Friar Basketball

15 in 40: #10 Fortune a Shooting Solution

fortunedesign

Prior to last season Ed Cooley said there could be a game in which Josh Fortune made eight or nine 3 pointers, and it didn’t take long for Fortune to show off his shooting stroke.

In Providence’s exhibition game against Rhode Island College, the freshman Fortune caught fire late. In a three-minute span in the second half, Fortune made jump shots on six straight Friar possessions, knocking down four 3 pointers and two more shots from just inside the arc.

After going just 1-6 over the game’s first 35 minutes, Fortune finished the night with 22 points thanks to his sudden outburst.

It took three months before Fortune had a similar explosion during the regular season, but it came at a time in which Providence desperately needed it.

After a 2-7 January, Providence was struggling offensively in their first game of February at Villanova (3 points in the game’s first 7:50) when Fortune caught fire, knocking down all four of his first-half 3 point attempts (in a span of 4:30) to ignite the Friars, who earned a surprising road win. Fortune finished the afternoon 5-5 from three point range, and PC went on to win six games in the month.

Lost between Fortune’s hot shooting and Bryce Cotton’s buzzer-beating three pointer was Fortune’s offensive rebound with 12 seconds remaining to give Providence another life.

* * *

No Friar was forced to make adjustments like Fortune last season.

Somewhat of a forgotten freshman in a class featuring Kris Dunn and Ricky Ledo, injuries forced Fortune into huge minutes, and at times, a completely unfamiliar role from Day 1.

Prior to the Big East portion of the schedule, Fortune played no less than 31 minutes in every game. On five occasions he played at least 40 minutes.

After an 0-5 opener from 3 point range, Fortune made a 3 in every game until an early January loss to DePaul — a span of 12 games.

Thrust into huge minutes at the Puerto Rico tipoff in November, Fortune responded by scoring 38 points over three games, including a career high 18 (with 4 rebounds and 3 assists) in an overtime loss to Penn State. He made five of his 13 three point field goals in the tournament, and was forced into minutes at point guard versus Penn State with Dunn, Cotton and Vincent Council shelved with injuries.

Fortune seemed to further find his groove in December, scoring 34 points in a two-game span, including 17 against Rhode Island on a night in which he made 10-11 free throws, grabbed five rebounds and came up with five steals.

He also had a forgotten 15 assists in a two-game span, with eight coming against Holy Cross and seven more versus Mississippi State. Fortune also had at least four rebounds in four of five December games.

When Council and Dunn returned to the lineup, Fortune’s minutes declined. He was still roughly a 15-minute-per-game player and had his moments, with the Villanova outburst and a 3-7 night from deep against Syracuse in early January standing out, but as is life for most freshmen in the Big East, veteran teammates carried the offensive load in conference play.

On paper, Providence should have more shooters to complement Cotton this season. Throughout much of last season Cotton was PC’s only threat from three point range, and the hope in Providence is that the additions of Tyler Harris and Carson Desrosiers will help spread the floor and that LaDontae Henton is more the 39% 3 point shooter that he was his freshman season.

This is where Fortune could be a swing player on certain nights for the Friars. If last season was any indication, Fortune could give the shooting outbursts that put Providence over the top. The numbers show that he was more than just a three point shooter last season, dishing out at least four assists in four games and grabbing at least four rebounds in 10 others, but it’s the outside shooting where he could have his biggest impact.

Fortune’s role shouldn’t change as dramatically mid-season as it did a year ago (a challenge for any player, never mind a freshman), and with a year of experience (see: confidence) under his belt, it’s safe to assume that Friartown could see the Villanova/URI Fortune more frequently in his sophomore season.

Providence should have plenty of scorers, but whether the shooting that looks so good on paper translates to the court is to be determined. The Friars shot just 31% from deep last year and still managed to score enough to be competitive, but if PC wants to take a big step forward in 2013-14, they’ll need more consistent shooting this season. Fortune has the potential to be part of that solution.

3 Comments

  1. I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy that I stumbled across this in my hunt for something regarding this.

  2. Hey there I am so thrilled I found your site, I really found you by error, while I was researching on Aol for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a remarkable post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don¡¯t have time to read it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the fantastic j.

  3. I am really inspired with your writing skills as neatly as with the structure in your blog. Is this a paid subject or did you modify it yourself? Anyway stay up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to look a nice weblog like this one today..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.