Chukwu to Providence

Ed Cooley is now half way to the “Friar Four.”

The Providence coach on Thursday landed a verbal pledge from Paschal Chukwu, the 7-foot-1 center from Fairfield (CT) Prep, who chose the Friars over St. Joe’s, where his sister attends. reported Wednesday that Chukwu was down to Providence and St. Joe’s.

“I’ve known coach Cooley for three years,” Chukwu told the Providence Journal, referring to Cooley’s time as coach at Fairfield. “I’ve gotten to know them really well. Providence is a program on the rise and I’m looking forward to playing for coach Cooley.” To read more of this story, click here

Abu, Terrell Visiting Providence

Abdul Malik Abu and Jared Terrell will visit Providence unofficially next Saturday, Expressions Elite coach Tyron Boswell told

Kaleb Joseph and Pascal Chukwu may also join them.

Providence has been recruiting the 6-foot-8 Abu and the 6-2 Terrell hard for two years, and head coach Ed Cooley has made them a priority.

“We want to recruit the best players in the country,” Cooley, speaking generally because he cannot comment on specific players, told last month at the Nike Global Challenge. To read more of this story, click here

Providence’s Cooley: ‘We want to recruit the best players in the country’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Providence coach Ed Cooley sat courtside for much of last week’s Nike Global Challenge.

The Friars head man was keeping an eye on recent commit Jalen Lindsey, as well as players he hopes ultimately become Friars, such as 2014 forward Abdul Malik Abu.

“We want to recruit the best players in the country,” Cooley, speaking generally because he cannot comment on specific players, told

“Everybody always says a lot of negative things about the brand of Providence. Whether that’s in the past or whatever, I don’t look at that. I want the best players in the country to to play in the best league in the country.” To read more of this story, click here

Jalen Lindsey to Providence

Jalen Lindsey, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Huntington (W.V.) Prep, committed to Providence late Monday night, giving head coach Ed Cooley a long, athletic wing and the Rivals No. 48 prospect in the Class of 2014.

He also considered  Tennessee, Memphis and Mississippi State.

Lindsey is a Tennessee native, but his father, Walt, is a Rhode Island native.

“Basketball-wise, it’s giving me an opportunity to play right away,” Lindsey told “Knowing that I’m playing for Coach Cooley gets me excited. I think he’s a great coach, and I know we can do great things.”

Walt told that Providence had worked hard on Jalen, even watching him win a state title at Christ Presbyterian in Tennessee last season. To read more of this story, click here

Providence’s Cotton Hoping to Make USA Roster

While the U.S. U19 World Championship Team prepares to play this week in Prague, Czech Republic, Providence’s Bryce Cotton and 25 other top college players arrived at the U.S. Olympic Training Center for the start of the USA World University Games Team training camp.

“So far, so good, today was the first day,” the 6-foot-1 Cotton told by phone Monday night. “It was good for everybody to get their feet wet and just get integrated to all these different players.”

A rising senior who was an All-Big East selection last year and was named to the SNY All-Big East Preseason Team, Cotton led the Big East in scoring last season at 18.3 points per game. This training camp gives him a chance to match up against other elite college guards like New Mexico’s Kendall Williams, Notre Dame’s Eric Atkins and Nevada’s Deonte Burton. To read more of this story, click here

Jalen Lindsey: ‘Providence is recruiting me the hardest’


Special to ZAGSBLOG

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — In order for schools to compete with teams like Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, and college basketball’s other historic programs, they must substitute hard work for history and tradition.

Providence seems to be catching the drift.

After signing two top 25 players last season in Ricky Ledo and Kris Dunn, Providence head coach Ed Cooley has not taken his foot off the gas pedal. He recently hosted Nashville, Tenn., native Jalen Lindsey on an official visit and left quite an impression.

“The visit went very well,” Lindsey said at the NBPA Top 100 Camp. “Coach Cooley seems like he’s a great guy off the court. From the talks we had, he looks like he can be a great mentor.” To read more of this story, click here

Council Shows ‘NBA Passing Ability’ as Nets Draft Combine Opens

Special to ZAGSBLOG

NCAA Basketball: Big East Tournament-Providence vs Seton HallEAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - As former Providence star and Brooklyn native Vincent Council goes through the NBA Draft process this spring, he can’t help but think a little about what could have been.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound point guard averaged 15.9 points, 7.4 assists and 4.1 rebounds as a junior for the Friars to help raise expectations as a senior. Just five minutes into his senior season on Nov. 10 against NJIT, Council suffered a hamstring injury. He would miss 10 games, returning for the Friars’ final nonconference game against Brown, which means he was forced to dive right into Big East play five days later. To read more of this story, click here

Cooley Says It’s NIT or Nothing for Providence

NEW YORK — Providence coach Ed Cooley says his team will only accept an invitation to the NIT and not to any other postseason tournaments.

“If we don’t play in the NIT, our season is gone,” Cooley said following Providence’s 61-44 loss to Cincinnati in the Big East Tournament.

“I didn’t come to Providence College to play in another basketball tournament. If the standard is the NCAA, that’s the standard.”

Providence won seven of nine entering the Big East Tournament and harbored dreams of making an NCAA run. To read more of this story, click here

Red-hot Providence Continues Winning Ways Against Seton Hall


Special to ZAGSBLOG 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – As difficult as it can be for a team on the rise to get up for a perceived weaker sister, Providence made sure not to let its guard down Wednesday night at the Dunkin Donuts Center.

Seton Hall certainly tried to provide a challenging test – the Pirates drop to 3-14 in the Big East after going down by a 76-66 count – but PC did to them what good teams do to bad ones. By taking care of business against one of the conference’s bottom dwellers, the Friars stand at 9-8, a mark equaled by Villanova for seventh-best in the league.

Based on sweeping the season series with the Wildcats, the Friars would enter the Big East Tournament as the No. 7 seed. Such a ranking would earn Ed Cooley’s club an opening-round game at Madison Square Garden against Cincinnati. The Bearcats – 8-9 heading into Saturday’s regular-season finale against South Florida – would be the No. 10 seed. To read more of this story, click here

Red-hot Providence Deals Blow to Johnnies’ NCAA Chances


Special to ZAGSBLOG

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Steve Lavin has a message for the Big East – one regarding the Providence College squad that squeezed out a last-second 62-59 win over the D’Angelo Harrison-less St. John’s Red Storm Saturday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

“They are the hottest team in our league other than Georgetown,” was the tip of the cap extended by Lavin, whose team’s NCAA Tournament chances took a major hit with the loss.

Given up for dead after ending January with a 2-7 conference record, PC reversed its fortunes in February with five wins in six opportunities. With the calendar flipped to college’s basketball most pulsating and heart-stopping month, the Friars kicked off March by evening their Big East mark at 8-8 – same as St. John’s and Cincinnati. To read more of this story, click here