2013-14 Season Outlook

The buzz around Providence College basketball is exhilarating. Ed Cooley is in his third year at the helm at PC, revamping the men's basketball program in many different ways, making college basketball fans more excited than ever. The team, as well as the fans, is anxious for a new year.

There is a new hardwood court that just arrived for the start of the season at the Dunkin' Donuts Center, just in time for a new season for the Friars.

The newly revamped Big East is set to begin with Fox Sports 1 covering the conference. Fox Sports 1 will be acquainted quickly with Providence, as the network will be covering PC's ‘Late Night Madness,' and their first game of the season against Boston College.

Big East media day has passed, as Providence was picked to finish 6th in the conference by the Big East coaches. Ed Cooley has proclaimed he doesn't believe in pre-season polls year-in and year-out. Cooley stated at Big East media day, "I don't worry about pre-season polls at all. I'm just going to worry about my team."

Bryce Cotton was named to the 1st team All-Big East, as Kadeem Batts was named an honorable mention. Kris Dunn, LaDontae Henton, Bryce Cotton, and Batts all accompanied Ed Cooley and Bob Driscoll to New York City last week for Big East media day.

Providence finished last season with a 9-9 record in the Big East. There is no doubt Ed Cooley and staff have significantly higher expectations to out-perform last season's record. PC returns the Big East leading scorer in Bryce Cotton and the Big East's co-most improved player in Kadeem Batts. LaDontae Henton returns as the team's best rebounder and arguably one of the leagues best as well. PC will rely on these three to score a majority of the points, but they will have many more options this year as Ed Cooley will have the most depth on his roster since arriving at Providence. Cotton and Batts should both end up on All-Big East teams, respectively.

Kris Dunn. A healthy Kris Dunn, is ready for a breakout year in the black and white. Dunn's shoulder is 100% and he is more ready than ever. Dunn recently talked about how good his shoulder feels and how great it is to be at full strength. He went on to say he mostly worked on his shooting, ball handling, and decision making this offseason. Dunn will be taking over the point this year in the backcourt, replacing Vincent Council. Kris was a force defensively last season, torturing players relentlessly up and down the court. Dunn has shown what he's capable of, offensively and defensively. With his shoulder fully healthy, look for Dunn to be one of the best guards in the Big East this season.

Depth. This year's roster will have the most depth Ed Cooley will be working with during his tenure at Providence. Two big contributors to the roster should be transfers Tyler Harris and Carson Desrosiers. Coach Cooley proclaimed Harris as a "stretch four", but said he can play any position on the court. Harris had a busy offseason, attending the LeBron James Skills Academy and the Kevin Durant skills camp, as well as traveling overseas and playing in Europe. Desrosiers will compliment Kadeem Batts in the frontcourt. Carson, who is a 7-foot shot blocking force, will help Batts and the depth of the roster significantly, something the Friars lacked last season.

Insert freshman Brandon Austin, who is a 6-6 lengthy and long player. Austin, who should be one of the biggest impact freshmen in the Big East, can play multiple positions on the floor. "He's going to give us a lot of versatility," Ed Cooley stated. Austin is looked upon as being picked as the Big East freshmen of the year by multiple college basketball analysts. St. John's freshman and Philadelphia foe Rysheed Jordan was named the Big East freshman of the year at Big East media day.

Brandon will help the Friars in scoring, is a slashing threat and a great inside-the-arc player. He can bring up the ball, score in many different ways, and help the Friars up and down the court immensely. Austin's length will be imperative for the Friars' defensive presence on and off the ball this season, as they've improved on defense each season under Cooley thus far. Look for Austin to have a very successful year, as he very well could be the Big East freshman of the year when the season concludes. Brandon will most likely be inserted in the Friars starting lineup at the beginning of the season. At Big East media day last week, Ed Cooley said, "I believe we have one of the best freshman in the entire country, in Brandon Austin."

The Friars coaching staff has solidified another top 15 recruiting class for 2014. Ed Cooley has received verbal commitments from Jalen Lindsay, Paschal Chukwu, and most recently, Ben Bentil. Each prospect will be attending PC's ‘Late Night Madness,' which is hosted by famously known DJ, Nick Cannon. All three players are expected to sign their NLI's in November to make it official for Cooley and the Friars. PC is expected to sign one more recruit for 2014, most likely a guard. Ed Cooley has seen his hard work pay off on the recruiting trail the past couple of years, pulling in top talents each year. We wouldn't be surprised if Cooley puts together his best recruiting class thus far, for the class of 2015. Providence will have a loaded weekend full of recruits this weekend for Late Night Madness, including top targets Donovan Mitchell (2015), Josh Sharma (2015), Ryan Fazekas (2015) and Tomas Murphy (2017) to name a few. In addition, Jarvis Johnson, Jarred Reuter, Elijah Burns, Tarin Smith and Cheick Diallo are expected to attend.

The Big East this season might not be looked upon as the toughest league in the country, but do not underestimate the teams in this league. Marquette, who is in the preseason top 25, Georgetown, and Creighton are all expected to finish atop of the league this year respectively. A loaded roster this year can only benefit Ed Cooley and the Friars, and their quest to rise to the top of the Big East. The Friars should have solid contributions from many different players on the roster this season. Cooley will presumptively use the projected sixth place finish for motivation this season, but don't be surprised to see Providence to finish much higher in the Big East.

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