Kim English Named as Providence’s 16th Head Coach

The Friars have found their next leader of the men’s basketball program, and that is 34-year-old Kim English. The announcement came Thursday AM, ending a trying few days for the program. English comes to PC after being the head man at George Mason for the past two seasons. Prior to that, English served as an assistant at Tennessee, Colorado, and Tulsa. English was a decorated college player for the University of Missouri, where he was a 2x Big 12 All-Conference 3rd team selection, 2012 Big 12 Tournament MOP and led the Tigers to a 2-seed in NCAA Tournament his senior year. He was then drafted to the NBA by the Detroit Pistons in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft. His professional career, which included stops in France, Italy, and Venezuela, was brief but he learned immediately as a professional that he wanted to get into coaching.

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A Thank You to Ed Cooley

Lost amidst Ed Cooley’s departure from Providence College is an appreciation for everything Mr. Cooley has done to elevate the Providence Friar basketball program. While I personally disagree with how he handled this entire saga, and I think he will reflect back later and agree, there is no question that the Providence Friar program he took over today is night and day different from the Providence Friar basketball program he took over when he first joined from Fairfield in 2011. Where we sit today is directly because of the efforts of Ed Cooley during his tenure as Head Coach.

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Providence’s Up and Down Season Comes to an End: Friars Lose to Kentucky 61-53

Providence chose a very poor time to be ice cold offensively. With their season on the line, the Friars went 36% from the floor and 21% from deep on the way to a first round exit of the NCAA Tournament. In the past month, it has been the defense that has been the root of the issues with the Friars, but the defense actually did an admirable job against this Kentucky squad. It was the multitude of offensive rebounds and second chance opportunities that ultimately did the Friars win.

We break down the game below and what’s next for the Providence Friars:

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A Season in Review – 2022-2023 Friars & What’s Next

We wait all offseason for the season to arrive, seemingly taking forever. Once it arrives, it is a whirlwind and seems to conclude with the blink of an eye. That is one of life’s many ironies.

It is hard to find a Providence season that was as up and down as this one. The highs were certainly high (talks of a Big East repeat) and the lows were certainly low (ongoing rumors of Cooley leaving, player squabbles, etc.). With the season concluded, I don’t know if there has ever been a more highly anticipated offseason in Friar memory. The trajectory of Providence basketball is very much up in the air, and I don’t think that is being overly dramatic in writing that.

We break down below what this season meant for the future as well as what is at stake with the impending decision of Ed Cooley as coach of Providence.

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A Bluegrass First Round Opener: Kentucky PC Game Preview

As the picks went by on Selection Sunday, my nerves slowly started to creep up. PC’s resume wasn’t bullet-proof by any means. With each selection, I thought a chance for a snub was becoming more and more likely. That is until I saw Kentucky as the 6 seed with an opening at 11. I knew, given the circumstances around Bryce Hopkins, that is where we’d be selected. Sure enough, Providence was selected as the 11 seed to take on the Wildcats at 7:10 PM on CBS.

We break down the Wildcats, who to watch on their team, and what the Friars need to do to advance to the Round of 32.

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Revisiting The Providence Crier’s 2022-2023 Season Preview and Bold Predictions

Mike and I tend to think we know the Big East and Providence Friars fairly well. Reviewing our predictions for the Friars and Conference as a whole certainly was a humbling endeavor. Below, we break down what things we were right about (very little) and what things we missed the boat on (a lot).

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Slow Start Again Dooms Friars: PC Loses to Connecticut 73-66

In the World’s Most Famous Arena, Providence was lifeless for the majority of the game. It wasn’t until the final few minutes that Providence miraculously found life and almost closed the gap against the Connecticut Huskies. UConn held a significant double digit lead for most of the game (at times 20+ point lead), but that lead seemed to evaporate at the drop of a hat when Providence shrunk the lead to five.

While sitting in the arena after a Hurley timeout when the lead was cut to five, I was completely shell-shocked that PC was able to flip the switch that quickly. I don’t think anybody in the building expected that game to get within single digits, let alone a two possession game. Nothing that was transpiring leading up to that moment made you feel as if that was a possibility. This never give up attitude is one of the hallmark traits of an Ed Cooley squad.

Unfortunately, Connecticut showed some maturity and resilience out of that timeout. A few timely three pointers by Connecticut ultimately helped them prevail as they advance to the Big East Tournament semi-finals. For Providence, it awaits its fate on Selection Sunday. The Friars, as of this writing, should be in, but crazier things have happened.

We break down the game and what the Friars need to tighten up before March Madness.

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The Rubber Match: Providence and Connecticut Meet for Third Time in Epic Big East Tournament Match-Up

Providence and Connecticut, two passionate New England rivals with no love lost between fanbases, are meeting for the third time this season after splitting the two games in Big East conference play. The 2:30 afternoon match-up is building up to be the most anticipated quarterfinal match-ups in Big East Tournament history. Ticket prices certainly reflect that. PC and UConn fans will be descending upon The World’s Most Famous Arena and the adjacent watering holes early Thursday.

This game is in many ways a tale of two teams heading in opposite directions. For Connecticut, it is a chance to build on the late season momentum they currently possess and potentially secure a 2 or 3 seed in the NCAA tournament. Providence, on the other hand, is looking to find its footing after an abysmal close to an otherwise successful season.

The Huskies open as 7 point favorites, and the game will be jam-packed for a Thursday afternoon quarterfinal match-up. This is the first time Providence and Connecticut are matching up in the Big East Tournament since 1998.

Below, we break down what we’ll be watching for and what the Friars need to do to secure the victory.

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S.O.S. – Pirates Sink the Ship of the Friars

On senior day, the Providence team carried over the issues of recent into the Seton Hall game and were thoroughly outplayed by an undermanned Seton Hall Pirate team. Seton Hall decisively beat the Friars 82-58. What is worse than the shellacking is that Providence seemed completely content with letting the Pirates dominate in all facets of the game. There was little to no energy or life in the game besides a minor spurt in the second half that was quickly put out by the Pirates.

This game was objectively the worst showing from a Providence team this year. They are uncharacteristically limping into postseason play when you want them playing their best.

I would say that preseason expectations for this Friar team were realistic. Most Friar fans thought this team would take some time to gel and inevitably stumble early while they got used to playing with each other (they replaced five starters!), but that they would begin to click in February and March in time for the Big East Tournament. That timeline was surprisingly sped up, as PC hit an earlier than expected groove in December and January. It now appears this team is playing worse as they play more with each other. It’s incredibly bizarre and downright confusing, to be honest. I know a lot of folks inside and outside the program are left scratching their heads as to how the Friars have arrived at this point.

Traditionally, Ed Cooley’s teams begin to peak in February as they make a push in the Big East Tournament, but this iteration of the Friars are significantly regressing from where they were early in the year. There are a lot of red flags right now.

We break down below what went wrong in this one and try to come up with ideas on how to right the wrongs of this Friar squad.

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The Crier Recruiting Corner – Introducing 2024 Forward George Turkson Jr.

Providence has been in the thick of things when it comes to New England recruiting in the Class of 2024. George Turkson Jr. is one of the many New England recruits PC is pursing. Turkson Jr. is another Mass Rivals AAU and Bradford Christian Academy product. If that AAU team rings a bell, it is because Providence has a long history of recruiting the prestigious AAU program, with 2024 being no different. PC is actively recruiting 2024 Mass Rivals products Teng, Turkson, Mills, and Dortch. At Bradford Christian Academy, Turkson Jr. is also teammates with 2024 4 star Kur Teng.

Turkson Jr. in his own right has seen his stock steadily rise this season. We break down his recruitment below, talk a bit about his game, and discuss where the Friars stand.

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