Friar Basketball Banquet

The Providence Friars held their Annual Basketball Banquet on Monday evening at the Providence Biltmore, and the event was marked with some anxious anticipation of the near future, as well some team reflection on a season that included both highlights and heartbreaks

Father Shanley spoke to the Friar fans gathered at the Biltmore Hotel, and talked about how timing in life often shapes the events which surround us. The suggestion here applied to a number of circumstances surrounding the Providence basketball program. While Fr. Shanley didn't directly say it, he implied that the timing was wrong for Jim Larranaga to come to Providence.

It seemed like Sharaud Curry's foot injury could not have come at a more inopportune time for this Friar team. It seemed like Tim Welsh's time ran out in a season that he was under a lot of pressure deliver an NCAA bid. It was bad timing that Bob Driscoll couldn't attend the Banquet due to the coaching search.

Despite Driscoll's absence at the banquet, Fr. Shanley was optimistic that it was for good reason and that he would be able to deliver the "next great coach at Providence College". He stated that as we've all learned, once you start talking to a potential hire, it's important to keep talking to them until a deal can be reached. The fans in attendance seemed to understand and the focus quickly turned to honoring the effort put in by all the players, coaches, and staff who labored all year to help the program win.

As for the players themselves, Sharaud Curry remains on his crutches, but his recovery is proceeding without setbacks and the goal is for him to return to light activity by the middle of June. All of the other players were in attendance, with the exception of Dwain Williams who reportedly has plans to transfer after the end of this academic year.

The off season is prime strength training season, and all of the players have been working out in the new training center with strength coach Kenny White. White feels that the program is better equipped than ever to both strengthen and rehab players using the best possible equipment.

The awards for the season were presented by Coaches Kevin Kurbec and Allen Griffin, who have held the team together through a tough transition. The award winners are as follows:

(In order of presentation)

Most Improved Player Award : Brian McKenzie
Most Promising Prospect Award: Marshon Brooks
Marvin Barnes Defensive Award: Jeff Xavier
Unsung Hero Award: Charles Burch
Academic Award: Chris Baudinet
Coach's Award: Randall Hanke
Jimmy Walker MVP Award: Geoff McDermott

The ceremony closed with a film that looked back at the season, highlighting some of the memorable wins over Boston College, Florida State, at Cincinnati, and the sweep of Connecticut. It was a reminder that the Friars may be closer to real success than their record this year may have suggested.

As for the coaching search, the players are all interested in when and who their next head will be, and some have been more inquisitive than others about the process. When will the new coach be on board? Does my game fit his style of play? These are the types of questions the members of the team have been bouncing around the last few weeks. If that choice ends up being AP Coach of the Year Keno Davis, the belief here is that most if not all the players will feel that they will fit in just fine.

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