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Providence gets big mid-season boost with debut of Kris Dunn and Sidiki Johnson

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Ed Cooley and the Providence Friars are off to a 7-2 start this season, but they have some major reinforcements coming into the fold Tuesday against Colgate, according to Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal.

With the first semester completed, Arizona transfer Sidiki Johnson is eligible to play and freshman guard Kris Dunn is ready after sitting out the first nine games of the season with a shoulder injury.

Johnson announced his intention to transfer to Providence early this year after seeing action in four games with Arizona to start the 2011-12 season. Reports were that Johnson and Arizona head coach Sean Miller weren’t on the best of terms at the time of his transfer, and he chose Providence to be closer to his hometown of New York City.

He was a Top 100 recruit out of high school and chose Arizona over St. John’s, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and Providence, where he is now. His arrival gives the Friars more depth on the interior and more depth in general, being that Cooley’s team has been playing with just seven players since guard Vincent Council went down with an injury in the second game of the season.

As for Dunn, he was supposed to be paired with fellow freshman Ricky Ledo, who was ruled ineligible to play early in the season. Dunn had been out since July after undergoing surgery to repair an injured shoulder.

There were discussions as to whether Dunn would redshirt, but he now makes his debut with the Friars and adds some much needed depth, especially with Council sidelined.

The Friars tip off against Colgate at 7 p.m. ET.

To watch highlights of Sidiki Johnson, click here.

To watch highlights of Kris Dunn, click here.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
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Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.