The Friars are now legitimately in the NCAA picture after five consecutive victories including wins over Creighton and Xavier.
Rutgers hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 1991, but the Scarlet Knights’ decision to join the Big Ten on Tuesday should greatly enhance their chances of returning to the bracket.
It’s tough not to feel for Providence coach Ed Cooley this week. The Friars built palpable momentum on the recruiting trail in the past year by landing Top 30 talents in Ricky Ledo and Kris Dunn and now neither will play to start next season.
Entering their second season under the stewardship of Ed Cooley, Providence is deeper, hungrier, and more skilled than they’ve been in years.
Ed Cooley grew up in Providence watching Rick Pitino and his beloved Friars advance to the 1987 Final Four. Fast forward 25 years and Cooley’s first ever Big East win as head coach of Providence is against Rick Pitino and his 14th ranked Louisville Cardinals.
Ed Cooley still has a long ways to go in making Providence a Big East power but the first-year coach has done an admirable job with the Friars during the early portion of the season.
Burly yet exceptionally skilled 6-foot-5, Rakim Sanders should be a major threat to Iona’s Mike Glover for MAAC Player of the Year honors.
Before Providence can worry about climbing the Big East standings, they first must worry about getting themselves ready to compete on each and every possession during each and every practice.