McKIVER TO TRANSFER FROM PROVIDENCE

Fluff has taken a powder. And with his departure, the Friars are down to ten scholarship players... at least for now.

Robert "Fluff" McKiver, a 6'3, 200 pound freshman combo guard from New Haven, Connecticut, made it known that he will transfer from Providence College. McKiver becomes the second player to leave the program in the last month, following the departure of redshirt freshman Jeff Parmer.

"I just felt it was the best thing to do," McKiver told Friar Insider. "This is better for both sides. There was the lack of playing time. That was an issue. But there are no hard feelings." McKiver indicated that he was considering "Fordham and Miami of Florida as possible destinations, among other schools."

McKiver played little as a freshman, seeing action in 24 games, but only averaging 6.5 minutes per game. Overall, McKiver scored 43 points for a 1.8 average. He was tried at both the point and the shooting guard slots and struggled handling the ball, turning it over 16 times, while handing out only 8 assists. McKiver's shooting was also suspect, as he connected for barely thirty per cent of his field goal attempts.

His top performance came late in February as the Friars travelled to Syracuse, where Rob recoreded a season high in points with 11, on 4 of 8 shooting, including 3 of 6 threes, and minutes, with 25.

McKiver's past included a number of moves in high school. He spent time at Redan High in Georgia, Archbishop Carroll in Washington, D.C., and Hillhouse High in New Haven. He had verbally committed to Georgetown as a sophomore, but the Hoyas released him from his verbal as the constant moves scared them off.

McKiver earned First Team All-State honors in Connecticut in 2003 at Hillhouse High, though, averaging 21 points and 7 assists a game. He transferred to the Winchenden School for the 2004 season, and missed most of the season after badly injuring his ankle. When PC's staff tried to recruit Jesus Verdejo at Winchenden, they took note of McKiver who was available, afraid that his injured ankle would scare away recruiters, and who badly wanted to be a Friar. At the time that PC signed him, Tim Welsh, impressed by McKiver's fearlessness, told Sports Illustrated writer George Dohrmann, "This is a kid who is not going to be afraid to go into Louisville and beat Rick Pitino in front of a sellout crowd..."

Now Fluff won't get that chance.

So where does this leave the Friars? For starters, PC now has only ten scholarship players, three under the limit. It seems fairly certain that PC will look to add at least one more player, and that player may be Saiquon Stone, a 6'5 wing from Xaverian High in New York City. PC's interest in Stone is well known, but the swingman still is awaiting a test score before the Friars will have him in for a visit.

Even with the loss of McKiver, PC seems to be in good shape in the backcourt. Donnie McGrath and incoming frosh Sharaud Curry and Weyinmi Efejuku can handle the point, while McGrath, Efejuku, freshman Geoff McDermott and junior Dwight Brewington are available at the two slot. If Stone were to come, he'd swing between the shooting guard and wing forward positions. And while Stone is the most talked about potential recruit, there is also the possibility that the new assistant who will be hired to fill Phil Seymore's spot may have some new names that he has been recruiting to add to the mix.

Which brings us to the new assistant. As first reported on Friar Insider, and confirmed by several sources close to the program, it appears that 35 year old Bill Courtney, an eleven year coaching veteran, and the Associate Head Coach at George Mason, will be the choice. His appointment should be officially announced when Welsh returns from the Big East coaches meetings, either later this week or early next week.

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