Blog Entry

Cooley brings passion, defense to Providence

Posted on: January 5, 2012 12:12 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 12:18 pm
Cooley's first year at Providence has gone relatively well. (Getty Images)

By Jeff Goodman

Ed Cooley's Providence team had no business going toe-to-toe with top-ranked Syracuse last night. 

But that's exactly what happened for the first 35 or so minutes - when Providence somehow was in a two-possession game after Gerard Coleman's bucket with a little more than five minutes left. 

The first thing you notice with this Friars team is that they are attempting to guard. Keno Davis is a terrific guy, but his teams couldn't -- no, make that didn't - check anyone. 

Cooley has a rebuilding job in Providence, but he's exactly what this program needs - a high, energy native who will get his players to go hard and also become a face in the community. 

He inherited a team with a couple of Big East guards in Vincent Council and Gerard Coleman, but not much else. There was virtually nothing up front. 

Cooley managed to land two elite recruits in point guard Kris Dunn and local talent Ricky Ledo, so the perimeter could be loaded next season -- if Ledo qualifies and is cleared by the NCAA (he's attended multiple schools). 

Cooley's passion, though, is unquestionable and contagious. Because he was an assistant under Al Skinner at Boston College, there was a perception -- one that was completely off-base -- that he would being a similar approach to PC. 

While Cooley did learn from Skinner, he couldn't be any different from his former boss. He's high-energy, enjoys interacting with the fans and loves to get out on the recruiting trail. 

Syracuse shot 61 percent from the field and 58 percent from beyond the arc in Wednesday night's 87-73 victory that wasn't nearly as lopsided as the score indicates. 

Cooley only played six players: Council, Coleman, tiny guard Bryce Cotton, freshmen bigs LaDontae Henton and Brice Kofane and sophomore Kadeem Batts. 

Henton went for 11 points and 13 boards and while Batts (14 points) played well, Cooley is one big man away from potentially becoming a factor in the Big East. 

But much of that could rest on the shoulders of Ledo. 

Ledo's talent level is unquestionable. He's a big-time scorer, but he has maturity issues. Cooley maintains Ledo has made significant progress in that area -- and if that's accurate (nothing would make me happier), the Friars could soon have the talent to match Cooley's passion. 

That could be a scary combo. 


Since: Aug 27, 2011
Posted on: January 5, 2012 8:00 pm

Cooley brings passion, defense to Providence

The only reason this game was even close was that with 9 minutes left in the game the foulr ratio was 9 to 1.  Gimme a break, the refs did everything they could to try to keep this game close and gove it to Providence. 

Syracuse was just too good and talented to lose to this mich inferior team.

Sad they tried to influence the game instead of call it fairly both ways.  They called so many ticky-tack fouls on the Cuse it was ridiculous.  I thought this was the physical Big East Conference...not a knitting class.

We shall see how it goes when Cuse plays at home in a week or so against them.

That being said, I like Cooley as well and will be rooting for him too, just not against the Cuse.  I think he is a great coach and will bring this team to the upper echelon of the Big East.

Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2012 1:13 pm

Cooley brings passion, defense to Providence

Providence looked very good last night.  They earned my respect and I will be rooting for Cooley.  It's a shame Syracuse will be giving up this great rivalry for the likes of N.C. State, Clemson, and Florida State.

I'm still hoping for enough Football realignment chaos to cause everyone to press the re-set button on all the other sports.  Maybe see an "Original East" Conference with SU, G'Town, St.Johns, The Hall, Providence, Nova, Pitt, and Rutgers

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or