Archives For Steve Lavin


-Hope you like change Friartown because the time has come to look at things differently.

-It is no longer about next year or trying to get a decent win or two to build on.

-It is no longer about the potential for future success.

-It is about real and measurable progress.

-It is about now. It is about this team.  This year.

-Your Friars have a chance to achieve something real.

-They already have in many ways.

-They may or may not get into the NCAA tournament discussion but I believe the Friars have reached the point where they will not let the moment beat them.

-Because they have demonstrated they know what it takes to win in the Big East.

-These Friars have learned they can’t take any opponent or situation for granted, and understand that while they will have some rough stretches over the course of 40 minutes they can stay the course and battle through rather than fold up the tent, panic or get desperate.

-They have learned that it revolves around defensive intensity.

-They have learned to trust and believe in what they are trying to accomplish.

-More specifically it is about Saturday night.

-At The Dunk.

-Against St. John’s.

-No better setting.

- And it is a big one to be sure.

-One of the most important regular season games for the Friars in years.

-Mission March

-It is a fitting and timely matchup as well. People circled this game on the schedule early on given the teams  are on similar paths and due to the recruiting back story as Ed Cooley and Steve Lavin vied for talent.

-Those clashes favored Lavin, but recruiting is one thing. Let’s see who wins the battle on the floor.

-Providence – St. John’s has a chance to be one of the great rivalries for years to come in the new Catholic league.

-This is obvious but the suspension of D’Angelo Harrison, St. John’s leading scorer (15.3 PPG in Big East games) and best free throw shooter among those with any meaningful number of attempts, is a huge loss for the Red Storm.

-Before this news broke, I had planned to write that Harrison is St. John’s most dangerous player and the one who scared me the most leading into Saturday’s game.

-I guess I just wrote it anyway.

-Even with Harrison, the Johnnies have struggled to find consistent scoring this season, averaging just 64.3 points per game in Big East play (11th in the league) and have scored fewer than 60 points in seven of their 15 conference games

-By comparison, the Friars are scoring 67.1 points per game in conference play (6th in the league) and have failed to reach 60 just three times (two of them victories).

-Not a reason or excuse for the Friars to relax at all.  And they won’t.

-LaDontae Henton has elevated his game in recent weeks.  Buckets is averaging 16.3 points and 9.8 rebounds over his last four games.

-That includes two straight double-doubles, giving Henton ten this season (had nine last year) which trails only Notre Dame’s Jack Cooley (18) in the Big East.

-The four game surge for Henton includes better three-point shooting (and shot selection).  Buckets has gone 7-12 (58.3%) from deep during that time.

-The other big news this week of course were the reports that negotiations between the Catholic 7 and the Big East appear to be progressing so well that the new Catholic league could actually start play next year as a ten team league, ultimately rounding out to twelve in year two.

-And it looks like the Catholic 7 will make good use of some of that stockpiled Big East exit fee and NCAA tournament unit cash to keep the Big East name and lock up Madison Square Garden as its conference tournament venue.

-Oh, and there is that monster TV deal from Fox, which could be announced on Tuesday.

-In other words, it could not have worked out better for the Catholic 7.

-If the reports are true, give some credit to both sides for working this out amicably, sensibly and quickly.
-Individual honors are what they are but Bryce Cotton should be on this year’s All-Big East 1st Team.

-Probably won’t happen though.  And for no good reason.

-What will happen is Georgetown’s Otto Porter being named Big East Player of the Year.

-St. John’s did receive some good news this week when (yes, former Friar target) Orlando Sanchez was granted one year of eligibility which he will use next season.

-Sanchez was originally ruled ineligible because he played three minutes for the Dominican Republic national team.

-And the NCAA had ruled the case closed.

-That was until the last week or so when St. John’s hired attorney to challenge the ruling.

-Well they must have hired Breaking Bad’s Saul Goodman because that was some quick work.

Call Saul. (Photo by Bob Odenkirk,

Call Saul. (Photo by Bob Odenkirk,

-Ironically Lavin red-shirted God’sgift Achiuwa thinking Sanchez would play this year and now will have them both back next season with one year of eligibility left.

-That commercial where Dikembe Mutombo is blocking everything cracks me up every time.

-A hundred NFL players will have their contracts restructured so teams can free up cap space this off season. Tom Brady should not be praised nor vilified for being one of them.

-Contract restructuring as much a part of the league as film study or reading defenses.

-But Brady’s e-mail commenting on the matter was intended to be private, and should not have been made public without his permission.

-Which he did not grant, and was apparently not happy when it got out.

-While we are at it, I don’t think it is right, fair or responsible for professional media to speculate publicly on potential successors for a coach who has not been fired.

-Or at least one whose impending firing can be confirmed and corroborated by multiple and trusted sources.

-Soooo, those post season uniforms designed by Adidas for Notre Dame, Louisville, Cincinnati, Kansas, Baylor and UCLA?

-Ummmm. Some sort of Harlem Shake prelude, maybe?

-Let’s get this tomorrow.

Have a great weekend Friartown.  Be safe.

Friars Links 1.27.12

dave@friarblog —  January 27th, 2012 9:50 AM —  Comments

The Day: Dunn just 31 points shy of becoming NL’s career scoring leader

The game will be livestreamed by The Day tonight at 7PM, so check back here to watch.

It might happen again tonight at Norwich Free Academy in honor of Dunn’s latest bout with history.

Dunn is 31 points shy of breaking Tyson Wheeler’s career scoring record, which has stood since 1994.

“It would be an honor,” Dunn said Thursday. “I’ve met Tyson a few times. A really good person.”

ZagsBlog: Lavin Takes On Negative Recruiting

Surely Ed Cooley is busy trying to sell Providence, and not focusing on the health of Lavin (considering they are going after the exact same players).

“There’s an example, kind of proof in the pudding, whether I had cancer or not, it’s still such an attractive situation. We’re still able to sign top prospects and move our program forward.”Naturally in recruiting he’s going to hear from all the other schools, speculation, innuendo and rumors, so my inclination is to take that head on and just lay it out. We were able to convince Jamal that this was a great situation in spite of the fact that I’m currently recuperating from prostate cancer.

Lavin, 47, plans to sign five or six players from the Class of 2012 and has targeted decommits JaKarr Sampson and Ricardo Gathers, as well as forwards Chris Obekpa and Orlando Sanchez.

Friar Basketball: Point Guards Rule in Pitt’s Win over PC

The loss at Pittsburgh was troubling, but they are a solid team with their PG back, and hey, road games are pretty tough. The defense is starting to show some signs of regression/fatigue though.

Providence’s defense is springing leaks of late. After Marquette managed to shoot 9-11 from three point range, the Panthers connected on 11-20 and were a +24 from beyond the arc on the night. There’s no way Providence is digging out of a hole like that, no matter how easily they might have been able to score versus Pitt.

As was the case throughout the game against Marquette, Pittsburgh hurt PC early in transition, but that carried over into the halfcourt set as the game wore on, as Woodall routinely picked apart the Friars’ defense that let up 86 points a game after seeing Marquette hang 79 on them at home.

A week ago Providence was a top six defensive field goal percentage team in the Big East, but the past two games have been setbacks defensively.

Cox Sports Online: Providence College Likes New Hampton’s Jeremy Miller

The Friars offered a 2015 big man. Hopefully we can all hop in our flying cars and check him out at the Dunk.

A reclassified freshman, Miller has already attracted his fair share of high-major attention, and it is easy to see why as the young big man has a world of physical tools and natural basketball skill. His frame is long and agile, he runs and jumps with ease, and he has a soft touch that extends all the way out to the three-point line.

Given three plus years to develop at a program like New Hampton and Miller has a chance to be the latest New England prospect to contend for a high national ranking.

The Cowl: That’s Our Boy

The best part of this article? The “Marshon” reference in the subtitle. I honestly still can’t get used to MarShon.

At the end of his junior season, few scouts, if any, believed that Brooks would be able to excel as a professional, let alone be drafted in the first round. But during his final season in a Friars uniform, the long, lanky guard from Georgia elevated his game to a new level, becoming one of the nation’s elite scorers and catching the eyes of NBA scouts, one of which was New Jersey Nets General Manager Billy King.
Coming into the shortened, post-lockout season, the Nets were in desperate need of scoring. To fill this void, they acquired Brooks in a trade from the Boston Celtics on the night of the draft; so far, the Nets have gotten exactly what they were looking for.

ESPN: Rookie Watch: Biggest surprises (Insider)

Looks like he’s going to be a game time decision for tonight’s game as he deals with the sore Achilles.

MarShon Brooks, Nets
(Drafted No. 25; current rookie rank: No. 4)
Any time a rookie performs as well as Brooks has, it’s a surprise, even if he was the top pick in the draft. But what Brooks is doing as a late first-round pick is stunning.

Brooks’ scoring talent was obvious in college, but teams weren’t sure how it would transfer to the NBA since he’d be playing second fiddle to Deron Williams after playing like Jimmer Fredette at Providence (he had the ball in his hands all the time and could do whatever he wanted). But Brooks has proved to be many things for the Nets — an excellent weapon playing off of Williams, a great shot-creator on his own, a terrific finisher in the paint and as a midrange shooter, and a good 3-point specialist. Not only that, but he’s rebounding and defending his position like a veteran.

If he maintains this level of play, Brooks becomes a long-term solution as a starting shooting guard in the NBA. He’s a strong contender for rookie of the year honors and he looks like he can be the leading scorer of his team in the next few years. Right now, it looks like the Celtics will live to regret not drafting him and trading the pick to the Nets.

Coast 2 Coast Hoops: Chris Obekpa Talks About His Game

What do you think has improved most in your game since the season started?

Chris: I still play my game. People say I don’t have great offense but I don’t want to argue. I’m on a team with many scorers so I don’t battle for points, I do what I have to do and play great defense. Even if I score 0 points, It doesn’t matter as long as we got the win and I contributed to it. I also do a lot of rebounding. It’s the little things that add up to great results.