Archives For Vincent Council

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.

 

There have been rumors floating around the last several weeks that Vincent Council would be leaving PC to pursue a professional career. Even though Ed Cooley has a Top 10 recruiting class coming in, Friartown was fearing another growing pains type season with the possibility of losing one of the best point guards in the conference. That talk was put to rest as Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal reported that Council would in fact be returning for his senior season.

“It was a difficult decision, but I know it’s the right one,” Council said today at the Rhode Island Basketball luncheon at the Radisson in Warwick.

Below is a video of the Cox Sports Basketball Awards luncheon in which Council talks about returning.

Friars Links 3.5.12

dave@friarblog —  March 5th, 2012 4:26 PM —  Comments

The UConn Blog: The fanbases of the Big East as Simpsons characters

Probably the only good thing that will come out of UConn this year. I didn’t care for the Providence one, so here is St. John’s

The St. John’s Red Storm — Abe Simpson

If anyone was ever going to tell you a story about the NCAA tournament being held at Madison Square Garden with tickets costing five bees (there were bees on the nickel at the time, give me five bees for a quarter you’d say), it’d be leading St. John’s fan and noted college basketball expert Mike Francesa. Also, Grandpa Simpson strikes me as someone who’d be really excited about using the term “redmen.” I’ll just note here that the other character under consideration was Maggie Simpson, because she lives in a house (MSG) but everyone else does whatever they want in there.
Relevant Quote: “I’m cold and there are wolves after me.”

Cox Sports Online: Finkelstein on Cooley’s Recruiting

Cox Sports Online: 2/28 Friars All Access talks with Vincent Council

SBNation New York: Big East Tournament 2012: Providence Basketball Preview

Playing For: Pride

Unless the Friars run the table in the Big East Tournament, which is very unlikely, there’s no shot of qualifying for a at-large postseason berth in the NCAA or NIT Tournaments. Coach Cooley is hoping that his young squad can earn a few victories that can build momentum for next season.

The Register Citizen: BOYS BASKETBALL: 10 things to look for, 5 players to watch in the state tournament

Plot line: Kris Dunn had a brilliant junior season, teaming with Torin Childs-Harris to lead the Whalers to an undefeated season capped by a Class L state championship. Childs-Harris is gone, but Dunn had another monster season, topping 2,000 points for his career, getting selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game and leading New London to another Eastern Connecticut Conference championship. Now, can he lead New London to its first Class LL title?

You should know: Dunn will play at Providence College next season.

Rumble in the Garden: Big East Blogger Roundtable awards: coach, players, rookies

This time of year, I like to poll some of my fellow Big East bloggers/ writers about their picks for the league’s top honors – Coach of the Year, Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and the all-league teams.

As every year, the Big East season has had a number of surprises, discussed in Part II of the Roundtable. It’s striking that the official all-Big East selections – and the Roundtable’s selections, below – bear only passing resemblance to who we thought would be the best players in the league last fall. There is the joy of sports – not knowing who or what will emerge, being wowed by the surprises. And even with the benefit of hindsight, the voting was close.

BigEast.org: Melo Named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year

Jack Cooley Most Improved Player? Blah.

ESPN: Conference Power Rankings: Big East

15. Providence :This has been the story for much of the year for the Friars: fight hard but lose. Providence gave Notre Dame all it could handle but had no answer for Jack Cooley.

ESPN: Is there a new elite forward in Texas?

Down in Texas, there’s a new Class of 2013 prospect who is generating a ripple in the vast ocean of college basketball recruiting. By the time the spring is over, that ripple may gather enough force and turn into a tidal wave of attention.

Tony Trocha (Houston, Texas/St. Thomas) came to Texas from Colombia. He’s been in class for two weeks. During that time, the head coach from Texas A&M came to school as did assistants from Providence and Wichita State. Ohio State, George Mason and Texas have plans to see him soon. What’s going on?

Nets Daily: Bucher Paints Rosy Picture on Nets; Magic Ownership Is Impediment

Nice big head Marshon!

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The BIG EAST conference announced their All-BIG EAST teams today, and two Friars found themselves getting recognized.

LaDontae “Buckets” Henton made the All-Rookie Team for one of the best seasons for a Friar freshman – 14.3 points per game, 8 rebounds per game, 9 double-doubles, and several ONIONS shots among his many buckets. As Cooley’s only recruit to play this season, Henton has emerged as a huge part of the foundation of this team going forward. Vincent Council was the last Friar to make the rookie team two years ago. Here are the others:

Ricky Tucker (1980)
Otis Thorpe (1981)
Eric Murdock (1988)
Michael Smith (1992)
Michael Brown (1993)
God Shammgod (1996)
Ryan Gomes (2002)
Donnie McGrath (2003)
Sharaud Curry (2006)
Geoff McDermott (2006)

Some pretty good company there.

Continue Reading…

Nice Dunk, Bro(ghammer)

dave@friarblog —  March 2nd, 2012 9:49 PM —  Comments

In tonight’s loss to Notre Dame, Mike Broghammer of the Irish had a big dunk fail in garbage time that was immediately turned around into a sweet alley-oop from Vincent Council to Gerard Coleman.

Nice dunk, bro.

Early on in the game tonight against Villanova, Vincent Council threw a nice pass to LaDontae Henton for the slam.

Wright is Wrong. That was my calling card for the Villanova coach last season when the Friars blew his Wildcats off the floor last season at the Dunk by a final of 83-68. Since my girlfriend transferred from Villanova to Providence, the Friars are undefeated against the Wildcats, weird how that one works huh. As Cooley and Co. travel to Philly this year, the two will be playing for bragging rights, to settle who will be at the bottom of the Big East standings at the end of the night.

To say that Villanova has been disappointing this season is an understatement. They go as Maalik Wayns does. The junior guard from Philly is averaging almost 34 minutes and 18.4 points per contest. After back-to-back wins against Seton Hall and St. John’s, they have lost three straight coming into their matchup with the Friars.

WHAT TO: KNOW

Tip Off: 8:00PM EST

Opponent: Villanova (10-13, 3-8)

Location: Villanova Pavilion

Spread: Villanova -8.5

CBSSports Daily Picks: VU 77- PC 75

Four Factors:

 

Continue Reading…

The Providence Friars were able to get their 2nd BIG EAST win of the season by defeating Rutgers at the Dunk 78-67.

Bilal Dixon scored a season-high 18 points, and Vincent Council had 11 points and 14 assists to lead Providence to a 78-67 victory over Rutgers on Wednesday night.Rutgers (12-11, 4-6) whittled the deficit to 64-60 with 2:38 remaining after switching to a full-court press midway through the second half, but the Scarlet Knights didn’t get any closer the rest of the way.Cotton hit two 3-pointers in 20 seconds, both on assists from Council, to give the Friars (13-10, 2-8) a 70-60 lead with 1:51 remaining. Cotton finished with 17 points.

Wait a minute, Bilal Dixon 18 points? Yeah that’s right. Dixon played perhaps his best game ever in a Friars uniform, really giving the team a presence in the paint on both ends of the floor. “A man amongst boys” according to Rutgers head coach Mike Rice.

I dig the high socks - (Photo by PC Athletics)

Continue Reading…

The Friars went on a big run to close out the 1st half against Rutgers to set them up for their 2nd BIG EAST win of the season. Here was a sweet play by Vincent Council to set up a lay in by Gerard Coleman.

After Rutgers head coach Mike Rice talked, Ed Cooley was joined by the double-double boys Bilal Dixon and Vincent Council following PC’s 78-67 victory.

The Providence folks join about 8 minutes into the video below.

Watch live streaming video from providencecollege at livestream.com