PROVIDENCE, R.I. – There are some important things about this Providence team that are different from last season, not the least of which is the coaching staff. One noteworthy change is that a key player will be coming off the bench, and if their first two games are any indication, the early returns are positive with Gerard Coleman moving out of the starting lineup.
Coleman started 29 of the 31 games he played in last season and was third on the team in scoring. As he is the second-leading returning scorer, he wouldn’t seem like a candidate to come off the bench, especially since the Friars don’t exactly have great guard depth. That would improve if the NCAA eventually clears Kiwi Gardner, but he is still a freshman. But there’s a reason new head coach Ed Cooley is doing this, and he arrived at it just before the season opener, although Coleman didn’t start both exhibition games.