LaDontae Henton had 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead fourth-seeded Providence to a 74-57 victory over fifth-seeded St. John’s on Thursday in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals at Madison Square Garden.
Seven schools are leaving The Big East to form a new basketball conference.
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.
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.
The list of great freshmen in the Big East is long and star-studded. Moe Harkless scored 32 points — the most ever by a freshmen in his Big East debut — and St. John’s had its best offensive game of the season in a 91-67 victory over Providence.
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.
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.
The New Jersey Nets acquired Providence guard Marshon Brooks in a trade with Boston, after the Celtics selected the nation’s No. 2 scorer with the No. 25 pick of the first round of the NBA draft Thursday.
On the game’s crucial possession, Brooks lifted a finger-roll over a Rutgers defender to break a 73-73 tie with 30 seconds remaining. Rutgers guard Mike Coburn missed a foul shot at the other end to seal the victory.