Friar Basketball

Madness Gets a Facelift in ’13


The Twitter account of Providence’s Student Multicultural Activities Office perfectly summed Providence’s Friday night Madness, “We’ll never be able to go back to late night madness pre-2013.”

What a terrific celebration for the players, coaches, students and the Athletic Department which really raised the bar this year. Here were the highlights:

  1. The students. The Athletic Department deserves a lot of credit for not only putting together a terrific show at Alumni Hall, but turning Friday into a day-long celebration. Prior to Madness, Providence hosted a cookout outside of Schneider Arena, where PC’s hockey team won a 3-2 overtime thriller against #3 Miami (OH). A LONG line of students waited outside of Alumni Hall prior to the event and they didn’t take long to begin celebrating. A number of recruits commented on the atmosphere, but perhaps equally as significant, the  buzz among the students was palpable from the start. Hopefully that enthusiasm carries over into the season.
  2. Brandon Austin’s ‘Welcome to Providence’ Dunk. Filthy.
  3. Austin got a lot of love on Fox Sports 1’s Big East kickoff special, which was outstanding. With Bill Raftery and Tarik Turner providing commentary, FS1 offered whip-around coverage of each school’s Madness celebrations and went into great detail about all 10 Big East teams over the course of the two hour show. If the station can build a significant following, this type of exposure will be a tremendous recruiting tool for each Big East team. From a Providence perspective, Raftery called senior Kadeem Batts “a killer” and Turner noted that Ed Cooley told him that Austin should start early this season and has the best feel on the team. Turner had praise for Kris Dunn’s defensive and leadership capabilities, while Cooley called Bryce Cotton “one of the best guards in the country” in an interview from Alumni Hall. The level of insight on each team was reinforcement of the station’s commitment to this partnership. This wasn’t a highlight show focused on the league’s elite, but a look up and down the rosters of each team.
  4. Nick Cannon did what he was brought in to do, providing energy and a marketable name. Having a big name host played a big role in adding to the student buzz.
  5. PC’s Superheroes. The introductory video featured a comic-book like story with each Providence player featured as a different superhero. Then the players surprised the crowd by being introduced as their superhero alter-ego. Carson Desrosiers (AKA The Incredible Hulk) seemed to have the most fun with it. It was a fun twist on the typical player introductions.
  6. Recruits in the Building. Brewster Academy duo Donovan Mitchell and Jarred Reuter joined 2014 commits Ben Bentil, Jalen Lindsey, and Paschal Chukwu in a long list of visitors. A key recruit to keep an eye on from Madness? 2015 shooter Ryan Fazekas out of Indiana. Superstar youngster Thomas Murphy  (2017) was in attendance, as were 2016’s Tyree Weston and Tyonne Malone, and 2017’s Kimani Lawrence and Jermaine Samuels. 2015er Lenny Kadisha was also in the house.


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