Friar Basketball

Another Look at Saturday’s Win Over Assumption

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A deeper look at Providence’s 88-45 win over Assumption.

The players:

  • Bryce Cotton—Bryce really looks ready to go this year filling up the stat sheet with 23 points on 7-10 shooting  (4-5 from the 3 point line).  He is getting his shot off quicker than ever. It seems like ages ago when many were concerned that he took a while to get his shot off, and that his shot had a slight hitch to it. With a quick release and a smooth stroke those days are gone.  Bryce also played a good deal of point guard in the game and did a fairly decent job. Granted, the competition wasn’t the greatest but it is something to build on.
  • Vincent Council— Vince had 11 points and 12 assists on what will be the first of many double doubles this year. Cooley tells everyone that he is the best point guard in the country. I won’t go that far but I don’t think there will be a better  point guard in the Big East this year.
  • Ladontae Henton— The second double-double of the game goes to Ladontae with 14 points and 11 rebounds.  He has really worked on his conditioning in the offseason and is in fantastic shape. His outside shot was not falling, but he showed his repertoire of smooth inside moves and was his usual aggressive self on the boards. Look for Ladontae to pick up right where he left off last year and have a great season this year.
  • Kadeem Batts– Kadeem had the third double-double of the game with 18 points (8-14 shooting) and 11 rebounds, showing an aggressiveness that may have back lacking at times last year. Kadeem showed his nice mid-range game and had some nice low post moves. The Friars will need him to continue to be this aggressive in every game this year. Hopefully this is going to be his breakthrough year.  The true test for Kadeem will be when he goes up his first legitimate big man in a game this year.
  • Josh Fortune—Josh was in foul trouble the whole game today but still showed flashes of what we can expect, scoring 12 points and pulling down 4 rebounds in only 18 minutes of action.  The defense is still a work in progress, but he has the tools to not only be a great shooter, but a solid all-around player.  He is going to have his freshman moments, but is going to wind up being a fan favorite this year.
From Around Alumni:
  • Speaking of Fouls—This is going to be a scary area for PC, particularly until Sidiki Johnson and Kris Dunn can come back.  The Friars  dressed only  8 players today and wound up having 10 fouls called against them  with about 7 minutes still left in the first half. If this game was against a tougher opponent the foul situation very quickly could have become a major problem. Until Sidiki and Kris are eligible the team will need to play smarter basketball and avoid ticky-tack fouls wherever possible.
  • Looking over at the bench—It is almost a surreal sight to look over at the PC bench and see Carson Derosiers,  Sidiki Johnson, Ricky Ledo, Kris Dunn, and Tyler Harris all sitting together. It brings out simultaneous thoughts of what could have been this year and what we can look forward to next season.
  • How cool is this? Speaking of looking over at the bench, how cool is it to look over at PC’s bench and see God Shammgod sitting over there as a member of the staff? Let’s hope this is the first of many years that he will be there.
  • Cooley’s Army—One more observation on the bench. I am sure in this day and age everyone is essential, but it seems that Coach Cooley has a small army for his staff. Between the associate head coach, the assistant coaches, the Directors of Operations, video coordinators, graduate assistants, the undergraduate assistant coach, the managers and the training staff it seems like there are 20 guys from his staff on the bench. Of course this is essential  in today’s college basketball world and every high major program does this, but it makes me wonder how Dave Gavitt  got by with just Jimmy Adams and Nick Macarchuk.  Different times.
  • Alumni Hall—What a great place to watch a game! The renovations are fantastic, particularly the video scoreboards on each end of the building. This is the second year in a row that the Friars have played an exhibition game in Alumni  and I hope they make it an annual tradition. It is so much better than playing a closed scrimmage game against a low major team where no one knows the result.
  • These are definitely Cooley’s players—Kevin McNamara had a great article after the Mal Brown scrimmage with some telling quotes. One of the things Cooley said in the article was that last year’s team chemistry was awful  and that some players did just not buy into the new program.  This year things are different. The team chemistry looks great and these players genuinely seem to like both each other and the coaching staff. As Coach Cooley said in his interview with Craig Belhumeur the difference between this year and last year can be summed up in a few words: chemistry, continuity, understanding, and focus. These are the things  Cooley has been preaching and it is evident that so far the players are buying in.
  • Another Jarred Reuter Sighting—After attending PC’s midnight madness a couple of weeks ago, 2015 PF Jarred Reuter was back again taking in the Assumption game. Coach Cooley has said one of the keys to PC’s recruiting is to get in with key New England players early and build up strong relationships. Reuter is one of his latest works in progress.
  • My Own Double Double—After the basketball game today I stuck around campus and took in the hockey game where PC completed the two game sweep of Maine 3-0. It was a very entertaining game and I recommend that everyone head out to Schneider and take in some hockey games this year. The team is definitely on the right track and can use your support.

 

Email Craig at craig.leighton@friarbasketball.com

 

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