledo should provide instant impact with his length and scoring ability.  Add Dunn back into the mix sometime in November or December and it gets that much better.

Ultimately what the presence this season of Dunn and/or Ledo will do is provide Providence with the talent, depth and flexibility to compensate for what is looking like an anorexic, albeit potentially improved, frontcourt.  Barring a late commitment from the likes of Jordan Dickerson or Tony Trocha the workload will be massive for LaDontae Henton, Kadeem Batts, Brice Kofane and Sidiki Johnson.  That is the same Sidiki Johnson who, as things stand right now, will not even be available until December.  The good news is Batts and Kofane should benefit from a full off-season under Ed Cooley and Johnson has plenty of potential to live up to. Lee Goldsbrough will add depth as well. Further, not sure if you heard but, players like big minutes and at the moment the minutes offered by Ed Cooley are anabolic.

Stay tuned Friartown.

 

In case the word from Friarblog wasn’t good enough (and I can’t blame you), there is now official word that big man Sidiki Johnson will be be transferring to Providence.

Five-Star Basketball: BREAKING: Sidiki Johnson Finds A New Home

Five-Star Basketball has learned that the former 6-9 Arizona Wildcats freshman power forward Sidiki Johnson – who announced that he would transfer in December – has officially found a spot to land.

Providence College – who already has commitments from Five-Star guards Ricardo Ledo and Kris Dunn, along with sharp-shooter Josh Fortune – is where Johnson will make his presence felt next year.

“It’s a good fit because it’s closer to home,” stated Johnson. “Coach Cooley is a real good guy and I like the way he’s rebuilding the program up there.”

From ZagsBlog:

Per NCAA regulations, the 6-foot-8 Johnson must sit out a year and will become eligible in December.

While Johnson has had some issues in the past, I, for one, welcome our new front court overlord. Have we gotten so greedy with Cooley recruiting success that we want to turn down Top 100 ranked forwards? It’s definitely a risk Cooley needs to take here.

Ed Cooley and Providence add quality size in Sidiki Johnson. Friars desperately needed more on the interior and this will help.
@JonRothstein
Jon Rothstein

 

The front court changeover is continuing to take shape, as the Friars have landed 6’8 forward Sidiki Johnson. Johnson was the #94 ranked player in last year’s class by ESPN and signed with Sean Miller and Arizona. However, he only appeared in 3 games (and only averaged .3 points and .7 rebounds) this season because he was suspended for “violation of team rules” in November.

The details are still being worked out and it’s not quite official, but it sounds like both parties are down. Once he joins he will most likely be eligible to play 2nd semester next year.

From ESPN’s scouting report last year:

Strengths:
Johnson is a physical specimen with a long and athletic build, good muscle tone and definition, and plenty of room left on his frame to add further muscle. He is a good athlete who plays well above the rim and has good mobility for a big man. Offensively, he is most comfortable facing up and going to the rim with limited dribbles but also gets easy points by finishing plays around the rim, running in transition, or going to the offensive glass. He also shows flashes of being able to score with his back to the basket and make mid-range jumpers.

Weaknesses:
Johnson’s best attributes are his physical gifts and although he is fairly skilled, he spends too much time away from the basket and has a tendency to settle for jumpers. Generally speaking he must learn to play harder with more consistency as his motor tends to run in spurts which can affect his productivity on the glass and defensive end of the floor in particular. He would do well to refine his offensive repertoire with his back to the basket and continue to improve his mid-range jumper.

Johnson also had some controversy with his high school teams, playing for 4 different high schools and even leaving Oak Hill in February of 2011 for either violating a team rule or returning home to help a family member. Sounds like Ed Cooley will have his work cut out for him here, but if anyone can get this talented kid to reach his potential it’s Big Ed.