Monday, July 6, 2015

5 Quick Hits On Providence Friars Basketball

PC Friars Updates

A couple of quick hits to get out of the way in what has turned out to be a very busy offseason for the Providence College Men's Basketball Team.

1. Coach Cooley Wins Gold with USA Basketball U-19 Squad

The U-19 USA Basketball team beat Crotia 79-71 in overtime to win the FIBA U-19 World Championship this past Sunday.  Adding to the great American weekend, USA celebrated it's 239th birthday with a third Women's World Cup and for an appetizer, this FIBA Championship.  All and all a great weekend for the US of A.  Coach Cooley, who replaced Billy Donovan on the U-19 staff, was joined by Head Coach Sean Miller (Arizona) and Sean's brother, Archie Miller (Dayton), the sonofabitch who ended PC's season this past year in the NCAA tournament. 

2. Paschal Chukwu Officially Transfers to Syracuse

Paschal Chukwu finally made his decision and will be joining the Orange for the remainder of his college basketball career (most likely).  Syracuse is actually a good destination for Chukwu if he has to go somewhere.  Don't get me wrong, I fucking hate Syracuse, but their system definitely fits his style of play.  He gets to continue playing in a zone that is usually filled out by long, athletic defenders.  He's the perfect anchor to Syracuse's aggressive 2-3 zone defense.  To go along with that, 'Cuse is really thin up front after losing Rakeem Christmas to graduation and Chris McCullough, who declared early for the NBA draft.  Still on the team is DaJuan Coleman, a red-shirt Junior, is coming major knee surgery that had him miss all of last year and there are still questions about his availability for this coming season.  That leaves them with Chinonso Obokoh, a red-shirt Sophomore who averaged under 7 minutes a game last year, and incoming Freshman Moustapha Diagne up front for the Orange.  Chukwu still has to sit out this season but there doesn't seem to be much depth in front of him and the fact that 'Cuse is facing a reduction in scholarships due to sanctions means that they probably won't have the ability to add many other big bodies to compete for time with the PC transfer once he can play.

3. PC Signs Quadree Smith

To fill the gaping hole left in the Friars frontcourt with the departures of Chukwu (transfer to Syracuse), Carson Desrosiers (graduated), and Tyler Harris (graduate transfer), the Friars were able to sign incoming Freshman Quadree Smith.  At 6-7 and 280 pounds, he is more than big enough to take up most of that space vacated by the big guys on last year's team.  The big guy is going to have to slim down a little bit if he is expecting to play any extended time this year, but right now, we'll take as many big bodies as we can get in Providence.  Smith leans more to being a project than an instant contributor for the Friars after receiving no other offers from bigger basketball schools, but he may be unavoidably thrown into the mix if we aren't able to sign any additional frontcourt players this summer.

4. Alex Owens Fails to Qualify, Unable to Attend Providence College this Fall

Even though Alex Owens recently tore his ACL this past February and probably wouldn't have been able to contribute to this year's Friars team until about the midway point in the season, this is still a big blow to the increasing depleting frountcourt for the Friars.  Owens was the highest rated incoming freshman in Providence's freshman class and was sorely needed after the unexpected transfer from Paschal Chukwu.  Owens was unable to achieve a qualifying ACT score needed to enroll at Providence College and will now attend Tallahassee Community College this year.  If you want to take a small, very tiny, glass half-full look, this does free up another scholarship that Ed Cooley and company can use on another transfer or incoming freshman who may be able to contribute immediately this year.  Cooley and his staff now have two remaining scholarships to work with.

5. LeDontae Henton Joins Warriors Summer League Squad

A congratulations goes out to Buckets on joining up with the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors for their Summer League team.  This is probably the perfect team and style for Henton, a pure scorer who can get buckets in a number of different ways.  The Warriors are looking to trade David Lee to free up some salary (and to do good by him) and are most likely looking to replace him with a very cheap one contract.  What's cheaper than a non-drafted rookie contract?  Throw in the fact that he fits their team's style of play better than both James Michael McAdoo and Brandon Rush, and I think he just might have a shot.  PC fans know he's a worker, so there's nothing to worry about there.  I'll be rooting for him either way.