Posts Tagged ‘Keno Davis’

No this is not a joke, Greedy Peterson is no longer a Friar.  Kevin McNamara wrote in the ProJo earlier today that Coach Keno has dismissed Greedy from the team for a violation of team rules. The incident involved an occurrence in a dorm room with the 15 year old BABC AAU team.  The Boston Amateur Basketball Club is sending two players in Gerard Coleman and Ron Giplaye to Providence this year.  The director of there program voiced his concerns about the programs connection to Providence and said that both Gerard and Ron were disturbed by the recent events in Providence, but said that hopefully his guys can help “cleanse” the PC program.  Coach Davis had this to say in the school’s official release.

“Jamine Peterson has been dismissed from the men’s basketball team for a violation of team rules.  Jamine had a productive season in 2009-10.  However,regardless of his athletic accomplishments, it is essential to the integrity of the program that every student-athlete meets the high standards and expectations we have at Providence College.”

Greedy was without a doubt the standout on last year’s team.  He averaged 19.6 point per game and 10.2 rebounds per game, making him the first Friar to average a double-double in well over a decade.  He extended big men with his three point range and created a strong presence down low.

The move comes on the heels of the incident concerning James Still and Johnnie Lacy back in April.  Coach Keno has come under significant heat from critics and even former players (Kyle Wright) for the lack of discipline in the program.  Once again it is unclear at this time what Greedy did that was in violation; however, the recent occurances probably played an impact in the dismissal of the teams best player, and one of the up and coming players in the BIG EAST.

So wow.  This one hasn’t completely set in just yet.  Wow!  This comes as a real big surprise.  There has been some chatter in the last couple days that Greedy might have been on the way out, but us here at PFB honestly, and quite wrongly dismissed it as nothing more than a rumor.  Shame on us, but can you completely blame us, where did this even come from!?  The school hasn’t said what rules Greedy violated, not to be unethical here, but you have to think that it must have been pretty serious to kick out a player who averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds and is one of the up and coming players in the BIG EAST.  Then again, this comes on the heels of the James Still/Johnnie Lacy incident in April.  Coach Keno has come under pressure for the lack of discipline on the team, and the school has taken some heat as well, so maybe that played a role.  Either way it has been a tough few months on Coach Keno, the team, and the school.

So in a year when only three seniors were on the team, we have seen 7 players go, only two of them seniors (Sharaud and BMac).  The ‘natural’ departure of Sharaud hurt, but none of the others ones really were too bad; that is until Greedy was removed.  For those of you who follow the recruiting game on any level you know there is a lot of reason to be optimistic about the program, but this seems to be a step back, at least on the court.  We were looking at a Greedy, Bilal big game with some decent young support coming in.  Now we are left with Bilal and Ray Hall as the only veteran bigs.  We love Ray, but he is not a full game player, and we are all familiar with Bilal’s foul problems.  That leaves freshmen Kadeem, Brise, and Ron to step into that role.  We assumed that either Brice or Ron would red shirt, and that still may be the case, but it would make for a very thin lineup down low.  That said, however, look for PC to try and sign another big soon.  Kevin Noreen has been getting a lot of looks, but has also been recruited hard by other schools. Even with Noreen we have become an incredibly young team, with no juniors and only two seniors. But we are getting ahead of ourselves here.

Greedy will be missed.  We are well aware that there are some people out there who might be happy, what with Greedy’s nonexistent defense and all, but there were more positives that negatives.  Greedy was a student body favorite.  He excited the crowd, and even gave the team some exposure with his out of the gym dunks and Sports Center plays.  He was an offensive power and did more good than bad on the court.  He will leave a big hole that we thought was going to be solidly filled for the next two years.  Off the court it is difficult to say too much because we don’t know what rules Greedy violated, but to some extent you have to be happy that the school is cracking down and making the necessary steps to ensure that the reputation of Providence College and the PC Basketball team isn’t damaged any further.  This clearly does not help the on the court progress for next season, but it may help with the infrastructure of the program and its ‘cleansing.’

Like we said this is quite a surprise and we aren’t sure quite how to react to it or what to make of it right yet, but once it settles we will return to the subject.  In the mean time we will be looking for any new developments and we will try to stay up to date with the possibility of a new recruit coming in to fill up the hole.  So for now, we wish Greedy well in whatever is in his future, and hopefully we don’t lose any more players before next season.

So there had been some back and forth on whether or not big man Ray Hall would return for a post-grad year and use up his last year of eligibility.  Good news for all the Ray Hall fans out there (which we are)… the big man is coming back!  Or at least Coach Keno is expecting the big guy to come back.  We here at PFB are happy.  The team we have now, although improving, is still very young.  Having an experienced guy like Ray Hall, who has a reputation of being a great teammate is really important.  Plus, ever since Ray has come back from his injury he went up a notch in our book.  The man has guts and heart and that is the type of the player you want on your team.

Ray returning means added depth in the front court.  It also relieves some of the pressure to not red shirt one of the new guys.  Giplaye or Kofane look like early candidates and Ray being in the line up allows Keno to red shirt one of them much more comfortably if he so chooses.  Ray could also be a valuable assest on the court if he is able to continue his har work in improving over the summer, and if he can stay healthy.  The man is a giant, and he can give meaningful minutes next year.  And to a much lesser extent, Ray is a fan favorite.  Everybody loves when the big guy checks into the game, and the crowd loves when he contributes.  He gives the crowd a lift and that cannot be underestimated.  But we are most happy that we have an experienced veteran and a leader on this young team.

If you haven’t already seen it, the latest edition of the COWL came out on Thursday.  The cover

Dan Nieto, COWL

story was, Coach Reacts to Players’ Transgressions. The link is posted, but we will give some of the highlights here.  Coach Keno had this to say about the incident:

“My first reaction was concern.  Concern for the individual that was on the receiving end of this incident and it continues to be that first and foremost. In the midst of this tragedy, my emotions have become an array of disappointment, frustration, and now it’s more of self-reflection for myself, the coaching staff, and the team.”

We thought it was interesting that Coach Keno also went on to address Kyle Wright’s facebook note.  Coach Keno said this to the COWL:

“I don’t have anything negative to say about Kyle Wright.  I wish him the best and hope that he has a bright future ahead of him. But I will say in regards to what Kyle and others have said, we are looking at the way we handle our business and we’re always trying to improve. I don’t want the public perception of Providence College Basketball and the college as a whole to be marked by the unfortunate actions of a few team members. We will try to do the best we can moving forward and try to regain the trust of the fans and the people of Rhode Island.”

Here’s the deal.  Coach Keno has been catching a lot of heat for this whole incident.  People admit that he can not be responsible for everything his players do, as he is not the babysitter; however, people are really getting on him for his recruiting.  You could debate who has been brought in in Keno’s only class to arrive on campus as of yet, and whether they should be here or not, but this is what we think.

In basketball there are plenty of marginal people that are awarded scholarships.  That doesn’t make it right but anybody who follows college basketball just a little bit knows that.  Just look around at all the bad that happened last season in the BIG EAST.  West Virginia, and Catholic universities Seton Hall and Villanova all had notable problems.  Just recently problems popped up at St. John’s.  Nationally, Kansas, Tennessee, and many other schools had problems that arose during the season.  It would be great if you could get Academic All-Americans, who are great kids, and great basketball players but that is just not the way it works.  Even Duke doesn’t always get that.  When you recruit a kid you can only know him to a certain extent.  It would be great if you knew his entire history, but you can’t.  You have to go on what his coaches say.  What his mentors say, and what those around the kid say.  And look back and check Johnnie Lacy’s and James Still’s criminal records and get back to us with what you find.  Neither one was a particularly great student, but that is certainly no indicator to a coach that they are going to senselessly beat up another student.

Don’t mistake us for in anyway trying to defend Lacy or Still.  And we aren’t giving Keno free pass either, but we think all things considered he is not handling the situation poorly.  He has just finished his third year as a head coach, and this is a difficult thing to deal with.  We think he acknowledges that there are some issues in the program and it seems like he is going to try his best to address them.  But for people like Kyle Wright and Jim Donaldson to shift so much of the blame to Keno is a little bit much for our liking.

We are thrilled that Joe Young, Gerard Coleman, Ron Giplaye, and Naadir Tharpe have all signed on with Providence College, but we also hope they are good people and do nothing even remotely similar to what happened earlier this week.  And give Coach Keno a chance.  Let the man make changes and improve the program before you throw him under the bus. (And this is not a response to the article in the COWL which we thought was well written and gave the facts, but more to talk around campus and the always insightful commentary of Jim Donaldson…)

Coach Keno Davis released the following statement:

“Early this morning an incident occurred on Eaton Street that involved Providence College basketball player James Still and a student-athlete that was formerly on our team Johnnie Lacy.  I am deeply troubled and disappointed by their actions. As a result of this incident James Still has been suspended indefinitely from the men’s basketball team pending the on-going investigation”

Athletic Director Bob Driscoll said this:

“Violence towards other individuals will not be tolerated by our athletic department.  Our prayers for a speedy recovery go out to the Providence College student who was injured.”

Nothing too ground breaking here.  We were hoping for a little more, but the whole thing is still pretty new, and we would expect the school and the program to better gather their information before a larger statement is issued.  Also make no doubt about it, as things stand now, we don’t want Still putting on the Friars uniform ever again.

Over the last two or three weeks there had been rumors on campus that both Jonnie Lacy and Russ Permenter were going to be playing the rest of their college basketball elsewhere.  We were reluctant to report, because as we said they were just rumors, but now Kevin McNamara at the ProJo has confirmed that Russ and Johnnie will be leaving the team. Russ and Jonnie will join Kyle Wright who will also not be returning next. year.  It is unclear on where either player intends on transferring.  Their departure will leave open two additional scholarships for next season, but it is unlikely that Coach Keno will use both of them.  Lacy’s departure leaves the team with only one true point guard, which Kevin McNamara has said might be filled by Darion Anderson, who is set to graduate from Northern Illinois this year, but still has one year of eligibility left.  Anderson is 6’2″ and 23 years old.  Even with him the Friars would only have 11 scholarship players on the team next year, as they would be saving other scholarships for future classes.

First is Russ.  We doubt that the Russ transfer will be noticed too much.  With the all the holes left to fill by the Weyinmi team’s graduation he was more of a filler player.  A bigger player to help out Bilal… and the freshman James Still and Kadeem Batts.  As we all know though, Russ didn’t really work out.  He had limited minutes where he was largely ineffective on offense and picked up fouls quickly.  He didn’t seem to have the toughness as other bigs in the BIG EAST, which hurt especially because he didn’t have great size as a big either.  In his defense, we could only imagine how difficult the transition from JUCO to the BIG EAST is.  Yes, other players have been very successful in it, but there are plenty who haven’t.  Also we always wondered how much Russ liked Providence.  For those who knew Russ around campus it was clear that he was a Texas man.  While we have players from very different parts of the country, we think the Texas/New England transition may be a little difficult on some.  But all that is just opinion.  Although Russ didn’t work out here at PC, we wish him all the best luck in wherever he lands.  His facebook status recently had information about Lubbock, Texas.  As we are sure most of you know Lubbock is home to Texas Tech.  So who knows maybe Russ will land there.  It’s D1 and it’s in Texas.  But in all seriousness, good luck to Russ in the future.

Now on to Johnnie Lacy.  This one is definitely worse than the Russ transfer.  Most immediately it leaves us with only one true point guard for next season.  We have seenpoint guard by committee and point forwards and all those things in the past, and they just don’t work out as well.  Yes, there is Duke Mondy to relieve Vincent Council at times, but we weren’t huge fans of Jeff Xavier acting as point, and no offense to Duke, but we think he is much better suited as an off guard like Jeff was.  We don’t know too much about the guy Keven McNamara mentioned but we will look into him.  We are disappointed that things didn’t work out for Johnnie Lacy.  He came into Providence as a solid recruit, and was even one of ESPN’s freshman to watch in the BIG EAST.  We thought, and still think that he has a ton of potential, but just wasn’t able to get things going.  A large part of that was that Sharaud was the main man, and Vincent Council emerged as the best frosh on the team and one of the best in the BIG EAST.  But we thought that in this upcoming year, with Sharuad gone, and no new point guards coming in that Lacy would get some time and momentum and put together a good season.  However, with the signing of Naadir Tharpe, we think Lacy saw the writing on the wall and realized that while next year might be better, we was soon going to be the third point guard on the depth chart.  So we can’t really blame him for wanting to find more playing time, but we are disappointed that things didn’t work out with him, because we though he was going to be a big part of the teams future.  But like Russ, we wish Johnnie luck in his future.  We have no idea if he will head back to Milwaukee or where he will wind up landing, but we will keep you updated.  In the meantime we thank him for his year with the Friars, we will try to keep track of him in the future, and we wish him well.

Now it has been a few days and we figured we would address this loss as briefly as possible.  No game recap is necessary, just a few thoughts.  For those of you who saw the game we are sorry.  We couldn’t believe it either.  There are four quick points we want to make:

1.  Vincent Council. 17 points, 6 rebounds, and five assists; but couldn’t make the free throws down the line.  Now we are not about to get on VC, he is just a freshman and had a good game minus the free throws.  And although we have come to expect so much from him, he is still only a freshman.  That said, he better be working on those free throws in practice.

2.  Brian McKenzie. Coaches always say its not important who starts the game but it’s who finishes the game.  Why he is still starting is still an enigma, but fine let him start.  But do not have him in to close out a game.  He does nothing out there.  Maybe he is a leader type figure, but maybe he should lead from the bench.  He does nothing for this team, and it is time to give other people more of an opportunity.  And his experience means nothing by the looks of it so when its crunch time and we need to hold a lead, we would rather not see him in.

3.  Defense.  So we all know we aren’t big on defense here at PC, but c’mon.  There is a difference between bad defense and no defense.  We have no defense.  The fact that a team could almost double their season scoring average against us at home is crazy.  The fact that Dominique Jones, as good as he is, could wind up with 46 points is unacceptable.  How many times did he just drive into the lane with a soft pull-up floater?…  About a million.  And there was nobody there to stop his penetration or meet him further up the key for a lower percentage shot.  Defense is a team fail.  The players and the coaches are directly to blame for the joke of a defense we play.

4.  Coach Keno. We argree with his quote, except for the fact that no blame went to him.  Sure you expect your players to be able to make free throws, protect the ball, and get a defensive stop, but there is some coaching involved too.  It should never have been that close to begin with, and you have to question the personnel in the game near the end.  But just as terrible as things were down the stretch the defense was what killed all game.  Sure we had a big lead for lots of the game, and the “if they score 100 points, its ok as long as we score 101 points was seeming to working,” but clearly that fell through.  To win in the BIG EAST you need to be able to play defense and come up with stops.  We are happy our style has recruited some better players, but other teams are recruiting just as good and better players… and they will be able to lock down on D.  Defense is something you have to want to do, you have to want to be good at, you have to work for; Coach Keno clearly needs to put a higher premium on defense, or else we may have already won our last game of the season.

So I guess the only thing that could make this terrible loss a little better is a win against UConn.  Crazier things have happened, but trust us… we are definitely not holding our breath on that one.

Gary Parrish of CBS Sports put out his Big East Preview Today.  In it he ranks each team and gives a little blurb aboutcbs_sports_logo them.  His predictions are pretty much in line with most everybody else’s, except he has UConn at #2 and West Virginia at #3.  Parrish put Providence at #14 saying this:

14. Providence

Keno Davis is similar to Williams at Marquette in that his first year was better than anticipated, but his second year could be rough. Five players who averaged at least eight points per game are gone, among them Weyinmi Efejuku (15.7 ppg). It should clear the way for Sharaud Curry to increase his scoring load significantly, and Marshon Brooks (33 points in the Friars’ first exhibition) could have a breakout season. But it’s still difficult to envision Providence competing in the top half of this league. Too much was lost at the same time.

imagesWe really like Parrish as a writer and must say that his assessment is fair, and on target.  it would be hard for anybody to pick Providence finishing anywhere under 12 given what they lost and all the inexperienced new faces coming in.  This doesn’t mean that Providence can really surprise some people this season though, because as underdogs we really could.

The bright spot in his predictions was that he choose Marshon Brooks to be the Breakthrough Player of the year.  Hopefully he is right on this one, because for PC to finish better than 14th, we are going to need Marshon to be a leader and a consistent scorer this year.