Friar Basketball

Batts Looking to Lead in 2012-13

Batts

One of the most engaging interviewees from last week’s media day, Kadeem Batts certainly sounds like a new player this season.

Now in his fourth year at Providence, the redshirt junior power forward is owning up to mistakes of the past and believes he’s worked to position himself for a bounce back season.

A year ago Batts was suspended for the first semester for “failing to meet his obligations as a student-athlete.”  He failed to get into the flow upon returning, despite a monster night against Louisville (27 points, 10 rebounds) and a solid game when #1 Syracuse came to town (14 points, 8-10 from the free throw line).  After a summer in which he worked out with MarShon Brooks’ trainers in New Jersey the hope is that he can find the consistency that has alluded to him the past two seasons.

Just how much did the suspension affect him?  “That would be a struggle for any basketball player,” Batts shared.  “I couldn’t find a rhythm, but I felt like that time made me better mentally and physically.  I grew.  I matured.  I definitely became a man over the summer.  I worked very hard and I’m ready to go.  I’m ready for a new year.”

As Batts tells it, his time in New Jersey changed him both mentally and physically.  Early morning beach workouts were accompanied by long hours in the weight room, “I just wanted to get mentally and physically tougher.  I trained hard and conditioned hard.  I worked on every aspect offensively and defensively.  I worked on my body.  I just felt like I became a better player and person overall.”

It was a summer spent playing alongside Tyler Harris in a New York Pro-Am league – on a team that defeated Brooks’ squad when they went head to head.

And now Batts feels like he’s more prepared to take on the leadership role that he admits he wasn’t ready for earlier in his PC tenure, “I want to try to be a leader this year.  I can honestly say I wasn’t mature enough to take that role in past years, but now that I’ve experienced more I’m definitely ready to take that role as a leader.”

It’s a team that he thinks can surprise this year.  “Oh, I love my team,” said Batts.  “This is the best team I’ve been around since I’ve been at Providence.  This is our best team on paper since I’ve been here and we’re more united.  I love this team.”

And for this team to improve upon a 15-17 mark from a season ago Batts will have to provide stability for a front court that badly needs to find consistency.

 

Email Kevin at kevin.farrahar@friarbasketball.com

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