Friar Basketball

A Decade of Friar Basketball: Part II

Part II of a look back on the past decade in Friar basketball.

Biggest villain: Boston College.  Left for the ACC, got shut out, spouted off about making the Big East better than ever, and left again for the ACC.  That alone makes them the villain of the decade, but even after joining the ACC they continued with the spin, including noting that they went to the ACC to join their academic peers.

On the court the Eagles saw more success in the past decade than ever before, but there was plenty of trouble off of it, as Bob Hohler outlined in this 2005 article.  Combine this with chest beating personalities Ryan Sidney, Jared Dudley, and Sean Marshall and it will be tough to find a better villain in the next decade.

Best MC: Love the rap, John Hope, but I’ll always be a Dolan guy.  I stuck with him through “Go Friars!” chants down 15 with 3 minutes to go and I’m not jumping ship now.

Fans behaving badly: It was great decade for fans behaving badly in Providence.  Here are the top five:

  1. PC student throws a sex toy on the court
  2. Jeff Xavier’s brother rushing the floor to yell at the refs after Xavier took an elbow to the head
  3. A message board poster claiming that Ben Gordon gave him a threatening stare down while eating an ice cream at the mall
  4. A fellow message board poster challenging another poster to a fist fight and offers to meet him at TF Green Airport if he’s up for it
  5. Kevin McNamara’s ill-fated chat with fans on Providence’s Scout site

Biggest Overreaction to non-news: When it was rumored that European players could lose their eligibility due to previous professional status Providence went into a state of panic.  Sophomores Maris Laksa (dubbed “Laksa Heart” by yours truly) and Chris Anrin were coming off of solid freshmen seasons and incoming frosh Tuukka Kotti looked impressive in the preseason.  All three missed minimal time and had equally minimal impact over the next three years.

Complete Aberration: Donta Wade erupting for 38 points, on 10-17 3’s at Notre Dame in what might have been the worst season in PC basketball history.

Worst Personal Decision: Unable to get off of work to head to Kansas City for Providence’s 1st round, Friday night tournament game against Pacific, I decided to risk it and fly out to Kansas City on Saturday morning, assuming PC would take on Kansas in round 2.  I couldn’t miss that, right?  Waking up five hours after the season ended to catch a 6am flight to fly to Kansas City to watch Tom Cockle take on Kansas wasn’t pleasant.

Biggest Bust: Gerald Brown.  At least Brewington gave us some spurts.  Take away the Michigan game from November of his sophomore year and Brown did as little as a top 70 kid could do at Providence.  I still remember his stat line from Hargrave: 69% from the field, 88% from the FT line.

Best Recruiting Class: Timmy’s best haul turned out to be one without a single top 200 kid.  Gomes-Sanders-Kotti in the infamous “if Julius Hodge had only chosen Syracuse” class.

Worst Recruiting Class:  SI spent a year with the PC staff in their pursuit of the Ice Robinson/DeSean White/Rob McIver/Randall Hanke/Quinton Hosely/Anthony Ivory/Charlie Burch group that stood out for the “how could they miss with so many chances” perspective.

Still, I’m going to go with Welsh’s third to last group of Brian McKenzie, Ray Hall and Jamal Barney.  That’s about as bad as you’ll see at the Big East level.  At least McIver and Hosley could play.

From the article:

“We’ve got to have DeSean White,” Steve DeMeo said into the phone.