2012-2013 Overall Rank: #86
Conference Rank: #11 Big East
Providence Team Page
Do not let the 4-14 conference mark fool you; Providence actually exceeded their lowly expectations during Coach Ed Cooley’s first year with the program. The four wins were only good enough to pass DePaul in the Big East pecking order, but it was not the amount of wins that was impressive for the Friars, it was the quality of those wins and the scrappy attitude the team displayed down the stretch. After beating Louisville 90-59 in the middle of January, Providence rarely got blown out. They hung around against teams like Marquette, South Florida, West Virginia, Villanova, Georgetown and Notre Dame. Some of those were even on the road. In the meantime they finished strong, beating DePaul and Connecticut at the end of February before losing at Notre Dame to close out the regular season and laying an egg against Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden.
2011-12 Record: 15-17, 4-14
2011-12 Postseason: None
Coach: Ed Cooley
Coach Record: 15-17 at Providence, 107-86 overall
The Friars were lucky to go eight deep on any given day last season and now Gerard Coleman, Bilal Dixon and Ron Giplaye have opted to transfer. Coleman was a regular starter and one of four players to average at least 34 minutes per game. His loss is a big one, but Providence has plenty of depth on the perimeter. Losing Dixon, a big man who could hit the glass and block a few shots, may prove to be more important during the 2012-2013 campaign. Giplaye started a dozen games, but he only averaged 7.5 minutes per contest.
Coach Cooley quickly worked his recruiting magic to bring a superb group of newcomers. Freshman Kris Dunn is widely considered the best point guard in this class. However, a shoulder injury will likely sideline him for the beginning of the year. But Dunn is talented enough to make a big impact even without the benefit of practicing throughout the fall and missing some time in November and December. Ricardo Ledo was expected to make an even bigger impact right away for the Friars. He is a superb all-around scorer and would immediately inject a ton of athleticism, size and scoring prowess to the Friars. However, he is awaiting clearance from the NCAA. If Dunn and Ledo are out for the 2012-2013 season, this is a Friars team that will have very little depth across the board. Joshua Fortune would have been stuck behind Ledo on the depth chart, but that could change very quickly and Providence may need to rely on their unheralded recruit a lot more than expected. The frontcourt will get a burst of talent in Arizona transfer Sidiki Johnson. Johnson played a few games for the Wildcats last year and will be eligible in December.
Who to Watch:
The Friars can field a decent group on the perimeter with their returning talent. Vincent Council is one of the most versatile point guards in the nation and tallied 15.9 points, 7.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds during his junior campaign. He will be a big time leader on the floor for the Friars. He is not a shooter, but he can pretty much do everything else. It was hoped that he would not have to play 38.7 minutes per game again this season, but that will depend on the availability of the newcomers. Bryce Cotton is the shooter of the bunch and knocked down 2.4 three-pointers per game as a sophomore. He averaged 14.3 points per game and will again be Providence’s shooter. LaDontae Henton will likely move to the power forward position if Ledo is eligible, but he is naturally a small forward. Henton lived up to his hype as a freshman, tallying 14.3 points and a team high 8.6 rebounds. He is a solid defender and quickly proved to be an effective scorer as well. With those three leading the way, Providence has a lot of returning talent on the perimeter. Adding Ledo and Dunn would certainly help and give Coach Cooley a lot more versatility.
If Henton has to spend time at small forward, the Friars will be reeling for depth in the frontcourt. Kadeem Batts will start in the post. The 6-9, 250 pound junior had a bit of a sophomore slump, but he is a proven interior scorer and a quality rebounder. Brice Kofane had a decent freshman season and can at least block some shots and grab some rebounds. However, Providence needs an interior scorer and that pretty much has to be Batts, at least until Johnson is eligible. Lee Goldsbrough will need to provide more quality depth than he did in 2011-2012 and at least grab a few more rebounds. He has been just a body to eat up fouls until now. If Ledo is eligible and Dunn is back in January, this is a team that can make some noise in the Big East. Their noise may not be very loud, but they can at least compete with the better teams in the league and move up a couple spots in the standings. Without Ledo and Dunn, Providence will have to wait another year before their slow ascent out of the Big East cellar really starts moving.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
Vincent Council, Senior, Guard, 15.9 points per game
Bryce Cotton, Junior, Guard, 14.3 points per game
Ricardo Ledo, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
LaDontae Henton, Sophomore, Forward, 14.3 points per game
Kadeem Batts, Junior, Forward, 6.2 points per game
Madness 2013 NBA Draft Rankings:
#108 LaDontae Henton
Madness 2012 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#12 Ricardo Ledo
#19 Kris Dunn