Throughout his tenure at Providence, head coach Ed Cooley has dealt with hits to his team’s depth and unfortunately for him that will once again be the case in 2014-15.
Days after reports that he’d suffered a knee injury, redshirt freshman Rodney Bullock has been declared out for the entire 2014-15 season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee according to Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal. Bullock’s college debut will have to wait for another season, as he was suspended for the entire 2013-14 campaign after being investigated (but not charged) for sexual assault.
The 6-foot-7 Bullock is a talented player who was capable of helping the Friars account for the graduation of starter Kadeem Batts in the front court. Returnees such as seniors Carson Desrosiers and LaDontae Henton and junior Tyler Harris will obviously be factors, as will freshmen Jalen Lindsey, Paschal Chukwu and Ben Bentil.
However it should be noted that Bentil, who is practicing with the team, has yet to be cleared for competition. Losing Bullock adds even greater importance to the NCAA’s decision on Bentil, with the school according to McNamara’s report confident that he’ll be cleared to play.
Cooley’s navigated personnel issues throughout his tenure, molding the program into one that won the Big East tournament title and earned its first NCAA tournament bid in a decade last March. With one of the players expected to compete for minutes now sidelined for the season, Cooley’s Friars will once again have to adjust.