Conversation with Keno Part I

It's been a spring of turmoil and turnover at Providence College, and frankly it's taken until the 4th of July for the dust to finally settle. Keno Davis sat down with ScoutFriars.com for his first lengthy interview in over two months and talked about the current state of the program, and how he plans to move forward and succeed in Friartown.

SH: Your first year, you had a veteran team, last year you struggled with a very young team that you had to teach your style of play to, and this coming year, with all the turnover, are we conceivably looking at repeat of this past season?

KD: I don't think so. It is in that we'll be very young, but this year we've got some roles filled that I feel really confident about with some of the returners as well and some of the guys who will be playing for the first time here. I think the year before, we had to recruit so many guys in a short recruiting window, that to some extent we had some uncertainty as to how they would fit and progress here at Providence.

Despite some setbacks, as I look back at it, Vincent Council turned out to have a tremendous freshman year, people looked Duke Mondy and his shooting stroke and thought he could be really good for us as well.

People who came to practice over the season saw how much Kadeem Batts improved over the course of the year. As much as Bilal Dixon improved during his redshirt year, Kadeem Batts improved even more. People are going to be excited when they see him play.

Kadeem is the youngest guy on our team - that includes all the freshman we are bringing in. So when he came in last year, he was a lot younger than the rest of the team. Had he been at a prep school this past year, he'd be a Top 100 recruit this year. If you look now at his body and skill set, there is no doubt that he is a Top 100 talent. What we were able to do for a year was to double up his weight training, to work on his nutrition, and work on his individual skill development. So now he is able to come in as a freshman, and not play like a freshman.

It does so much more for us size wise to have Batts, and Dixon, and Ray Hall returning and when you add in Brice Kofane and Ron Giplaye you got some bodies at the four and the five spots where we should be in pretty good shape at those positions for the next couple of years until we get to that 2012 class when hopefully we can add somebody in that class that's an even higher level player as a freshman.

SH: With so much top talent right now born and raised in New England, including 6 players in the ESPN Super 60 for 2012; is it critical for Providence to land at least one of these players?

KD: I think it's important that we get at least one of the guys that we believe is in the top 60, 70 or whatever. Guys that we identify to be in the Top 100, our top 100, we've got to try to attract at least one in every recruiting class. You got to be able to bring in a high profile talent, and maybe even more importantly, with other recruits that you bring in, if they aren't on the top 100 lists they have to have the ability to fit in our system, to be able to really improve as a player here so that they can fill a role here for our program over the long term.

SH: It's noteworthy that most of those players are big men in a class that nationally is lacking a lot of talented bigs..

KD: I think you will always find the big, younger player always ranked higher at an early age because if you are 6'9 or 6'10 as a freshman or sophomore you will almost automatically make those lists. With kids in the Top 100 for any class, there will be kids that will become great players, some you'll never hear from again, and some will end up about where they were ranked. That's why you have to do your own evaluation to figure out how any of these kids would fit into your team what you are trying to do with your program.

SH: How does Joe Young fit in right now? Is there anything new with his situation?

KD: As far as Joe goes, I think that with anyone who commits and signs a letter you're planning on them showing up so nothing has changed there in my mind because I still think very highly of him as a player and as a person. Hopefully everyone who has committed to Providence will be here for the fall semester.

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