Friar Basketball

PC Hosts “A Conversation with the Coach”

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On Wednesday afternoon Providence hosted a conversation with Ed Cooley, Athletic Director Bob Driscoll, and assistant coach Bob Walsh in which they touched on a variety of topics surrounding the program.

What stood out?

Cooley reflected back on the season being cancelled last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “At that point in time, our players were in such a good space as a team. Chemistry. I thought we were the hottest team in the country. I thought we were favored to win the Big East Tournament. It was an emotional day, yet it was the right decision to make.”

The season was cancelled on the Thursday of the Big East Tournament, everyone went home on Friday, and they have not seen each other since. Driscoll explained that players will return to campus in mid-August.

Cooley had high praise for St. Joe’s transfer Jared Bynum. Bynum is eligible after sitting out last season and expectations are high, “What Jared brings to the table is he is a tablesetter,” said Cooley. “He is a general out there. He communicates well. He’s able to score at three different levels — he can drive it, he can shoot it, he can dish it. He can move his feet laterally. What separates him as a point guard is his ability to communicate. How he communicates — his messages are very direct. He’ll be a great extension of the coaches on the floor.”

Also eligible next season is Noah Horchler, an interior player who transferred in from North Florida. Cooley likes Horchler’s touch around the basketball and quick second leap — which he compared to Kalif Young.

Who does Cooley expected to break out next year? He started with junior AJ Reeves, “This is his year. I think this is going to be a coming out party for him. He’s played a lot of minutes. He’s a confident young man. His ball handling has improved. His defense has improved.” The head coach also noted how the Friars will need to see leaps from sophomore Greg Gantt, and redshirt sophomore Jimmy Nichols, who suffered through what Cooley deemed “nagging injuries” a year ago.

The trio also discuss the impact of UConn returning to the Big East, the impact of the Ruane Center, the challenge building “human connections” with recruits during the pandemic, and players who grew the most under Cooley.

A Conversation with CoachJoin Head Coach Ed Cooley, Athletic Director Bob Driscoll and Assistant Coach Bob Walsh as they cover a variety of topics and announce the launch of our new Initiative.

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Posted by Providence College Friars on Wednesday, August 5, 2020

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