Friar Basketball

A Look Back: Batts, PC Knock Off ND in 2013


It can be easy to forget just how far Providence has come as a program in recent years. For instance, the Friars defeated every team in the Big East this past season, whereas when PC took on Notre Dame in 2013 they were looking for their first win over the Irish since 2004.

This was Ed Cooley’s second year at the helm in Providence, and the Friars were in the midst of a four game winning streak that saw them win at Villanova (Bryce Cotton at the buzzer), against #17 Cincinnati, at South Florida, and here against #21 Notre Dame. Providence lost just one game in an eight game stretch from Feb. 3 through March 5 (at #8 Syracuse). They had a chance to finish 10-8 in the Big East entering the season finale — an overtime loss at Connecticut.

It was quite the turnaround for a Providence team that lost to Brown and a bad Boston College team in December. They were 2-7 in the Big East prior to turning it on in February.

If this group had gotten hot a week or two earlier, there is a good chance they would have danced come March. Injuries were a big factor early, as senior point guard Vincent Council missed the season’s first two months with a hamstring injury and McDonald’s All American Kris Dunn did not debut until Dec. 18 due to offseason shoulder surgery.

The core of this team was strong — Council, Dunn, sophomore LaDontae Henton, juniors Kadeem Batts and Bryce Cotton, and freshman shooter Josh Fortune. They lacked depth in the middle, as the flyer the staff took on former top 100 recruit, and Arizona transfer, Sidiki Johnson didn’t pan out, while Lee Goldsbrough and Brice Kofane combined for around two points and five rebounds.

Batts really emerged late in the year, and split the Big East’s Most Improved Player award with Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams that spring. Batts was the catalyst against Notre Dame, with Irish head coach Mike Brey noting Batts “played like a pro” in a PC victory.

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