#60 Providence Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Providence Friars

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #60
Conference Rank: #7 Big East

Providence Team Page#60 Providence Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Providence Basketball Tickets

As recently as January there were big concerns about which direction Providence was heading under Coach Ed Cooley. By the end of the 2012-2013 campaign, there was no doubt that the Friars were headed in the right direction. In February Providence lost just one game and beat the likes of Notre Dame, Cincinnati and Villanova. When all was said and done, this team finished 9-9 in Big East play. After a lackluster performance at Madison Square Garden, the Friars beat Charlotte and Robert Morris in the NIT before finally falling to Baylor.

2012-13 Record: 19-15, 9-9
2012-13 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Ed Cooley
Coach Record: 34-32 at Providence, 126-101 overall

Who’s Out:
Vincent Council has been one of the best passers in the country during his time with the Friars. Last season he averaged 6.8 assists and 10.5 points. His leadership will certainly be missed, as it was during the beginning of his senior season when he was out for over a month after playing just five minutes during the 2012-2013 opener. The only other loss is Sidiki Johnson who played in just 11 games following his transfer in from Arizona.

Who’s In:
Coach Cooley has done a great job on the recruiting trail during his short time in Rhode Island. Brandon Austin, an athletic 6-6 small forward, will be in the backcourt rotation right away and is the best of the incoming freshmen. Casey Woodring will add some more depth to the backcourt, while Rodney Bullock will eventually see playing time at the power forward spot. Bullock will have time to work on his overall game with the addition of a couple transfers from the ACC. Carson Desrosiers, a seven-footer who comes from Wake Forest, will add a much needed shot blocking threat to the Providence frontcourt. Tyler Harris did not play much during his freshman campaign at North Carolina State, but he is capable of playing a big role off of the bench in the Big East.

Who to Watch:
With three proven upperclassmen on the roster, Providence has the star power to make a serious run for the NCAA Tournament. Bryce Cotton averaged nearly 20 points per game during his junior campaign, tops in the conference, and he will take all of the big shots for Providence. He has great range on his jump shot and does an amazing job finishing around the basket or at least getting to the charity stripe. The frontcourt boasts Kadeem Batts and LaDontae Henton. At 6-10 and 245 pounds, Batts is a beast in the paint. He will use his size to create scoring opportunities for himself. Batts will not step outside and knock down many jumpers, but after averaging 14.8 points and 7.2 rebounds, he does not need to face the basket to be productive. Henton is a bit undersized at 6-6, but he does not play undersized when it comes to rebounding. Henton is an absolute monster on the glass and recorded 8.3 rebounds per contest. He can also score in a wide variety of ways and is always a threat to shoot from beyond the arc.

Final Projection:
Providence finally has some real depth to work with this year and that will make a huge difference. Kris Dunn and Josh Fortune could find themselves in the starting five though. Dunn will take over for Council following a very promising freshman campaign. Dunn started 18 games last year and is more than ready to take over the lead guard spot. He is a fine defender, a great passer and is even surprisingly tough on the glass. Fortune is another talented sophomore who worked his way into the starting lineup as a freshman. The 6-5 wing only averaged 5.5 points per game, but he is a capable outside shooter. The frontcourt returns Lee Goldsbrough and Brice Kofane. Those two averaged about a dozen minutes each last season. Coach Cooley’s new found depth will give him plenty of options and, while he may not be able to make everybody happy, that depth will make the team better.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Kris Dunn, Sophomore, Guard, 5.7 points per game
Bryce Cotton, Senior, Guard, 19.7 points per game
Josh Fortune, Sophomore, Guard, 5.5 points per game
LaDontae Henton, Junior, Forward, 13.0 points per game
Kadeem Batts, Senior, Forward, 14.8 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.6 (162nd in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.9 (125, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.1 (274, 13)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.8 (129, 11)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.5 (244, 10)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.0 (268, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.1 (156, 7)
Rebound Margin: 3.4 (73, 7)
Assists Per Game: 14.3 (77, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.7 (127, 9)

Madness 2014 NBA Draft Rankings:
#96 LaDontae Henton

Madness 2013 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#51 Brandon Austin


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