PC fires Davis after second straight 4-14 Big East finish

CBSSports.com wire reports

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Keno Davis was fired Friday as men's basketball coach at Providence College after just three seasons on the job.

Providence athletic director Bob Driscoll made the announcement three days after the Friars lost to Marquette 87-66 in the first round of the Big East tournament, ending their season at 15-17. They were 4-14 in the Big East for the second straight season and finished 14th in the conference.

"I appreciate everything Keno Davis has done for our basketball program during the last three years," Driscoll said. "We are committed to finding a head coach that will guide our program and help develop our student-athletes in the classroom, in the community and on the court."

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Davis, who turned 39 on Thursday, came to Providence in 2008-09 after his only other season as a head coach in which he led Drake to a 28-5 record and was named Coach of the Year by the Associated Press.

The Friars were 19-14 overall and 10-8 in the conference with an NIT appearance in Davis' first season. But since then, they were 27-36 and 8-28 for overall records of 46-50 and 18-36.

Providence got off to an impressive start this season, going 11-2, although it lost the only Big East game in that stretch. Then came six consecutive losses in conference play before the Friars showed signs that they were turning around their season.

For the first time in 12 years, they beat two Top 25 teams in consecutive games -- 72-67 over then No. 19 Louisville on Jan. 22 and 83-68 over No. 8 Villanova on Jan. 26, both in Providence. But they couldn't sustain that surge.

They lost 81-71 at Seton Hall. Then, after returning home for a 68-63 win over South Florida, the Friars dropped seven straight games. In one of those losses, 94-93 to No. 9 Notre Dame on Feb. 23, Friars senior guard Marshon Brooks scored a Big East-record 52 points at home.

They did follow that losing streak by edging Rutgers 75-74 in Providence in their regular-season finale.

But then came the conference tournament, and the Friars came out flat against Marquette. They missed their first 11 field-goal attempts and fell behind 17-0 before Brooks, the nation's second-leading scorer with a 24.8 average, sank a drive 5:31 into the game.

"Stunned would be a fitting word to describe the start," Davis said after the game.

Providence has reached the NCAA tournament just twice since 1997-98, losing in the first round under Tim Welsh in 2000-01 and 2003-04.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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