Friar Notes

Bryce Cotton and Kadeem Batts will work out for the Boston Celtics today per Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe.

In my mind, this is a favorable list for Cotton, who averaged 21.8 points and 5.9 assists per game during his senior year. Several of these names are “ahead” of Cotton on draft lists, but anyone who’s seen Cotton play every game knows that he’s more talented and can out-compete many, if not all ,of those players. Although the Celtics don’t currently have a second round pick, today’s workouts can sway Danny Ainge’s mind in terms of free agent signings. Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com has Cotton going 57th overall to the Indiana Pacers in his latest mock draft.

Fortune departs

I’m not going to judge the kid because you never know what goes on behind the scenes, but it sure was shocking news to hear that Josh Fortune would be transferring from Providence.

For someone who averaged 33 minutes per game and 8.4 points as a sophomore, the move seems to be a little drastic. Maybe it was a family thing. Maybe he really felt that his minutes would be reduced with all of the reinforcements that Cooley has coming in, but nevertheless, there goes the Friars’ starting shooting guard next season.

Cooley to help coach USA Basketball’s U-18’s

Ed Cooley will be assisting former Friar and current Florida Gator head coach Billy Donovan with USA Basketball’s U-18 team. Cooley will be headed to Colorado Springs, CO later this month for tryouts in preparation for the FIBA tournament to be played in Colorado Springs. From that tournament, four teams will clinch bids to the 2015 U-19 World Championships.

Antoine Mason to visit Providence

Providence College is one of the schools on highly-coveted transfer Antoine Mason’s list. Mason has set a visit to Providence for June 8-9. Mason averaged 37.6 minutes played and 25.6 points per game during his junior season at Niagara last year.

Friars’ 2014-15 roster shaping up nicely

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The Providence College Men’s Basketball team won its first Big East title in 20 years on March 15 with a 65-58 win over Doug McDermott’s Creighton Blue Jays.

With gained experience and encountered success on their newly updated résumés, there’s no reason to think that the Friars don’t have a legitimate shot of repeating as Big East champions again next season. Ed Cooley’s squad will return eight players from this season’s roster, five of whom have played legitimate minutes at this level and have been difference makers. Add to that one of the best incoming recruiting classes that we’ve seen around here in a long time, maybe ever, and that should equal a recipe for success.

With the recent signing of left-handed point guard Kyron Cartwright out of Compton High School in California, Cooley has added another contributor to an already impressive incoming freshmen class. A freshmen class that will include 7’1” center Paschal Chukwu (#61, ESPN100), who was recently selected for the Jordan Brand Classic Regional Game to be played next Friday at the Barclays Center, 6’7” Huntington Prep small forward Jalen Lindsey (#84, ESPN100), and 6’8”, 225-pound combo forward Ben Bentil.

ESPN has Cooley’s incoming class ranked 24th in the nation, while Rivals.com ranks Providence 22nd (without Cartwright), and Scout.com 21st.

Any way that you slice it, even though Providence will be without Bryce Cotton, the Friars should have a much deeper team than the six-man rotation that was continuously rolled out this season. Cooley will even have the luxury of having options for a starting lineup, something that he didn’t have this season.

Projected starters in bold (at least to start season)

Guards
Kris Dunn
Josh Fortune
Junior Lomomba
Kyron Cartwright
Casey Woodring

Forwards
LaDontae Henton
Tyler Harris
Jalen Lindsey
Ben Bentil
Rodney Bullock

Centers
Carson Desrosiers
Paschal Chukwu