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.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.
The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.
“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.
“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.
“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”
Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.
Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.
Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.
Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.