By JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG
EAST 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
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
By BRENDAN McGAIR
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
By BRENDAN McGAIR
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
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. To read more of this story, click here
Rhode Island will visit Providence Thursday night in a battle of two up-and-coming teams with depleted rosters.
How depleted are they?
So depleted that the most interesting game between the two teams might be a hypothetical three-on-three contest between each team’s best unavailable players.
Consider that Rhode Island (2-6) has transfers Gilvydas Biruta (Rutgers), Jarelle Reischel (Rice) and DeShon “Biggie” Minnis (Texas Tech) sitting out this year per transfer rules. To read more of this story, click here
Former Penn State commit Brandon Austin pulled the trigger for Providence, a source with direct knowledge told SNY.tv.
Austin picked the Friars over Texas and UConn.
“I liked the school, the community, the team, the coaching staff, all that,” the 6-foot-5 Austin told SNY.tv last month after his visit to the Big East School.
“[Coach Ed Cooley] said I would come right in and play up and down. Give me the ball [and] try to build a team around me and Ricky Ledo and Kris Dunn.” To read more of this story, click here
Brandon Austin visited Providence this weekend and he says head coach Ed Cooley is pitching him on becoming part of the future core of the team along with Kris Dunn and Ricky Ledo.
“It was pretty good,” the former Penn State commit told SNY.tv Sunday night.
“I liked the school, the community, the team, the coaching staff, all that.
“[Coach Cooley] said I would come right in and play up and down. Give me the ball [and] try to build a team around me and Ricky Ledo and Kris Dunn.” To read more of this story, click here
Former Indiana commit Ron Patterson visited Providence Friday night for their Midnight Madness and heads to SMU on Wednesday.
“It went good,” the 6-foot-2, 200-pound shooting guard from Brewster (N.H.) Academy told SNY.tv Sunday. “They have a nice gym. They said I would be a go-to guy, like a scorer.”
Patterson said he likes head coach Ed Cooley’s approach. To read more of this story, click here
Rodney Bullock, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound power forward from Hampton (Va.) Kecoughtan, has verbally committed to Providence.
Bullock told SNY.tv he chose the Friars over Clemson, Xavier and Old Dominion.
“I think it fits my style of play and I’m going to bring lots of versatility,” he said.
Bullock, who averaged about 19 points and 9 rebounds last season, is ranked the No. 30 power forward in the Class of 2013 by Rivals.com.
“He’s a four guy who can do a lot of three things,” said his high school coach, Ivan Thomas. “He’s a multidimensional player. He can guard maybe a two, three and four and can play a two, three and four at times. He’s a 6-7 kid who can do a lot of things.”
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