Friar Basketball

Looking Back on Providence’s Victory over RIC

A look back on some of the positives, concerns and news to come out of PC’s final exhibition game against Rhode Island College.

The Positives:

Vincent Council

Vincent once again filled up the stat sheet with 19 points and 9 assists, committing only two turnovers while playing all 40 minutes. On last week’s coach’s show on WEEI Vince said that during the offseason he worked on increasing his speed and athleticism and it was evident last night that he is indeed even quicker and more athletic than last year when he threw down a one handed dunk on the break.

Second Half Outburst

After an atrocious first half of basketball the Friars really turned it around in the second half, scoring 52 points on 18-25 shooting (72%). Many in the crowd might have expected an ugly second half following the poor opening stanza, and were pleasantly surprised to see PC play with more efficiency late. It shows increased maturity and character that they were able to put the first half behind them and focus on playing better basketball.

Confidence

Lee Goldsbrogh had a very effective game last night pulling down 12 rebounds and scoring eight points. Granted, the competition was not what he’ll soon see, but it should be a confidence builder for him. One of the things Cooley mentioned on his coach’s show was that Lee needs to play with more confidence on the floor.  Perhaps last night will be the turning point for Lee in that regard.

Another player who should get a confidence boost from last night is Josh Fortune. After being mostly ineffective for the first three quarters of the game Josh went on a torrid shooting streak making six straight shots at one point (four of them from the 3 point line) to close out the game. Not only was this shooting exhibition a glimpse of Josh’s future potential, closing out the game this way  should be a big confidence booster for the freshman heading into Saturday’s opener.

The Crowd

Attendance last night was over 5,500 which was a pleasant surprise for an exhibition game. Hopefully it is a sign for increased interest and attendance for the rest of the year.

Visitor in the House

After receiving a scholarship offer from PC in the morning, Jaquil Taylor, a  2014 6’9 power forward from Beaver Country Day, took in the game with his family. Jaquil is a very athletic shot blocker who would look great in the back of PC’s defense in a couple of years.  Hopefully he looked over at PC’s bench and saw the five former Top 100 players that would be his teammates if he became a Friar.

Taylor has been on the radar of Friarbasketball for over two years now, getting votes during Kevin’s NEPSAC roundtable last season, and first getting a mention here in December 2010.

 

Areas of Concern:

The Thin Roster

The thumb injury to Bryce Cotton demonstrated just how thin PC’s roster is, at least for the first semester. Not only was Bryce’s outside scoring missed, his absence caused several players to play out of position. Until Sidiki Johnson and Kris Dunn are ready to play Josh Fortune was expected to see a majority of his minutes at small forward, and LaDontae Henton to play mostly power forward. At this point in their development both players seem most comfortable at these positions, but both looked out of sync at times in the first half on Saturday night.

In addition, some of Cotton’s minutes had to go to Ted Bancroft (18 minutes). Ted will play this year, and he can contribute, but if he has to play more than 10 minutes a game against better competition he will be exposed.

Foul Trouble for the Big Men

This was a major problem last year and is starting to repeat itself again.  Batts got two quick fouls and wound up only playing three minutes in the first half. In the second half he got two more ticky-tack fouls fairly quickly and wound up only playing a total of 12 minutes.

In order for PC to be effective Kadeem is going to have to play 30 minutes a game and avoid foul problems.   Like Batts, Brice Kofane also had to sit down in the first half after picking up two fouls.  Brice has to learn how to play defense without hacking the opposing players.

Henton’s Outside Shot

Yes, it is only two exhibition games, but after going 0-2 from 3 point range against Assumption LaDontae shot 0-3 from the three point stripe last night against RIC – and some of the shots weren’t close.  He will be fine, but some will breathe a sigh of relief if he comes right out next Saturday against NJIT and buries a couple of threes.

Freshmen will be Freshmen

Josh Fortune is going to be a very productive player for Providence this year, but he is going to have his “freshman moments” as demonstrated in the first half last night when he shot 1-6 with 4 turnovers.

There will be an adjustment period going from high school to Big East basketball and Friar fans will just have to be patient during these transitional times.

 

Email Craig at Craig.Leighton@friarbasketball.com

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