Uncategorized

Friar Notes

Bullock out for season

Bullock

The Providence Journal’s Kevin McNamara first reported yesterday that Providence College power forward Rodney Bullock would miss the entire 2014-15 season with a torn ACL. After missing all of last season following sexual assault allegations, Bullock looked to be ready for a big freshman campaign.

Bullock had an impressive Italian trip in August, scoring 33 points and pulling down 19 rebounds, both team-highs, in Providence’s 129-42 win over Tiber Basket in Rome. Bullock led the Friars with 23.6 points and 12 rebounds per game over the three-game trip.

Bullock’s injury makes Ben Bentil’s clearance even more critical than it was already deemed to be. Bullock reportedly underwent surgery to repair his ACL today.

Friars face tough non-conference schedule

The Friars will have its toughest non-conference schedule in recent memory. This will be a good test for Providence, who will be looking to discover its identity without Bryce Cotton and Kadeem Batts.

The schedule will be highlighted by a trip to Rupp Arena to face the University of Kentucky on November 30. John Calipari has put together a roster that will feature nine All-Americans, highlighted by Aaron and Andrew Harrison, who led the Wildcats to the National Championship game a season ago. Kentucky also brought in freshmen Trey Lyles (#6 ESPN100) and Karl Towns Jr. (#9 ESPN100).

Aside from the trip to Kentucky, Providence will face Florida State and Notre Dame on November 22-23 at the Tipoff at Mohegan Sun. The Friars will then host much-improved URI on December 10 at the Dunk, before welcoming UMass on December 20. Providence will conclude its non-conference schedule with a matchup against Miami at the Barclays Center on December 22.

The play of Kris Dunn and Junior Lomomba will be crucial over this stretch, as the Friars face off against some tough guards—Aaron and Andrew Harrison (KU), E.C. Matthews (URI), Jared Terrell (URI), Aaron Thomas (FSU), and Jerian Grant (ND).

Henton leads Friars to first BET final since 1994

Image

Providence punched its first ticket to the Big East Tournament final since 1994 on Friday night with a back-and-forth 80-74 win over Seton Hall.

The Friars shot 50% in the opening half, leading to a 38-34 edge over the Pirates at halftime. Seton Hall started off hot from the field, but Providence quickly caught up, thanks to a 15 point, six rebound performance by LaDontae Henton in the first half. Providence built a substantial lead, but the Pirates battled back towards the end of the half, with Brian Oliver ultimately hitting a three at the buzzer to make it a four point game.

Henton continued his solid play into the second half, making crucial buckets when Seton Hall would push back. The Pirates just wouldn’t go away down the stretch, getting the ball with 8.7 seconds left down 78-74 after a questionable offensive foul on Bryce Cotton. However, The Friars forced a miss and Josh Fortune collected the rebound and calmly sank two free throws to ice the game.

Henton led the Friars with a monster 26 points and 14 rebounds. Cotton bounced back nicely after struggling against St. John’s, posting 18 points and 10 assists, while Tyler Harris chipped in with 17 points, most coming in the second half.

Fuquan Edwin led the way for Seton Hall, closing out a solid career with 20 points.

The Friars will be back in action tomorrow night at 8:30 pm against Creighton, as the two teams battle for the Big East title. You can catch the game on Fox Sports 1.

The Departure of Ledo Should Mean Increased Minutes for Brandon Austin

Image

 

(photo via philly.com)

Friartown got some bad news a couple of weeks ago when standout shooting guard Ricky Ledo declared for the NBA Draft, turning aside the option to play at least one season in a Providence uniform. Ledo, a Rhode Island native, sat out this past season after being declared ineligible by the NCAA, but is confident that he’s a good enough prospect to hopefully get drafted in this upcoming NBA Draft. Whether or not Ledo is actually a draft pick remains to be seen and is a heavily disputed topic among Friar fans. Many feel that, even if Ledo is drafted, he’ll undoubtedly be buried in the D-League next year. No matter how fans feel about it, we have no choice but to wish him luck and move on. 

One thing that PC can look forward to now is the potential of increased minutes for incoming freshman and Pennsylvania Class AAA Player of the Year Brandon Austin. Austin, who was rated the 56th best high school player in the ESPN100, may not be the prospect that Ledo was, but has a similar frame and great potential. In a National Signing Day special on ESPNU, Dave Telep tabbed Austin as his pick to surprise the nation in the 2013-14 season. 

It’s understandable if your pain hasn’t completely been eased from the departure of Ledo, but Austin may be the next best thing. 

Batts leads Friars over Seton Hall

The Friars (17-12, 9-8) kept on rolling with a win over Seton Hall (14-16, 3-14) Tuesday night at the Dunk. This marked the final regular season home game for PC point guard Vincent Council, who was recognized before the game. The Friars grabbed the lead early and played consistent basketball at both ends of the floor all game. PC was led by Kadeem Batts, who recorded a game-high 27 points and pulled down 12 boards. Bryce Cotton and LaDontae Henton each chipped in with 15 points in the win, while Council added 13 points and seven assists. PC took a seven point lead into the half and had a lead as high as 14 in the second half. The Pirates were led by Fuquan Edwin, who compiled 15 points and six rebounds, both team-highs. The Friars will now travel to Storrs, Connecticut this Saturday in their regular season finale to face UConn. The game will be televised on ESPNU and the game will tip off at 12pm. The Friars will then begin Big East tournament play on March 13.