Big East Summer Capsules: Providence FriarsPosted by mlemaire on July 19th, 2012
While most relish the onset of Summer, college basketball junkies do not. Most of the news surrounding the sport is recruiting rumors and commitments or injuries and transfer news. In order to help keep folks up-to-date on what their teams are doing during the summer, we put together these summer capsules for each team in the conference. First up is Providence.
1. Setbacks to the much ballyhooed 2012 recruiting class.
First it was five-star guard Kris Dunn announcing he would miss at least five months after surgery to repair a torn labrum. Then it was fellow point guard recruit Ian Baker tearing his ACL, which will likely keep him out for all of next season. Throw in the continued eligibility concerns about top shooting guard Ricardo Ledo and Providence fans have reason to be concerned about their once highly-anticipated recruiting class. Ed Cooley continues to remain positive that Ledo will become eligible, and the Friars still have enough backcourt depth to survive the absences of Dunn and Baker, but it is still a major disappointment considering the hype surrounding this recruiting class and the hope it gave to the program’s future.
2. The Big East didn’t do them any favors when it came to scheduling.
As if the Providence reclamation bandwagon needed any more stomach punches, the Big East announced its conference matchups for next season in early July and the Friars found out they will be running quite the gauntlet. They will not be relishing their road trips as Providence will be playing the cream of the conference’s crop when they travel outside of Providence, including games at Syracuse, Georgetown, and Louisville. This team is going to be young and inexperienced again next season, and that doesn’t bode well for road matchups in Louisville and Syracuse. Even if the recruiting class lives up to its billing and Vincent Council develops into the conference’s best player, the NCAA Tournament may still be just out of reach unless they can pull off some big upsets away from home.
3. You heard it here first. Vincent Council will have a monster season.
Okay so we are not exactly going out on a limb with this profound proclamation but fresh off impressing the folks at the Deron Williams Nike Skills Camp, the undisputed leader of next year’s team seems poised for a breakout season. The camp was an opportunity for Council to prove his abilities against some of the nation’s best guards and in front of legions of NBA scouts, and based on reports, he did more than hold his own. News like that bodes well for the type of season he is expected to have at the head of the rebuilding Friars. It is true that there will be more talent and perhaps fewer opportunities for Council to put up impressive statistics. But we are talking about a guy who averaged 38.7 minutes per game last season, you don’t think Cooley is going to give him too much less playing time this season do you? Cooley and the Friars’ fans are counting on Council to lead this team back to relevancy, and luckily for them, he is well-equipped to handle the responsibilities.