2009-2010 Providence Friars Basketball Preview
Keno Davis starts his second season at the helm of the Providence Friars (19- 14 overall, 10- 8 Big East) after guiding the team to an eighth place conference finish and a first round elimination in the NIT. This is really the beginning of the Davis era as he welcomes his first recruiting class.
Providence could score points. Their offense, which was ranked fourth in the conference, averaged 78.1 PPG. However, on the other side of the court, they could not stop teams from scoring on them. The Friars gave up an average of 76.6 PPG, which was last in the Big East. And they were weak under the basket, posting a rebound margin of plus-0.7. They also had problems shooting threes, hitting at the rate of 32%, which ranked them 12th. The team’s foul shooting and field goal success rate stood at 68% and 45% respectively, placing them eighth in both areas.
The Friars saw their entire frontcourt depart. Two redshirts, freshman Bilal Dixon and sophomore Jamine Peterson, will be given the chance to see plenty of playing time. Additional frontcourt prospects include Temple (Texas) College transfer Russ Permenter and six-foot-nine forward James Still. Permenter could have an immediate impact.
The backcourt is more stable. Despite the fact that they lost two top offensive and defensive players from last season, the Friars still have the talented Sharaud Curry (11.7 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 4.2 APG). He proved to be a fine leader at the point last season. Scoring threat Marshon Brooks (10.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 1.4 APG), a junior, is back. Although he did not start one game last season and he played an average of just 21.8 MPG, Brooks managed to pump in more than 300 points. Brian McKenzie (4.6 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.1 APG), a senior with an accurate shot, will also contribute.
The Friars have been an up and down ball club over the past five years, going to the NIT twice and sitting out the post season three times. The 2008- 2009 season was their best in a long time. Although there’s a decent incoming class, there’s still a lot of building to do. The Friars will finish near the bottom of the Big East and will sit out the post season. However, this young team that includes five freshmen, two transfers, two redshirted players and four returning players, will have gained a lot of experience, skill and smarts that they can put towards next season.