2013-2014 Providence College Friars: Season Preview

One of my favorite times of the year is finally upon us‚Ķthe start of the college basketball season! ¬†As with most years, there is a ton of hype surrounding this Providence College team. ¬†Another infusion of young talent, combined with a couple of transfers becoming eligible, and finally the continued development of some familiar names all have PC fans excited for the season to get started. ¬†What am I most excited about? PC kicking of Fox Sports 1’s coverage of college basketball. ¬†PC hasn’t played under the national spotlight in some time and I think that a lot of curious college basketball fans will be tuning into Fox Sports 1 tonight, and stumble across the PC vs. BC game. ¬†Here I’ve provided my preview for the 2013-2014 season for the Providence College Friars. ¬†You need not look elsewhere, as ntcf.wordpress.com is the one and only source for quality PC basketball news, information, and opinions from the biggest PC fan around. ¬†Let’s do it…

The Returning Players:

#3 Kris Dunn (SO.) – 6’3″, 197 lbs [Guard]

#4 Josh Fortune (SO.) – 6’5″, 205 lbs [Guard]

#10 Kadeem Batts (SR.) – 6’9″, 245 lbs [Forward]

#11 Bryce Cotton (SR.) – 6’1″, 165 lbs [Guard]

#13 Brice Kofane (JR.) – 6’8″, 210 lbs [Forward]

#21 Lee Goldsbrough (SR.) – 6’9″, 230 lbs [Forward]

#22 Ted Bancroft (SR.) – 6’6″, 215 lbs [Guard]

#23 LaDontae Henton (JR.) – 6’6″, 215 lbs [Forward]

I do not remember a season when Providence was returning this much talent and experience. ¬†As PC fans, we have become¬†accustomed to seeing players finally develop as seniors, and the move onto the next level. ¬†If we were fortunate enough to see guys develop sooner than¬†that, they usually either did something stupid to get kicked off of the team, or¬†leave school early for some reason. ¬†My expectations for this group are high, some (Scottie) may even describe them as lofty. ¬†I’m not as big of a Bryce Cotton fan as most. ¬†Yes, the dude can shoot. ¬†He’s proven that he can be clutch. ¬†But I never agree with the entire offense revolving around a¬†perimeter shooter. ¬†I would love to see Bryce use his athleticism more often and attack¬†the rim. ¬†Kris Dunn has the¬†talent to be an All Big East First-Team performer. ¬†However, in classic PC fashion, Dunn hurt his surgically repaired shoulder in the Friars¬†final exhibition game against RIC. ¬†From the reports I’ve read, it seems like Dunn¬†subluxed his right shoulder. ¬†That doesn’t worry me. ¬†If there is labral damage, then I’m worried, but subluxations can be addressed with some stabilization exercises and taping. ¬†If Kadeem Batts can become a little more consistent with his mid-range jumper, he could make himself¬†into an NBA prospect. ¬†My focus is on LaDontae Henton. ¬†He didn’t have a very good 2012-2013 season. ¬†His shooting percentage (especially from 3-point territory) was bad. ¬†He didn’t play with the same swagger and heart that he displayed as a freshman. ¬†Unlike most seasons, Henton has someone behind him coming for his starting spot (Tyler Harris). ¬†Henton needs to prove that he deserves to keep his starting spot.

The New Players:

#1 Brandon Austin (FR.) – 6’6″, 185 lbs [Guard]

#5 Rodney Bullock (FR.) – 6’7″, 215 lbs [Forward]

#12 Casey Woodring (FR.) – 6’2″, 180 lbs [Guard]

#25 Tyler Harris (SO.) – 6’9″, 215 lbs [Forward]

#33 Carson Desrosiers (JR.) – 7’0″, 250 lbs [Center]

Brandon Austin is going to be a stud. ¬†From what I’ve heard, he has looked very good this off-season. ¬†When I took a look at some of his tape, he reminds me of a Tyreke Evans-type of player. ¬†He has the ability to handle the ball, while also demonstrating the size and quickness to get to and finish at¬†the rim. ¬†Sadly for the Friars, Brandon Austin and fellow freshman Rodney Bullock “failed up uphold the responsibilities of student athletes.” ¬†They are both suspended indefinitely for, what sounds to me like some¬†academic violations. ¬†Transfers Tyler Harris and Carson Desrosiers both become eligible this season. ¬†These two are going to have a profound impact on the Friars this season. ¬†I expect Desrosiers to start at center. ¬†He is a big presence that can block shots, score from inside and outside, and is known as a very good passer. ¬†Harris is an athletic forward with the ability to shoot the three and attack the rim. ¬†His¬†skill set allows him to play every position from¬†shooting guard to power forward. ¬†Casey Woodring is a recruited walk-on that is known as a lethal outside shooter. ¬†I don’t see many minutes for him available this year.

The Transfer (Not Eligible until start of 2014-2015 season):

#32 Junior Lomomba (SO.) – 6’5″, 195 lbs [Guard]

Lomomba is a Cleveland St. transfer (originally from Canada) that will become eligible next season.  He will benefit from a year of practice with the team, and will hope to help soften the blow of losing Bryce Cotton next season.

Predicted Starting 5 and Rotation (considering all players are healthy and eligible):

PG – Kris Dunn

SG – Bryce Cotton

SF – LaDontae Henton

PF – Kadeem Batts

C – Carson Desrosiers

#6: Tyler Harris

#7: Josh Fortune

#8: Brandon Austin

#9: Rodney Bullock

#10: Lee Goldsbrough

#11: Bryce Kofane

#12: Ted Bancroft

#13: Casey Woodring

Predictions:

As you probably could have assumed from what I wrote above, I have really high hopes for this team. ¬†I think that their combination of experience (Batts, Cotton) along with talent (Dunn, Austin, Harris) will propel Providence College to finish¬†within the top four of the new look Big East (behind Georgetown, Marquette, and Creighton). ¬†I expect the Friars to make the NCAA Tournament. ¬†I expect the Friars to get an NCAA Tournament win for the first time since 1997. ¬†Ed Cooley finally has a team full of primarily “his guys”, so for Cooley and the boys, it’s time to make some moves in the right direction. ¬†GO FRIARS!

Record: 22-6 (13-5)

Statistical Leaders: 

  • Points: Bryce Cotton
  • Rebounds: Kadeem Batts
  • Assists: Kris Dunn
  • Steals: Kris Dunn
  • Blocks: Carson Desrosiers
  • Field Goal %: Carson Desrosiers
  • Free Throw %: Bryce Cotton
  • Three Point %: Bryce Cotton

Bold Predictions:

  • 1st Team All Big East: Kris Dunn
  • 2nd Team All Big East: Bryce Cotton
  • 3rd Team All Big East: Tyler Harris
  • Big East All Defense Team: Carson Desrosiers

FRIARTOWN‚ĶLET’S GO!!!!!!!!!!

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NIT 2013 Quarterfinal – Baylor 79 – Providence 68

-Well, it was a matter of time before the surprisingly successful 2012-2013 Providence College Friars were no longer able to make a magical comeback and keep playing basketball.  The Baylor Bears, led by Pierre Jackson, were stoic down the stretch, unfazed by the Friars continuous attempts at a comeback, and making all of the plays necessary to move onto the 2013 NIT Semifinals as Madison Square Garden.

-Coach Cooley deserves an exceptional amount of credit for what he was able to do with this Friars team.  He had to work with more player combinations than possibly any other team in the country.  The Friars brought 6 scholarship players to the Puerto Rice Tip-Off at the start of the season.  Then, Cooley had to work Vincent Council, Kris Dunn, and Sidiki Johnson back into the lineup.  Then, the Friars lost Johnson and had to adapt again.  Then, they dealt with an injury to Bryce Cotton, a few stomach bugs for Kris Dunn, some disciplinary issues with Council, and a countless amount of other variables that led to Cooley receiving this praise from me.  Stand up Coach, you deserve a ton of recognition and appreciation!

-Pierre Jackson is ruthless.  He is the example of what I wish Vincent Council developed into.  Never fazed, always under control, and always making the best decision.

-With that being said, Council had a hell of a game (21 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists). ¬†Vince, you will be remembered and I will miss your consistency through the years. ¬†Your stats force you to be considered one of the greatest Friars of all time. ¬†Had it not been for your injured hamstring to start the season, you’d be getting much more national respect. ¬†You should get a shot in the league…

-Classic Henton: 0 points, 8 rebounds, 0-5 from the field, 0-2 from the free throw line, 4 personal fouls, and 2 shots that were blocked

-Classic Dunn: 4 points (2-4 from the field), 2 rebounds, 6 assists

-LaDontae Henton needs to become more consistent, or he’ll be coming off of the bench in the 2013-2014 season.

-Kadeem Batts finished the season just as he started it, putting up numbers and controlling the paint. ¬†Batts amassed 20 points (9-17 shooting), grabbed 8 boards, and had 2 assists. ¬†Kadeem Batts turned into a better player than I ever imagined he would become. ¬†Cooley’s staff needs to be recognized for his development, but Kadeem deserves a lot of that credit too. ¬†If Batts gets better heading into the 2013-2014 season, he will be drafted.

-Bryce Cotton led the Friars with 23 points, however he went dead cold in the last 10 minutes of the 2nd half (when they needed him the most). ¬†As the NTCF faithful may know, my affinity for Bryce Cotton has decreased as of late and I’ve begun to criticize him for some selfish play and poor decision making. ¬†I hope that Bryce continues to improve, but I think that the Friars will have more talented options next season. ¬†Cotton will most likely get drafted (thanks Q), but Batts will be a better pro.

-Josh Fortune needs to improve defensively, offensively, with decision making, and his overall basketball IQ or his playing time will quickly diminish with guys like Brandon Austin and Ricky Ledo competing for playing time.

-You have to commend the Baylor Bears.  They played a hell of a game.  Jefferson was a beast down low and Jackson was a true conductor on the floor.

-However, I can’t complain. ¬†The Friars were able to play 3 more games than anticipated and have some momentum to build on this offseason.

-Stay tuned to NTCF for my 2012-2013 season review and 2013-2014 season preview post.

NIT 2013 Round 2: Providence 77 – Robert Morris 68

-I need to start by saying that what I watched on Monday night was one of the most poorly officiated games that I have ever seen. And it wasn’t that all bad calls were against Providence. ¬†Bad calls were going in both directions. ¬†I’m not sure which conference the officiating crew was from, but they should be fired.

-After the completion of the game last night, Ed Cooley grabbed the mic and addressed the crowd. ¬†Man, I love Cooley. ¬†Here was Cooley’s statement in a post-game interview about his address, “I thought about taking that microphone all day. I wanted to thank our crowd. We have had some really good crowds. I‚Äôd like to see every seat filled, but part of building your program is building your fan base back up. ¬†I think this is a really tough place to play when the energy is like that. I think the last three and a half minutes of this game ‚Äď that was actually fun. That was a lot of fun to hear the building shake like that. The players all feed off of that. And you know what? A team will crumble under those circumstances, and I thought that happened today.‚ÄĚ

-From what Scottie told me (because I wasn’t at the game), Cooley said that if the crowd is loud every game, that will play a huge part in PC winning a National Championship. ¬†After that statement, the crowd and the Friars went nuts! ¬†Love the vision that Cooley has, he is developing a championship attitude with this team, and bringing in the talent to compete on a national level.

-Before this game, Cooley went on record saying that Kris Dunn had his best week of practice. ¬†Sadly for the Friars, Dunn was battling a stomach bug on Monday and he looked somewhat sluggish. ¬†With a healthy Dunn, his defensive energy would have gone a long way in limiting Robert Morris’ offensive effectiveness. ¬†However, Dunn still found ways to produce (6 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists).

-LaDontae Henton played arguably his best game of the season, utilizing consistent mismatches to his advantage.  Henton tallied up 21 points and 6 rebounds on 6-7 shooting and 8-8 from the free throw line.

-Council’s offense was nowhere to be found, but 12 points and 10 assists were enough to get the Friars through to the next round.

-Lee Goldsbrough stepped up on a night where the Friars’ bigs were battling foul trouble. ¬†Lee logged 21 minutes, grabbed 9 rebounds and 6 points. ¬†Lee made a huge bucket as the game was winding down on a nice dish from Council. ¬†Goldsbrough has inproved dramatically this season and I’m interested to see how much time he will get next season.

-Kadeem needs to be a more consistent focal point of the Friars offense.  Their tendency to feed Kadeem the ball is scarce, and when they do get him the ball down low it is often off of the block and he gets double teamed.  Every time Cotton gets the ball outside, Kadeem is in a great spot underneath (because offensive attention has switched to Cotton).  Cotton needs to become more alert and get Batts the ball more often.

-Kris Dunn makes some of the prettiest passes that I’ve seen in a long time. ¬†On a fast break, Dunn threw a no-look bounce pass to Batts (who fumbled the pass) through two defenders. ¬†That pass was awesome!

-Next up for the Friars are the Baylor Bears. ¬†The Bears’ offense has been on fire thus far in the NIT, scoring 112 points in their 1st game (vs. Long Beach St.) and 89 points in their 2nd game (vs. Arizona St.). ¬†The Bears average 74 points per game for the season (31st in the NCAA). ¬†Their best player is senior point guard Pierre Jackson who averages 19 points per game on the season (and had 26 points and 16 assists against Arizona St.). ¬†This should be an offensive showdown!

-NEXT GAME: Wednesday, March 27th @ Baylor, 9pm (ESPN2)

Mumbles Therapy

Today is only Wednesday and it has already been one of the longest weeks I’ve ever experienced. ¬†The best therapy is for me to just rant about subject matter that I feel I know best: the world of sports. ¬†Beware here comes a slew of unorganized thoughts better classified as Mumbles.

*Chris Paul will be traded before Christmas 2011. ¬†New Orleans does not want to go through the “Melodrama” the Nuggets went through last year. ¬†With all the leaks about the Celtics wanting Paul, it would be in their best interest to acquire the best point guard in the league by any means necessary. ¬†The Celtics current point guard Rajon Rondo is very talented but is beyond emotionally fragile. ¬†He broke down last year when his BFF Kendrick Perkins was traded. ¬†He broke down when he was “dissed” by President Obama. ¬†Now the Celtics are reportedly (by every media outlet) pursuing Paul. ¬†If the Celtics fail at acquiring Paul, they will be in for a very long and very uncomfortable season with Rondo running the show. ¬†Get Paul now, worry about his contract status later.

*The Miami Marlins (have to get use to saying that) have been the biggest players in baseball free agency thus far.  They landed Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, and Mark Buehrle.  They are also in hot pursuit of Albert Pujols.  While this appears to be great news for South Florida, they have alienated their franchise player in Hanley Ramirez.  HanRam has reportedly asked for a trade because does not want to move to third base for Reyes.  If I am the Red Sox, I make a strong play at reacquiring the troubled shortstop.  He comes with baggage. There is no doubt about it.  But at the end of the day he is 27 years old coming off his worst season but entering his prime.  He is under contract until 2014 at a reasonable price (3 years $46 mil left).  He is a clear upgrade over Marco Scutaro or Jed Lowrie.  If I am Ben Cherrington, I offer Lowrie or Scutaro, Xander Bogaerts or Jose Iglesias, Ryan Kalish or Josh Reddick, and Matt Barnes or Anthony Ranuaudo.  Imagine this lineup:

Ellsbury, Crawford, Pedroia, Gonzalez, HRamirez, Youkilis, Ortiz, Saltalamacchia, Kalish/Reddick.

*The Boston Bruins benched Tyler Seguin last night during a 15 game unbeaten streak due to him missing a team breakfast in Winnipeg. ¬†Now, I may be in the minority but I love that they benched the 19 year old leading scorer. ¬†Nipping any antics that Seguin may be a part of in the bud is essential in his early development. ¬†It’s clear to me that his benching has a lot more to it then missing his team breakfast. ¬†His excuse will also go down as the worst excuse in sports history. ¬†“My clock was set on Boston time and not Winnipeg time.” Tyler may need a geography/time zone lesson to go along with that benching. ¬†What we all need to remember is that the kid is 19 and he hasn’t had a chance to experience the night life like we all did in college. ¬†I cut him some slack but at the same time applaud the management and coaching decision to discipline him.

* I once hated Tim Tebow with a unparraleled passion. ¬†I think that was because I was an ignorant Longhorns fan that would hear nothing other than Colt McCoy was the best there was. ¬†(In my defense he is the all time winningest quarterback in NCAA history). But after the last two months, how do you not love Tebow? Yes, the whole God squad thing can deter someone but as an athlete? The guy has “it.” Whatever “it” may be Tebow has it. ¬†He wins football games and is exciting to watch. ¬†Yes, I am all aboard the Tebow wagon!

*Unfortunately I don’t have any thoughts on the Patriots. ¬†To me they are the most vanilla franchise in Boston sports. ¬†It may be a reflection of the coach. ¬†They win ball games and move on to the next opponent. ¬†Until the playoffs, there is nothing I can really say about them.

*I love Ed Cooley. ¬†When Providence College first hired him, I was skeptical at best. ¬†My hatred of Keno Davis and his thug culture may have angered me to the point I was blind. ¬†But there truly was no better person to hire for this position then who they landed. ¬†Cooley has demonstrated a willingness to play defense (unthinkable during Keno’s time) and also to discipline players when needed. ¬†(Kadeem Batts is yet to play a game. ¬†Expected back for the URI game 12-23). ¬†I have gone to as many games as I’ve could and have appreciated the development of Bryce Cotton. ¬†I like that Vincent Council is playing under control. ¬†I like that Cooley has Coleman playing defense. ¬†I understand that the Friars may get smoked once the Big East schedule starts. ¬†But I expected that coming into the season. ¬†But because of Cooley, I now know they will play hard for 40 minutes every night.

*I can be followed on Twitter @ ScottieNTCF

The Pros and Cons of Ed Cooley

As all of you should know by now, Providence College has hired a new men’s basketball head coach, Ed Cooley.  Cooley, formerly the head coach as Fairfield University, played his high school basketball at Central, and grew up in Providence, RI.  Prior to becoming the head coach at Fairfield, Cooley coached under Al Skinner at the University of Rhode Island and Boston College from 1996-2006.

Even though coach Cooley had a fair amount of success at Fairfield (25-8 in 2010-2011, 92-69 overall), there are both pros and cons to Cooley becoming the head coach at Providence College.

PROS

Basketball Heritage

As I mentioned previously, Cooley played basketball in high school at Central.  Cooley then played for four years at Stonehill College, where he was a captain for three seasons.  To be honest, I have never heard of a player being a captain as a sophomore, so that should say something about Cooley’s leadership ability.  Unlike Keno Davis, Cooley played at a level where he can at least somewhat relate to his players.  That should allow him to better connect with his players and hopefully gain some respect a bit faster.

Rhode Island Roots

Cooley‚Äôs Rhode Island roots play in his favor in two ways.¬† First, recruiting locally should be easier for a coach that grew up and found success in Rhode Island.¬† Convincing Ricardo Ledo that staying in state to play college ball could be Cooley‚Äôs first big move.¬† Second, Cooley‚Äôs Rhode Island roots should help hold him ‚Äúhome‚ÄĚ a bit longer than other coaches.¬† PC has often been regarded as a ‚Äústepping stone school.‚Ä̬† Coaches that have big success in Providence often use that as a platform to move on to better jobs.¬† Being from Rhode Island, Cooley may be more likely to stay at PC if he finds success than other coaches.

Defensive Success

Ed Cooley’s Fairfield team was amongst the best defensive teams in the NCAA last season.  From what I can remember, Fairfield ranked second in the nation in points allowed and held opponents to under 40% shooting on the season.  The Friars biggest Achilles heel for the past few seasons has been their inability to consistently play any sort of defense.  Cooley and his defensive pedigree will hopefully help out PC.  But, it is important to remember that Keno Davis’ Drake team was amongst the best defensive teams in the country before he came to PC.

Passion and Intensity

I have to admit that even though I wasn’t in favor of letting coach Davis go after three seasons, coach Cooley’s press conference after being hired at PC was inspirational.  Cooley’s enthusiasm for coming back home and coaching at Providence makes you believe that he wants to be here for the remainder of his coaching career.  You can tell that Cooley demands his players not only perform on the court, but also in the classroom and in the community.  I can’t help but love that he places a treadmill on the side of the practice court so if players can’t focus on the court than they can focus on the treadmill, that is just priceless.

CONS

Small School Success

As all of us Friar fans know very well, small school success definitely does not always translate to big program success.  I’m not saying that Providence is a huge basketball school, but the Big East is a whole new animal.  Cooley’s ability to find success at Providence will depend on his ability to coach defense, keep his players actually eligible, and recruit very well.

Recruiting Questions

Providence College and coach Cooley recently terminated the contract of Chris Driscoll, the only remaining member of coach Davis’ staff left at PC, and a supposed local recruiting guru.  Driscoll was thought to be primarily responsible for both Gerard Coleman and Ron Giplaye signing with the Friars.  Driscoll’s release leaves major concern on the recruiting front for the Friars.  Cooley stated that he will be looking for a big time recruiter with Big East ties, but those guys don’t grow on trees.  Cooley will evaluate the current recruits that the Friars have committed and make moves from there, so we will just have to see that happens.

The more research that I do, the more I seem to like the hiring of Ed Cooley, but that doesn’t mean that he will have instance success.  I expect the Friars to be a pretty good team next season, considering the immense experience that they have coming back.  Cooley should benefit from all of the time that coach Davis gave to guys like Vincent Council, Kadeem Batts, Bilal Dixon, Gerard Coleman, Duke Mondy, etc.  I’m looking forward to the 2011-2012 season, and I’m excited for what the future holds with Ed Cooley at the helm at PC.

A Rant on a Variety of Issues

In honor of The Rock’s return to the WWE…(Wrestlemania April 3,2011)

Finally, The Scott has come back…to NTCF!!! ¬†So I haven’t written anything in 13 days and the five people who come and read this blog on a regular basis have had withdrawals that rival that of a drug addict. ¬†In my defense, I haven’t really had much to write about over the past two weeks as Gambo informed you in his last post. ¬†To be honest I have no excuse for not chipping in a few thoughts here and there on any number of topics over the past 13 days. ¬†I sincerely apologize for not posting as
regularly as I once did and hope that this drought was only a one time thing.  With that being said I have plenty to rant about.  Be warned this post has no real main idea behind it other than to just flat-out rant.  Where it takes me, I have no clue.

Friars Hire Cooley

Today the Providence College Friars held a press conference introducing Ed Cooley as its next head men’s basketball coach. ¬†In his presser, Cooley vowed to have Providence atop the Big East Conference one day. Lofty words for a team that has reached an all time low. ¬†He also looked his players dead in the eye and told them the treadmill is his best friend in practice. ¬†“If you have trouble focusing in practice, you can focus on the treadmill.” ¬†He also showed good faith in saying that he will by 10 tickets to each game and give them out to students in the Providence Public School system that “do things the right way.”

I think Providence made a good hire here.  I am a bit concerned that there coaching search only had one candidate but Cooley appears to be what the Friars need.  He preaches defense and discipline.  Something Keno Davis knew nothing about.  I expect the fans to return to the Dunk in small doses to see the hometown kid lead the Friars. (Cooley played high school ball at Central High School).  In my eyes, as long as Cooley keeps his players out of jail, he will be a roaring success.

Pants on the ground…Pants on the ground

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant has been banned from the North Park Center Mall for sagging his pants a bit too much.  Bryant has been banned from the mall for 90 days along with a criminal no trespass order in effect.  Bryant has apparently had a few dustups at this mall, most notably the time he cut a rather large line in the Apple store, offering to buy a customers items if he let him cut the line.

Gone are the days of the Cowboys being America’s Team. ¬†Do you think Michael Irving would have ever been hassled in the mall at all? Let alone someone telling him that his pants were showing too much crack? ¬†This is an embarrassing story for Dez, but highly entertaining for the rest of the nation. ¬†Speaking of crack…

Taylor Doesn’t Card

Lawrence Taylor has been sentenced to 6 years probation for his involvement with an underage prostitute stemming from an incident May of 2010. When asked about his involvement with said prostitute Taylor did his best Forest Gump impression saying, “It’s the world of prostitution. ¬†You never know what you are going to get. I don’t card them, I don’t ask for a birth certificate. She is a working girl.” If I was to set an over/under on when Taylor will violate his probation, I’d set it at 3.5 years and take the under.

Uncle Thomas Grant Hill?

Ok so Thomas Hill was Grant Hill’s teammate at Duke but I figured I’d try to integrate ¬†(no pun intended) it all together for this story. ¬†A few weeks ago ESPN aired a documentary on The Fab Five from Michigan. ¬†Jalen Rose made headlines by saying he felt like Duke only recruited black players that were Uncle Tom’s. ¬†Uncle Tom is a phrase used to describe someone who is subservient to white people. ¬†Grant Hill took issue with this statement and wrote an eloquent, well thought out response published in the New York Times.

I understand Jalen said these were his thoughts as an 18-year-old kid, not necessarily now. ¬†He felt Duke would only recruit players from good hard-working families. ¬†My question to Jalen is so what? When did it become bad to recruit good upstanding members of society to play for a basketball team offering a scholarship to someone who would actually make good use of it? ¬†I don’t understand and refuse to understand why it is fashionable to not work hard and study. Why is it the cool thing to act hood and rep the streets? ¬†Can’t the streets be “repped” by being an outstanding member of society? ¬† Just remember Jalen, Grant Hill didn’t cause Duke to have any violations or break any rules while he was there.

Maybe I am jaded because of the recent occurences at Providence College where kids, ahem thugs, are being offered full scholarships to get an education and lay the ground work for having a successful life only to see them throw it all away. ¬†Maybe I am jaded because time and time again kids like you, Jalen, coming from a single parent home, have been given an opportunity to have better lifestyle and set your children up for a better life then you had, and then throw it away. ¬†Don’t blame Duke for recruiting people who are deserving of such an honor. ¬†Believe it or not no one is entitled to anything in this world. So don’t blame Grant Hill for being awarded a scholarship to a prestigious university.

Montreal Police Investigate Chara

By now everyone in both the Boston and Montreal markets know about the hit Zdeno Chara laid on Max Pacioretty resulting in a concussion. ¬†Sure, it was an ugly hit. ¬†The argument can be made that Chara intended to ram Pacioretty into the turnbuckle. ¬†But the bottom line is it was a hit, something allowed in hockey, but can also be penalized. ¬†Montreal police looking into Zdeno Chara because of this incident is beyond ridiculous. ¬†Every sport has its own governing body. ¬†Police have no business inserting its will upon a sport. ¬†If they were to do so, every hockey fight should result in an arrest because it is an assault. ¬†Someone being hit by a pitch in baseball could be considered assault with a dangerous weapon. ¬†Don’t get me started on football.

Montreal police getting involved in this instance is totally absurd. ¬†My disdain for the Canadiens has reached its boiling point with this last saga. ¬†I have tolerated their European soccer style of hockey for the past 3 years, I have bit my lip when the booed the American National Anthem, and I even look the other way when their own players deliver dirty hits. ¬†But this incident has gone beyond, as Felger calls it, “Yahooism.” ¬†It may have actually vaulted the Canadiens ahead of the Lakers in my most hated opposing sports team category.

I will not write about the NFL lockout situation because quite frankly there are 3 other sports going on right now and they do a great job of entertaining me. ¬†I am not going to waste my time worrying about billionaires arguing with millionaires over revenue sharing. ¬†“And that’s all I got to say about that.”

I once again apologize for my recent hiatus.  I vow to the five followers of this blog that I will not let it happen again.  Please feel free to comment below and let me know if these issues are burning you up as much as they are with me.

I can be followed on Twitter @ScottieNtcf