#56 Providence Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Providence Friars

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #56
Conference Rank: #5 Big East

Providence Team Page#56 Providence Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Providence Basketball Tickets

Providence had some ups and downs during the 2013-2014 campaign, but they got hot when they needed to. The team was squarely on the bubble heading into the Big East Tournament. Yet, they removed any doubt by beating St. John’s, Seton Hall and Creighton in the tournament and earned the Big East’s automatic bid. The Friars lost in the Round of 64 to North Carolina, but it was a great season for the Friars and one that Coach Ed Cooley can build off of.

2013-14 Record: 23-12, 10-8
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Ed Cooley
Coach Record: 57-44 at Providence, 149-113 overall

Who’s Out:
Asking this group to do as well as last year is asking too much though without Bryce Cotton on the team. He was the heart and soul of the Friars. He averaged 21.8 points and 5.9 assists, but even those gaudy numbers do not tell the whole story of just how important his leadership has been for Providence. Also gone are starters Josh Fortune and Kadeem Batts. Fortune, who is transferring to Colorado, turned into a pretty good shooter during his sophomore season and averaged 8.4 points per game. Batts, a bruising 6-9 forward, averaged 12.3 points and 7.4 rebounds and was the team’s best pure interior scoring threat. Also lost are little used, but sometimes productive, Brice Kofane and Lee Goldsbrough.

Who’s In:
Coach Cooley does have some talent coming to help make up for his losses. Freshman point guard Kyron Cartwright played well in the team’s overseas trip over the summer and that could be huge for Providence if Kris Dunn continues to struggle with his shoulder injury. Dunn is a superb floor leader but has missed a lot of time during his two years in the program. Last season he played in just four games before season ending surgery in December. If he can get back to full strength, the Friars will not have to rely so heavily on Cartwright. The backcourt also adds wings Junior Lomomba, a transfer from Cleveland State, Tom Planek and Jalen Lindsey. Lindsey is the player to watch out of that bunch. He is a big 6-7 guard who can shoot over opponents and use his size to attack the basket. Ben Bentil, Paschal Chukwu and Rodney Bullock are all highly regarded frontcourt players. Chukwu is a massive 7-2, 226 pound center who will need some time to polish his game, but obviously can provide a big presence in the paint on the defensive end. Bullock, who was suspended last season, was another player who proved himself during the team’s trip to Italy. The 6-7 forward can be a double digit scorer for this team right away.

Who to Watch:
With Cotton gone, all eyes will be on LaDontae Henton. The versatile 6-6 senior forward had another big campaign in 2013-2014, averaging 14.0 points and 7.9 rebounds. You will not find many better rebounders in the country that stand 6-6. Henton has very nice range on his jumper and knocked down 35.8 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc last season. He is a tough player to defend, but for a little while at least he will get all of the attention from opposing defenders. Tyler Harris should be able to help ease the pressure on Henton a little bit. Harris, a 6-9 junior, started all 35 games a year ago and averaged 11.6 points and 5.1 rebounds during his first year with the Friars after transferring in from North Carolina State. Carson Desrosiers, who spent a couple years at Wake Forest, was a role player for Providence last season, but should be able to step into a starting role to help replace Batts. He is not a major scoring threat like Batts, but is a better shot blocker.

Final Projection:
Providence almost has to take a step back without Cotton and Batts on the floor. The frontcourt will be able to battle with the best the Big East has to offer, but there are huge holes in the backcourt, especially if Dunn is seriously slowed by his lingering shoulder injury. Otherwise Coach Cooley has to rely on freshmen and even then there are not many options.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Kris Dunn, Sophomore, Guard, 3.8 points per game
Jalen Lindsay, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
LaDontae Henton, Senior, Forward, 14.0 points per game
Tyler Harris, Junior, Forward, 11.6 points per game
Carson Desrosiers, Senior, Forward, 3.6 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.3 (95th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.8 (165, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.8 (249, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.3 (203, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.2 (161, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.7 (148, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 78.2 (2, 1)
Rebound Margin: 3.3 (69, 3)
Assists Per Game: 13.6 (98, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.6 (107, 4)

Madness 2015 NBA Draft Rankings:
#66 LaDontae Henton

Madness 2014 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#71 Paschal Chukwu
#99 Jalen Lindsey
#106 Ben Bentil


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