Continuing our look at the Big East squads and what they have said, we look at Providence, another team with an exhibition game under its belt - a thorough 90-76 throttling of plucky mid-major Connecticut.
Last season, the Providence Friars fought from a 4-8 record in the middle of the Big East season to an NCAA bid. And with all of the major players returning for another season, the Friars look ready to make s step up in the Big East.
So with that in mind, Providence is taking the pick of fourth as “fuel.” As transcribed by the Providence Journal's Kevin McNamara:
“If we’re not number one, it’s fuel,” said guard Kyron Cartwright. “We’re out to win the Big East.”
“We have one of our most competitive teams,” said Cartwright. “We’re so deep and what’s helping us is guys are taking it personal in practice. They’re taking a personal challenge every day to be better than the person in front of them. That’s taking us to another level.”
Meanwhile, forward Emmitt Holt, one of the team’s main returnees, has had stomach surgery and may be an injury redshirt.
The Friars have three big men who will see some time in his absence, with Nate Watson getting some early pub from head coach Ed Cooley.
Ed Cooley is raving about freshman big man Nate Watson. Likened him to former BC stud Craig Smith.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) October 18, 2017
Just so you know, Ed Cooley really loves the basketball-centric league.
Ed Cooley: "Thank God for our presidents for getting rid of the football schools and becoming basketball-centric. I think we have the best schools, the best coaches. We sell the Big East." #pcbb #BEmediaday— Daly Dose Of Hoops (@DalyDoseOfHoops) October 18, 2017
And he’s never a fan of freshman. His deadpan answer on what he likes about his freshman class:
Ed Cooley: “All freshmen are gross.”— Rumble In The Garden (@rumbleSBN) October 18, 2017
Makai Asthon-Langford, a freshman, did play stellar minutes for the Friars in that exhibition, scoring 10 points. Maybe he’s not so icky after all.
Cooley also voted Seton Hall in as #1, which is an interesting take. Not being able to vote in his team, is that a nod to how he thinks a veteran-led team can take the title... one like... his own?
St. John’s faces the veteran Friars at Carnesecca to start Big East play on Thursday, December 28, and travel to Providence to end Big East play on Saturday, March 3rd.