Home » Columns »Your Phil of Hoops » Currently Reading:

Providence Has New Coach But Same Old Players

November 6, 2011 Columns, Your Phil of Hoops No Comments

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – As Providence College enters the 2011-12 season, there’s a tale of the new and the old. The new is reason for optimism, the old is reason for patience if you’re a Friar fan, and there was a little more of the old on Saturday as the Friars narrowly escaped their second exhibition game with a 76-75 win over a UMass-Lowell team that projects to be one of the best in Division II.

 

Last season was a forgettable one in Friartown, at least once Big East play began. The Friars looked improved in non-conference play, especially defensively, but they did that against a weak schedule. That became apparent once they started losing games in Big East play en route to a 4-14 mark, which led to the end of the Keno Davis era and the hiring of Providence native Ed Cooley to take his place. Cooley’s hire brings excitement because of his track record and being a hometown hero, but the story doesn’t end there.

 

The areas for improvement are numerous. The most notable is at the defensive end, where the Friars allowed opponents to shoot nearly 45 percent from the field, including 47.5 percent in Big East play, and they were also out-rebounded badly in conference play although they had a slightly positive margin for the entire season. But they weren’t exactly stellar offensively, either, shooting just 42.4 percent for the season and having eight more turnovers than assists.

 

Much of that team is back, so the improvement will have to come from the same players that produced last season’s bad output. The only newcomers are true freshman LaDontae Henton and redshirt freshman Brice Kofane, with true freshman Kiwi Gardner awaiting an appeal to an NCAA ruling that his initial eligibility doesn’t meet NCAA requirements.

 

The Friars aren’t lacking backcourt talent with junior Vincent Council and sophomore Gerard Coleman projecting as the starters. They also return sophomore Bryce Cotton, but after him there isn’t any depth unless Gardner is ultimately deemed eligible. Cooley said there is no timetable for finding out the results of their appeal with Gardner’s eligibility.

 

The frontcourt has a few more bodies, but the jury is out on how much they will produce as there’s no one who strikes you as a solid post scorer. Bilal Dixon is the seasoned veteran, but he needs to be a better factor on the boards and still hasn’t been able to stay out of foul trouble consistently. He’ll be pushed by Kofane, who’s lanky but has potential as a complementary player, and Henton, who could be a nice player for them down the road. Lee Goldsbrough has been an intriguing talent and had some good moments in the exhibition game against UMass-Lowell, and sophomore Ron Giplaye will be in the mix as well.

 

There is also Kadeem Batts, who had his moments last year, but he’s also a symbol of another issue that plagues this team: intangibles. Cooley said after Saturday that Batts will be suspended indefinitely, “because right now I don’t feel he’s doing the right things off the court to earn his way on the court.”

 

The Friars have some talent but also some questions from a talent and experience standpoint. But the big concern will be intangibles. Cooley talked about having to coach effort and having to address toughness with this team, and those questions may linger. Not only that, but they need to show a better basketball I.Q. as a whole, something he talked about when noticing that they took just six three-pointers on the evening compared to what they’re trying to do offensively.

 

“Obviously, our strength isn’t three-point shooting, so we’re trying to get our guys stuff around the basket,” Cooley said. “We’re trying to use precision, meaning passing and cutting, and we’re not getting that.”

 

There is some excitement for the future in part because of the new coach, as well as what has happened in recruiting. The Friars have secured commitments from two of the top players in New England, hometown kid Ricardo Ledo and Connecticut native Kris Dunn. Both will give the Friars an instant boost of talent when they arrive next year. But for this season, it’s more likely that the Friars will look a lot like last year than a new team.

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 20, 2017

January 20, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we touch on a number of issues affecting conferences like Conference USA, as well as a big loss for Creighton, less mystery in Arizona, and more on the ACC as we look forward to the weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 12, 2017

January 12, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a short stint in the top spot of the polls, some developments in the Mountain West Conference, and more of the ACC before closing with the Big East and Atlantic 10.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 24, 2016

December 24, 2016 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the great games Kentucky has been a part of lately. We go on to other ACC matters involving arch rivals, as well as some quick hits and a conference race that should be as good as expected.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 16, 2016

December 16, 2016 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a coaching legend reaching a milestone, the defending champs looking very good and continuing their winning ways close to home, and some off-court news during a light week of game action.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 29, 2016

November 29, 2016 by

Early season tournaments are the focus in this episode, with a look at how strong a few Big East teams are out of the gate and how strong the ACC could be. Plus one SEC team had a big week outside the scope of tournaments.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.