Mattyoshow’s PC Friars Mumbles: 2.20.24 Edition

For all of the Oshow followers out there, I’m going to give you a heads up before you start reading this post. I’m not happy with what’s been going down in Friartown lately, so if you’re ready to read some crap about how the Villanova loss didn’t matter because they played hard than you’re in the wrong place. Here’s what’s been running through my head about the PC Friars over the past few weeks…

-Here’s one way to start a post: Bryce Cotton is overrated. Yup, I said it. He may go unnoticed nationally, but he’s overrated locally. Yes, Bryce can score, but so could Marshon. Yes, Bryce made the Sportscenter top 10 a couple of nights ago, but so did Rob Sanders back in his day. As a point guard, Bryce Cotton just isn’t that good. When the offense runs through him, it’s stagnant. When we need to convert a big bucket, he rarely makes the right decision. When we should work the ball down low, he takes a deep three. When we need a deep three, Bryce forces a pass down low. Yes, there are more problems on this team than Bryce Cotton, but in my eyes, he is one of them.

-I really started to think that Josh Fortune was turning a corner. He has been much more efficient offensively over the past several games. He was making better decisions with the ball, and working harder to get open off of the ball. He was even asserting himself defensively. And then Josh Fortune committed 7 turnovers in Tuesday’s game against Villanova, threw away two critical passes in double overtime, and officially earned himself a permanent spot on my shit list…right next to Marshon Brooks and Joe Young.

-Tyler Harris should have his scholarship revoked. All I keep hearing from Scottie and his other bandwagon buddies is that Harris is still young and he’s essentially a freshman because he didn’t really play in his first season at NC State. Guess what…I don’t care. His basketball IQ is about as good as Scottie’s knowledge base about anything sports related (which is essentially 0)! The kid just can’t make a good decision. I’m sick of his juvenile shit. Revoke the scholarship and get him outta town!

-Kadeem Batts is the best NBA prospect on this team. The guy battles down low. He’s finally learned how to utilize his body and girth underneath. He has a pretty good mid range jumper which has only improved over the past 4 years. Kadeem is the real deal and I hope he starts to get some looks in the league.

-Lee Goldsbrough is about as useful as a piece of gum on the bottom of your shoe in the middle if August.

-Brice Kofane isn’t much better.

-I don’t really understand Carson Desrosiers’ lack of playing time. I know he gets himself into foul trouble on occasion. However, you can’t tell me that he isn’t more useful than Tyler Harris. At least Carson tries to play defense. I say we put Desrosiers in the starting 5, bump everyone down a spot and really start to limit Tyler Harris’ minutes.

-If the Friars want any shot at the tournament they need to win out and then make some waves in the Big East tournament. However, with how PC plays on the road, it’s much more likely that they shit their pants over the next 4 games and miss the NIT.
-I’ve always considered myself and optimist when it came to the Friars. Ask anyone. Talk to Scottie. Talk to my fellow friar faithful CV. I’ve always thought that the Friars could win every game that they’ve played. Yet, this team has sucked the life outta me. I’m done with PC basketball. The constant crushing defeats have worn me out. I just can’t do it anymore…

2013-2014 Providence College Friars: Season Preview

One of my favorite times of the year is finally upon us…the 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 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


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


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’d 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 – 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.”

-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)

Big East Game 5: Georgetown 74 – Providence 65

I am subbing in for Matty on this one because he apparently had better things to do than watch the Friars.


In the interest of full disclosure I was flipping back and forth between the Friars and Celtics last night.  Maybe that explains why IUnknown
have been miserable all day today.  Both teams played like old men at the Y.  I digress.  I am here to talk about the Friars and recap the shellacking they took from the Georgetown Hoyas.

The Hoyas raced out to a large lead early in the first half and never truly looked back.  Providence had some runs in the second half but could never close the deficit to less than 5.  I don’t want to be overly critical of the hometown team because it wouldn’t be fair.  Georgetown is the more talented team and it showed last night.  Otto Porter, Jr had 20 points on 8-13 shooting to go with 8 rebounds before fouling out.  This kid is a top 10 pick come June.

As far as Providence goes, I feel they are way too dependent upon the Bryce Cotton 3 ball on offense.  Cotton was 5-12 from downtown.  I don’t like that he took TWELVE 3’s.  I understand his knee has been giving him trouble but when he is slashing to the basket rather than camping out behind the arc, the Providence offense is much more productive.  He got to the charity stripe once and that was on one of his normal fouled when shooting a 3 ball plays.

The Friars have become reliant on Cotton because LaDontae Henton has fallen off the face of the earth.  His 37 point effort imagesagainst Brown might have been the worst thing that could have happened to this kid.  Henton thinks he is a 3 point shooter.  He isn’t.  He is a scorer.  Henton is shooting 25% from deep this season.  The artist formerly known as Buckets needs to get back to what made him so good a year ago.  He had a sweet mid-range game and got to the basket creating high percentage shots for himself.  Henton took six 3’s last night.  Too many.  I have always been high on Henton and thought he would be the next Ryan Gomes or MarShon Brooks.  I understand sophomore slumping but I think his slump is only because he has gotten away from what makes him good.

Kadeem Batts had a quiet double-double for the Friars last night with 10 points and 11 rebounds.  I like what Batts has done so far this season. He has had his down games, Syracuse comes to mind, but that happens.  The problem is PC can’t afford him having these off nights.  Batts is a main cog in the offense.  He needs to get his 15-19 points a game.  If he is playing well and scoring, it opens up the floor for Cotton, Fortune, and company.

There is apart of me that believes the scouts that submitted their reports to ESPN on Kris Dunn are as real as Manti Te’o’s girlfriend.  The other part of me smacks myself and realizes the kid is a freshman surrounded by so much hype that he was the savior of the program.  It really is unfair to him.  What I have seen is an inexperienced athlete that can make plays but doesn’t read defenses.  He is a little too active on defense which leads to careless fouls.  He has shown no offensive ability other than good handle and quickness.  But he is a freshman.

JayVaughn Pinkston and the Villanova Wildcats come to The Dunk on Saturday looking to get back on track after a 58-43 loss to the Pitt Panthers.  The Friars simply can’t afford to slip to 1-5 in Big East play if they want to avoid playing on day one of the last Big East Tournament.

To the Matty faithful, I hope my substitution and minutes on the court weren’t as useless as Brice Kofane.


I can be followed on Twitter @ ScottieNTCF


Big East Game 1: Syracuse 81 – Providence 74

-I think that it is important for me to preface my critique of this game by presenting my expectations for Tuesday night’s Syracuse-PC match up.  Providence had played only one true road game before last night, which resulted in a loss at Boston College.  Other than that game, they played two games on a neutral court in Cancun and their remaining ten games all took place at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence.  So, how did you expect a team that is comprised thirteen freshmen and sophomores to only three seniors to play on the road in their first Big East game against the #5 team in the country in Syracuse?  Well, to be blunt, I didn’t expect much.

-As I mentioned in a previous post, Marshon Brooks may be the most frustrating player that I have ever watched play basketball (besides Charlie Burch of course).  Marshon looked to be scoring at will in the first half, posting 17 of PC’s 32 points.  Brooks was the sole reason why the Friars were still in the game.  I was encouraged that Brooks was getting to the rim instead of making his living on the perimeter.  After halftime, Marshon looked like a completely different player.  He was stagnant offensively, not getting open of creating for others.  Marshon made a critical fast-break three pointer to put the Friars within five late in the second half, but the shot that he took was terrible.  On the break, there were two Friars cutting to the hoop for easy buckets, but Brooks pulled up at the hash mark and launched a three.  These are the exact instances where Brooks frustrates the hell out of me.  He passes when he should shoot, and he shoots when he should pass.  I’m said to say that Marshon just doesn’t get it.

-The Friars are not going to win many games when they shoot under forty percent from the field (39.7%) and under thirty percent from beyond the arc (26.7%).  Keno Davis has notoriously struggled to find a way to crack the Syracuse 2-3 zone, and last night was a perfect indicator of those struggles.  On countless possessions down the stretch, the ball was passed from the point to the wing, back to the point and to the other wing.  Working the ball around the three point line is not helpful in breaking a 2-3 zone, especially when your team can not hit a three.  Council split the top two defenders a few times which led to easy dump-down buckets for Bilal Dixon and Brooks, but it didn’t occur at a high enough frequency for my liking.

-Aside from PC’s offensive woes, the Orangemen, who are not known for their three point shooting (many believe that is the weakest part of their game), shot over forty percent from beyond the arc.  Forward Kris Jospeh was 4-6 from three, and when he is hot like that, there are few teams in the country who could compete with Syracuse.

-Looking back on the game, I can honestly say that I was happy with what I saw on Tuesday night at the Carrier Dome.  Many of the young Friars did a lot of growing up against the Orangemen.  After a dreadful first half, Gerard Coleman showed the skills that made him a top 50 recruit nationally, when he scored points on three straight possessions for the Friars to get them back into the game.  Vincent Council looks like he is ready to lead this team alongside Marshon Brooks is Brooks takes a little side step to let Council blossom.  Duke Mondy played “starter minutes” off of the bench for Keno Davis and hit a big three towards the end of the game to keep it close.  Kadeem Batts is slowly learning what Bilal Dixon was taught last season, being undersized in the Big East is not fun but it is necessary that foul trouble is avoided in order for your team to be successful.

-Keno Davis used only a seven man rotation in the loss to Syracuse (eight players actually saw game time, but Dre Evans played just one minute so I’m not counting him).  In my opinion, one of the biggest strengths for this Friars team is their depth.  I’m well aware that unlike Syracuse, Keno can’t pull three or four 6’9” guys off of his bench and throw them into the game, but keeping guys like Council, Coleman, and Brooks fresh is what is going to lead this Friars team to some big wins.  Even squeezing just a few minutes out of a guy like Dre Evans, Ron Giplaye, and Lee Goldsbrough will be huge in terms of the starters’ effectiveness.

NEXT GAME: Saturday January 1st vs. St. John’s (7pm)

2010-2011 Providence College Friars – Pre-Big East Review

WHAT I SAW: Coming into this season, there were few Friar fans that had high hopes for the 2010-2011 PC men’s basketball team.  The Friars roster consists of two seniors, Marshon Brooks and Ray Hall (I’m excluding Chris Carter), and the remaining 13 players are either sophomores or freshmen.  Even with sophomores Vincent Council, Bilal Dixon, and Duke Mondy seeing significant time the previous season, this team was as green as they come.  In order for the Friars to have any sort of success, they needed Marshon Brooks and Vincent Council to lead the team, and then receive significant contributions from Dixon, Mondy, and members of their freshman recruiting class (particularly Gerard Coleman).  So, what did we get?  Marshon Brooks is tenth in the country in scoring (second in the Big East) averaging 23.1 points per game and accompanies that with nearly nine rebounds and three assists per game.  Vincent Council is eighth in the nation, averaging nearly seven assists per game to go along with sixteen points and five rebounds.  Freshman Gerard Coleman is third on the team in scoring, averaging 10.4 points per game.  Redshirt freshman Kadeem Batts and Bilal Dixon have controlled the paint (when they have stayed out of foul trouble) defensively and have rebounded on both sides of the court.  Duke Mondy continues to improve defensively, and is beginning to find his stroke from beyond the arc.  Contributions from freshmen Bryce Cotton, Ron Giplaye, Dre Evans, and Lee Goldsborough have also been key elements0 to the Friars’ early season success.

It is no secret, the Friars do not play a very tough out-of-conference schedule.  But, when you play in the Big East, there is no need to play a tough out-of-conference schedule when you have anywhere from 6-10 ranked teams in your conference.  The Friars have jumped out to an 11-2 start, which is the best start to a season that I can remember.  Their only two loses came against La Salle and Boston College.  Keno Davis has this team playing very good basketball right now, and the Friars look poised and ready to start Big East play on December 28th at #5 Syracuse.

THE GOOD: What has been good so far this season for the Friars?  To start, the defense needs to be mentioned.  The Friars defensive statistics certainly do not jump out of the page at you because of their brilliance, but from where this team was to where they are now, the transition is pretty astounding.  Last season, the Friars were one of the worst defensive teams in the country, allowing opponents to score an abysmal 82.2 points per game against them.  Although they were also one of the highest scoring teams in the nation, often times when a stop was needed towards the end of the game, nobody from PC could get it done.  This season, the Friars are allowing 68.2 points per game.  That number is still high, but it is 14 points less that last season!  Aside from the statistics, the Friars have shown the ability to clamp-down defensively towards the end of games this entire season.  Late game defensive stops helped the Friars grab wins over Rhode Island, Alabama, Northeastern, and Wyoming.

If there is one person in the world that despises the way that Marshon Brooks plays basketball, it is me.  Ask anyone who attends games with me.  Every time Brooks touches the ball I make it a point to yell, “Marshon don’t pass!”  Brooks has the uncanny ability to pass when he should be shooting and to shoot when he should be passing, but I’ve got to give credit where credit is due.  Brooks has put the team on his back so far this season, and the results have been pretty damn good.  Not only has Marshon been scoring like a mad-man, but he has finally dedicated himself to rebounding, which has the potential to be one of the best parts of his game.

I’ve followed the Friars’ 2010 recruiting class ever since the 2009-2010 season ended.  When I saw that Keno Davis was able to recruit players with the ability level of Gerard Coleman, Dre Evans, and Ron Giplaye, I was very excited for the future of this team.  But, with freshmen comes inexperience and growing pains.  To my amazement, these kids have stepped in and contributed right away.  Coleman looks like a star in the making.  He is 6’4″ and a lean 170 lbs, but has a knack of getting to the rim and finishing amongst the bigs.  Bryce Cotton was a late recruiting addition after the loss of Joe Young, but the 6’0” Cotton has a ton of athleticism and his game is beginning to stretch beyond the arc.

THE BAD: Although the Friars are off to a great start, now that Big East play is upon us, there are certainly areas that need to be improved in order to see success in conference.  First, the bigs need to stay out of foul trouble.  Countless times have I taken my seat in the Dunk, watched the opening tip, and within two minutes Kadeem Batts is getting yanked because he picked up a foul or two.  This forced Brooks to move down to the four (and at 6’5” 190 lbs he is no 4) and puts more pressure on Dixon to block shots and rebound.  In order to compete in the Big East, the Friars need to have their full arsenal of big men available at all times (Dixon, Batts, Giplaye, Goldsborough, and Hall).

In classic Providence College fashion, the Friars have become accustomed to starting off slow and then rallying back in the second half to finish teams off.  Although their offense is capable of putting up points in a hurry, being down 10 points at the half to Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Georgetown, etc doesn’t bode well for your chances of winning.  It is important for the Friars to come out of the gate, dictate the game to their pace, tire teams out, and then use their depth and youth to their advantage.

OUTLOOK: The Big East is loaded on a yearly basis, and this season they seem to be as stacked as ever.  Currently, there are 5 Big East teams ranked in the top 10 in the country, 7 total in the top 25 (ESPN poll), and another 2 receiving votes for the top 25.  That makes nine teams either in or considered for the top 25.  Anyways, the Friars are young and small, which are two things that you do not want to be when playing such stiff competition.  That being said, I think that this team is talented enough to at least compete in the games against the top tier teams, and should be able to win their fair share of contests against the rest of the league.  The most important thing for PC is for them to beat the teams that they should.  The Friars need to beat teams like Rutgers, DePaul, South Florida, Seton Hall, and St. John’s.  As usual, the Friars have a tough schedule, and their road games will seriously test this team’s youth.

PREDICTION: 19-12 (8-10 Big East) – 10th in the Big East


December 28th @ #5 Syracuse (9pm)

January 4th vs. #6 Pittsburgh (7pm)

January 13th @ West Virginia (7pm)

January 22nd vs. #25 Louisville (5pm)

January 26th vs. #8 Villanova (7pm)

February 5th @ #9 Georgetown (12 pm)

February 13th @ #4 Connecticut (7pm)

February 19th vs. Cincinnati (7pm)

February 23rd vs. #20 Notre Dame (7pm)

February 27th @ Marquette (4pm)

March 2nd @ #25 Louisville (7pm)

For the remainder of the season, I will be posting a recap of every game that the Friars play.  So, if you are a Friar faithful like I am, make sure to stop by NTCF after all PC’s games.