Few schools in the country added as much talent at the semester break as Providence.
Ed Cooley and the Friars picked up point guard Kris Dunn, a McDonald’s All-American, and forward Sidiki Johnson, an Arizona transfer who is a mercurial talent.
In his debut after missing the first part of the season with a right shoulder injury, Dunn tied a freshman school-record with 13 assists in a 79-45 rout of Colgate at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. He added seven points and six rebounds in 27 minutes for the Friars, who wore green jerseys that read “Sandy Hook” on the back in honor of the 26 shooting victims in Newtown, Conn.
The 6-10 Johnson out of Harlem had eight rebounds, four points, three blocks and three turnovers in 16 minutes.
Junior guard Bryce Cotton led the Friars (8-2) with a game-high 21 points, including five 3-pointers. He entered the game as the top scorer in the Big East at 20.8 points per game.
Freshman Josh Fortune had 17 points and shot 7-of-10 from the field. Sophomore LaDonte Henton notched his fifth double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Henton has 14 double-doubles in his career.
Providence could also get point guard Vincent Council, a preseason All-Big East first-team pick from Brooklyn, back from a hamstring injury for Saturday’s game at Boston College.
While Cooley won’t have scoring sensation Ricky Ledo until next year because he’s sitting out as a partial qualifier, the additions of Dunn, Johnson and Council are tantamount to adding impact players at the trade deadline.
While Louisville and Syracuse figure to end up 1-2 (in some order) in the Big East standings, watch out for the Friars going forward.