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CBB: Off-season check in, polls, exhibitions and recruiting



RI CBB: Off-season check in, polls, exhibitions and recruiting

Off-season polls are, well, exactly what they are. Take it for what it’s worth but both Providence (26th) and URI (25th)  cracked CBS Sports latest Top 25 (and 1) rankings this past week. Seeing the Friars get any off-season love whatsoever is always a surprise. The University of Rhode Island is the clear favorite to take the A-10 this season and will look to make its second straight tournament appearance.

Providence announced this week that there will be not one, but two pre-season exhibitions at the Dunkin Donuts Center this season. The two games will take place on October 28th against Carleton a team from Canada in which the Friars played last season. The Friars struggled in the first half but ultimately ran away with the game in the second. The other will be played on November 4th against Baruch College, a division III school from New York. Baruch played Saint John’s in a pre season game last year and lost by 50.

Something tells me the school tried to accommodate fans with a second scrimmage to make up for the one less regular season game at the Dunk, due to their first game of the season being played at Alumni Hall.  It has also been rumored that the fan-favorite ‘Mal Brown’ Scrimmage will be taking place this season after going the previous few years without one. An in house scrimmage would be the perfect way for fans to see what the freshman will be bringing to the table along with what veterans have improved since that sour tasting loss to USC took place in March.

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Looking Ahead to 2018

Rivals recently released their team rankings for the class of 2018 and Providence was slotted at number 20. With five seniors on the current roster, the class of ’18 will undoubtedly be one of Cooley’s most crucial classes to date. Two players have already signed on to play with the friars for next season. A.J Reeves, a 6’5 shooting guard chose Providence over Louisville, Virginia and Villanova. Reeves is ranked 42nd in the class of ’18. Kris Monroe, who verbally committed to Providence over Boston College and NC state is a 6’7 small forward and is known as a shooter.

This leaves 3 open spots for the class of ’18. Cooley got good news from now top target and Providence native David Duke who cut his list down to five schools. Villanova, Indiana, Florida, Virginia Tech and Providence are the last schools he will be considering before making his decision. Duke is ranked in the top 50 and would be a huge get. They say don’t put the cart before the horse, but a back court of Makai Ashton-Langford, A.J Reeves and David Duke would bring greatness to Friar town.


A Look at Providence’s Conference Schedule for ’17-’18




The Big East Conference officially released their conference schedules today. Although I must say it isn’t quite that fun to dissect simply because of the double round robin format, it’s still worth taking a look at.

Providence starts off their conference slate with a pair road games. First up is @ Saint John’s, a game being played at Carnesecca Arena on December 28th. Following the Red Storm is a trip to Creighton on New Year’s Eve at 2:30. It’s always tough to win on the road, especially @Creighton, but hopefully with a group of veterans returning the team can get off to a hot start to conference play and end 2017 in style.

To start off the New Year the Friars play host to the Marquette Golden Eagles on Wednesday, January 3rd. Next up on the schedule is Xavier on Saturday the 6th, a team coming off an elite 8 appearance last season. Realistically all of the games played in the Big East are a battle night in and night out, but X will be the first true test of the conference games. After the first two home games comes a trip to Chicago to play Depaul, a place where the friars have struggled mightily as of late (ugh). After Depaul comes two home games against Butler on Martin Luther King Day at 4:30 and Creighton again on the 20th.

This next set of games is by far the toughest test. The end of January brings @ Villanova and @Seton Hall, Nova of whom should once again be the clear cut favorite to win the league until somebody knocks them off and Seton Hall who will be looking to continue its success from a year ago with all-American candidate Angel Delgado. Following those two road tests is another challenge @ Marquette, yet another tough place to play.

After that stretch, they luckily get to settle down with two games against the basement of the league. A home matchup against Patrick Ewing led Georgetown followed by Depaul. These should hopefully be two W’s. Following the basement of the league, Providence gets thrown right into a heavy weight battle with a home date with Villanova. I can promise you the Dunkin Donuts center will be sold out and absolutely rocking for this one on Valentines Day. Would it be crazy of me to think that this game could have implications on the regular season title? Possibly, but do I think it will, yes.

After Villanova is a game @ the famous Hinkle Field house with Butler on February 17th. Home vs Seton hall, another game that will likely have tournament implications takes place at the Dunk on February 21st. To close out February, the Friars take road trips to Georgetown and Xavier. Providence ends its conference schedule with who it starts off with, in a home game vs Saint Johns on March 3rd.

Overall, I see Providence fairing pretty well for themselves this season. Other than that one rough patch of away games to end January I believe they were given a pretty fair schedule. They definitely have an easy two game stretch in early February that they need to capitalize on with the likes of Depaul and Georgetown. Personally, I think anything less than 4th in the Big East would be a major let down.

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2018 Tip-off classic at Mohegan Sun



2018 Tip-off classic at Mohegan Sun For Providence Friars

Reported by Jon Rothstein, Providence is rumored to be in a field of teams that includes Michigan, South Carolina and George Washington at the 2018 Hall of fame tip off tournament at Mohegan Sun.

This is great news for the Friars as that is some great competition for their Out Of Conference schedule next season.

The Hall of Fame tournament is one that Providence is very familiar with, taking the crown in 2014 after defeating Florida State and then Notre Dame in the championship game. This should also be familiar territory for returning players in the 2018-2019 campaign, after they take on Houston at Mohegan this coming season.


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Big East Offseason Preview



Big East

Big East Offseason Preview

After having a National Champion in 2016 and sending seven teams to the Big Dance in 2017, it’s safe to say the Big East is back.
Big name players such as Trevon Bluiett (Xavier) Angel Delgado (Seton Hall) Marcus Foster (Creighton) and Rodney Bullock (Providence) opted to return to school while the only big hits the conference took were losing Justin Patton and Edmond Sumner to the NBA draft.

Power Rankings:

1. Villanova

Until proven otherwise its Villanova’s world (in the big east) and everybody else is just living in it. Losing senior class of All-American Josh Hart, Mr. Big Shot Kris Jenkins and Starting Center Darryl Reynolds will not be easy to overcome. On the bright side, Jalen Brunson could turn into an All American and Mikal Bridges (Big east defensive player of the year in ’16-’17) is projected to be an NBA first round pick in 2018. Also, don’t forget about Phil Booth who started the first 3 games of the season for the wildcats last year and was then sidelined with a knee injury for the season.

2. Xavier:

Xavier s-t-u-m-b-l-e-d to the finish line last season, barley making the NCAA tournament and then turned that into an Elite 8 appearance. Trevon Bluiett could win National Player of the Year and Chris Mack is one of the best coaches in the business. I would say losing Sumner will be tough, but they played a good part of the season without him last season. Lookout for impact freshman point guard Paul Scruggs (Ranked 30th in the ESPN top 100 and highest rated big east freshman in 2017)

3. Providence:

With everybody returning next season and a top 15 recruiting class coming in, the Friars are looking to take a jump forward next season. Kyron Cartwright and Rodney Bullock have First Team Big East potential and Makai Ashton-Langford could be freshman of the year in the Big East. Ed Cooley thrives when being looked past, but I don’t see anybody looking past Providence this year.

4. Seton Hall:

With walking Double-Double Angel Delgado returning to school things are looking good for the Pirates. Khadeen Carrington led the way with 17 points a game last season and Myles Powell could break out in ’17-’18. The talent is there for sure, but can The Hall get past the first round in the big dance?

5. Saint John’s:

Marcus Lovett and Shamorie Ponds combined to average 33 points a game as freshman and will definitely look to take a bigger leap as sophomores. Transfers Marvin Clark (Michigan State) and Justin Simon (Arizona) will look to make an immediate impact. I think this could be Chris Mullin’s year to break into the Big Dance.

6. Butler:

Not only did the Bulldogs lose their Head Coach Chris Holtmann but also do it all big man Andrew Chrabascz which will hurt down low. Kelan Martin will average close to 20 points per game and has NBA talent. Look for Kamar Baldwin to take a leap in his sophomore campaign.

7. Creighton:

Guards. Marcus Foster is a bucket, Khyri Thomas is a defensive stopper and Kaleb Joseph will be an impact transfer running the point. But who will fill in for first round pick Justin Patton down low?

8. Marquette:

Markus Howard led the country in 3-point percentage last season and is one of the players I’m most looking forward to see in the ’17-’18 season. However, Marquette lost a lot from last season and I see them taking a step down.

9. DePaul:

Losing Billy Garrett Jr Hurts, but a decent recruiting class and Eli Cain could keep the Blue Demons from the basement of the Big East.

10. Georgetown:

Patrick Ewing’s first season will be spent at the bottom of the league. This roster needs a lot of help, but I am looking forward to the first time Saint John’s and Georgetown square off in the battle of Mullin vs Ewing.

Pre-season Player of the Year: Trevon Bluiett (Xavier)

Preseason First Team:

Jalen Brunson (Villanova)
Angel Delgado (Seton Hall)
Marcus Foster (Creighton)
JP Macura (Xavier)
Mikal Bridges (Villanova)

Preseason Second Team:

Kyron Cartwright (Providence)
Kelan Martin (Butler)
Markus Howard (Marquette)
Rodney Bullock (Providence)
Khadeen Carrington (Seton Hall)

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