Without senior point guard Vincent Council, one of the best floor generals in the Big East, Ed Cooley’s Providence Friars have been able to “tread water” and get to 8-3 ahead of their game on Friday night at Brown (7 PM, NBC Sports Network).
Council played just five minutes in the Friars’ season opening win over NJIT due to a hamstring injury, but according to Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal there’s a chance that Council will be able to play against the Bears.
Of course there was some rustiness, but the opportunity to add Council to the rotation is something that PC fans have looked forward to ever since he limped off the Dunkin Donuts Center floor against NJIT.
His return to the lineup would mean that three talented players have joined the rotation in recent weeks, and after Providence had to battle through much of November with essentially six players this may seem like an embarrassment of riches (comparatively speaking).
Kris Dunn, who missed the first nine games following surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, and Sidiki Johnson (transfer from Arizona) have played in each of the last two games for Providence with Dunn having an immediate impact at the point (9.5 assists/game) and Johnson giving the Friars a much-needed body inside (5.5 rebounds/game).
Council’s return would not only give Providence an experienced guard who was a Third Team All-Big East selection last season, but it would also mean that junior shooting guard Bryce Cotton (22.0 points/game) would be able to focus solely on scoring as opposed to occasionally running the show.
Hamstring injuries are a tricky proposition, as rushing back could lead to re-injury and even more time on the bench. With their Big East opener coming next Wednesday at No. 4 Louisville, Council may not play a whole lot on Friday.
But his return will (and should) spark excitement amongst the Friar faithful.