Tag:Keno Davis
Posted on: March 14, 2011 10:57 am
Edited on: March 14, 2011 7:00 pm

Coach Speak: Tourney coaches in demand

Would Missouri's Mike Anderson take over at Arkansas?

Posted by Eric Angevine

Amidst all the general fun of preparing for the NCAA tournament, quite a few coaches got bad news this weekend. So let's take a look at some of the big ones and try to get a handle on where each program may turn.

List of D-I coaching changes

First, a ground rule. I'm going to assume that interim coaches will not be retained. Loyal assistants tend to get jobs when a successful boss moves up the ladder, not when he's fired. In addition, coaches who are currently playing in the NCAA tournament will be targeted, but can't be taken seriously as flight risks until we see how they fare in the Big Dance.


John Pelphrey (69-59 at Arkansas): This move feels one season premature. Pelphrey spent this summer tracking down elite talent for the Razorbacks, netting a top ten class. Off-court issues may have contributed heavily here. Several Arkansas players were suspended last season while being investigated for rape, and Pelphrey was recently implicated in a minor recruiting scandal. If Arkansas administrators can get their top choice, Mike Anderson, the recruits will probably stay, but they won't be able to get serious about that until Missouri is knocked out of the NCAA tournament. Also, the first person Anderson will talk to about the job is his mentor Nolan Richardson, who parted company with the university under a cloud. Marquette's Buzz Williams has also been mentioned as a prominent candidate.

Paul Hewitt (190-162 at Georgia Tech): If Pelphrey got a short leash, Hewitt got the longest. Five NCAA appearances in 11 years isn't a bad accomplishment, especially when one of those went all the way to the championship game. The problem was that the seasons in-between were so bad. The Yellowjackets were 11-17 in '05-'06, 15-17 in '07-'08, 11-17 the year after that and 12th place in the ACC. Finishing tied for 10th this season was the last straw. AD Dan Radakovich has indicated that he's willing to spend top dollar to get an elite coach, but speculation so far has centered around Richmond's Chris Mooney, Alabama's Anthony Grant and Xavier's Chris Mack. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Tech legend Kenny Anderson has expressed interest in coming on as an assistant, which could only help recruiting.

Keno Davis (46-50 at Providence): I've always felt that the odds were against Keno from the beginning. He had only been a head coach for one (admittedly strong) season at Drake before moving up to the big time, which didn't give him much experience to draw upon. He wasn't from the area and had no ties to the program, really. Losing games might not have gotten him fired this quickly, but the offseason criminal activity of his players and a litany of de-commitments from recruits pointed him out the door. Some fans are calling for the return of Pat Skerry, who left Davis to become an assistant at Pitt last year. Other names are Fairfield's Ed Cooley, Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart, and Harvard's Tommy Amaker. Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins has wide support as well.

Pat Knight (50-60 at Texas Tech): Pat never really had much of a chance at Tech. Even his father had a hard time making the program truly relevant, but he brought enough of the national spotlight that Red Raider fans now crave more. The search has really zeroed in on two candidates at this point, and both are available. Billy Gillispie had his greatest career successes in his home state of Texas, and would add some steak to the sizzle the program wants if he is hired. Tech fans are also looking at current Nebraska coach Doc Sadler, who was an assistant at the school from 1991-1994, coaches tough defense, and has the drawl and personality that could make him a good face man for the program. 

Jim Boylen (69-60 at Utah): Rick Majerus made it a sin to lose at Utah, and Jim Boylen lost quite a few over the past two years. Not only games, but players. There was a mass exodus after the '09-'10 season, which led to more losing this year. As the Utes head to the Pac-12, it's time to show that they belong on the big stage, and they'll do that by chasing a top-flight coach. No doubt, they'll wish-list Mark Few, as most Western programs do, but he's proven difficult to lure. One sensible choice that's been bandied about is Dave Rice, an assistant to Dave Rose at Brigham Young. Some have suggested that Virginia's Tony Bennett may be lured back to the expanded Pac-10, and St. Mary's Randy Bennett and Old Dominion's Blaine Taylor have generated some interest as well. Would New Mexico's Steve Alford like to get a piece of this action?

Just as the firings began to come in earnest following postseason losses, so will the hirings. The difference being that losing in your conference tournament means you get fired, and losing in the NCAA tournament means you get hired.

Photo: US Presswire

More NCAA tournament coverage
Posted on: March 9, 2011 6:12 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2011 12:52 pm

Who replaces Keno Davis at Providence?

Keno Davis

Posted by Eric Angevine

The waiting is over. Keno Davis is out at Providence, according to the Providence Journal.
(AD Bob) Driscoll will lead a search for Davis' replacement and word is the process has already led to contact with several potential canddiates. Among the early names to surface are Fairfield's Ed Cooley, a Providence native and ex-Central High star. Syracuse assistant coach Mike Hopkins, Duquesne coach Ron Everhart and Harvard's Tommy Amaker are also intriguing options that each have some degree of support.

The question of who might take over is an interesting one. Will PC do as they did in hiring Davis, and look to a hot mid-major coach coming off of tourney success, or will they head a different direction after seeing the success of retread Steve Lavin at St. Johns?

Of course, the other direction that could be taken is to hire a hot assistant from a successful program. Perhaps one of the top assistants to former PC coach Rick Barnes' Texas staff would mollify the fan base. Ohio State's Jeff Boals has found his profile growing recently, and former Providence and Rhode Island assistant Pat Skerry is currently on staff at Pitt. Skerry, in particular, is known as a top-notch recruiter in the New England area, though he has very little name recognition.

Our own John Rothstein mentions Skerry as a possibility, and adds "The next coach at Providence will have to energize the fan base and have strong recruiting ties in the New England prep school circuit and the tri-state area. (P)otential candidates to replace Davis include Fairfield coach Ed Cooley, St. Peter's coach John Dunne... and George Mason coach Jim Larranaga."

Many of those options will be constrained due to their upcoming participation in the NCAA tournament, so don't expect to hear too much right away.

Complete list of D-I coaching changes

Photo: US Presswire

More College Basketball coverage

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 14, 2011 2:30 pm

NBA-ready Marshon Brooks in Providence purgatory

Posted by Matt Norlander

STORRS, Conn. — It’s quite possible, even now, you don’t know who Marshon Brooks is.

If that’s not true, then a few months, maybe even weeks ago, his name and face weren’t on your radar. Let’s have some honesty: If you were shown that photo on the right this morning with the jersey cropped out, could you have named the player as Brooks?

No shame if not, as Providence basketball players don’t often receive national acclaim or attention. It’s hard to stand out within the bloated, 16-team Big East, let alone amongst a nation that’s been Jimmerized and Kemba-coated since November. Former Friar Ryan Gomes’ national profile didn’t come to be until Jim Calhoun went on one of his most epic post-game rants of all-time.

From there, Gomes went on to be a First Team All-America selection. Providence became a national story because of what a man who didn’t coach Gomes said.

Brooks, a senior Friar, is just now, sort of, beginning to receive some attention. Soon enough, Providence's season will be over and forgotten by many, and Brooks' collegiate career will barely qualify as a blip, big picture. No. 2 will not sniff any first or second national teams, and it’s pretty certain he won’t be included on third teams, either.

The 6-5, 200-pound, true 2-guard is in the midst of what some could consider a lost season. Brooks, the most well-polished Providence player since Gomes, is averaging a Big East-best 24.2 points per game and is considered a sure-fire NBA draft pick (the first round is his current projection). He also leads the team in rebounding (7.5 per game) and 3-point shooting, hitting one of every three 3s he takes, which is even more in valued due to Providence being one of the worst 3-point-shooting teams in the country.

But on a 14-11 (3-9 in the Big East) team, few are noticing or caring about Brooks’ play, save for NBA scouts who, according to those within the Providence program, continually value the senior’s ability and potential as the weeks go by. The latest indictment of Brooks’ somewhat-invisible year came last week, when he wasn’t selected as one of the 30 finalists for the Naismith Award, one of six national player-of-the-year awards handed out at season’s end.

“He’s one of the finalists for the MVP in our conference, so how can’t he be one of the top 30 in the country when he’s third in the country in scoring?” Providence coach Keno Davis asked Sunday night after his team’s 75-57 loss at Connecticut. “What I think happens sometimes is, guys aren’t ranked before they go into the season. But you would think after his 43-point performance at Georgetown he’d be on everybody’s radar. Tough that you might have a non-top-30 guy be an NBA pick.”

Brooks’ blowup on the road at Georgetown Feb. 5 was one of the most impressive performances — forget just within the Big East — this season. Providence lost the game, 83-81, but was only in it until the end because Brooks took it up on himself to toss his toned-yet-gangly frame into the paint time and time again. He played all 40 minutes, which is what Davis needs him to do in order to keep the Friars within killing distance of many superior Big East teams.

“It’s getting tougher,” Brooks said in regard to being asked to score 25-plus against the Big East. “Coming into the season with such a young team, I expected some bruises.”

Against UConn Sunday night, Brooks had a pedestrian-for-him 25 points on 7-of-22 shooting. He accounted for production of 24 of the Friars’ 66 possessions, which is significant, but clearly wasn’t nearly enough, and that’s why UConn pulled away in the second half.

“I’m trying to pull out a win on the road more so than anything,” Brooks said. “We’ve got nine freshmen. When we’re playing at home, I don’t have to do heavy lifting like that. But on the road, me being the only senior [starter], I try to take over the game.”

Brooks is now always getting the toughest matchup on the floor (including constant amorphous, floating double-teams), so he’s forced to not merely rely on his jumper from the wing or casual 3-point shot. It’s become a pattern for him to attack the rim like a lion on a zebra in second halves of games, when Providence so frequently trails and needs points in bunches. Against other teams, Brooks is getting the star treatment on the regular, the kind of defensive scheming that proves opposing coaches realize he’ll be making NBA dollars soon enough. UConn did its best to deny Brooks the ball from anywhere within 25 feet Sunday night.

“There’s just certain coaches that are so insistent on denying me the ball,” Brooks said. “So in those cases, when I catch the ball, I’m catching it at the half-court line. When I turn around, all eyes on me, so it’s tough to get the ball in the hole.”

Getting your shots and your points when that’s happening is what makes a pro a pro. And Brooks has a number of NBA-ready moves in his repertoire already. For instance, in the second half against UConn, with 12 minutes remaining in an eight-point game, Brooks baited Jeremy Lamb, a freshman Husky, and drew a patented and-one foul on a pump-fake shot near the top of the key. Lamb, a 6-5 guard with a tremendous wingspan, was catapulted from the floor by Brooks’ tempting jump-shot form. Up Lamb went. Brooks waited for the newbie to clumsily come crashing back down, then calmly released the 19-foot jumper that cuddled through the rim and net.

Official Tim Higgins ferociously signaled the basket as good. It was a savvy, tailor-made move that’s NBA-ready.

“I think the exciting thing about Marshon Brooks is that he’s so talented and has improved so much, but his basketball hasn’t been played,” Davis said. “He’s going to be such a better player in the next couple of years. The NBA team that gets him isn’t going to be a getting a finished product. … He’s just now learning how to play. … I think what you’re going to find is, he’ll be on an NBA team, and from year one to year two to year three he’ll just explode.”

Brooks is certainly on an ascending path. He went from 14 points per game last year to 24 this year. Across the board, really his numbers have spiked; he was the fourth-most-used player on Providence last season. A few years down the road, he could become the valued quick-volume shooter in the NBA. It’s too bad so many in and around the college game are missing the show now. One of the nation’s best offensive players seems stuck in Providence’s purgatory.

A shame Jim Calhoun couldn’t have helped him out, post-game.


Posted on: February 5, 2011 2:32 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2011 2:50 pm

Marshon Brooks has career game for Friars

Marshon Brooks scored 43 points in a loss to GeorgetownPosted by Eric Angevine

Wow, check out Marshon Brooks.

Odds are, the Providence senior will only remember that he dribbled the ball off his foot to kill his team's rally in a narrow 83-81 home win for the Hoyas, but anyone else who watched will remember that Brooks almost single-handedly upset Georgetown.

Check out this line: 43 points, 17-28 from the floor, 7-10 from the free throw line. 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block.

It's enough to make you feel bad that Brooks is getting so little help. Duke Mondy was the only other Friar in double-digits, scoring 19 while nominally coming off the bench, but playing 34 of 40 minutes. Vincent Council was 0-11 for the game. Gerard Coleman managed 3-13. If just one or two of shots had fallen true for either starter, this probably would have been an upset for the visiting team.

Brooks isn't your typical ball-hog, either. When G'town had a five-point lead with time running out, Brooks penetrated to the basket, where he could have had the easy two (seriously, the Hoyas could not stop him all day long), but chose to pass out to a wide-open Bryce Cotton, who drained a three-pointer that ended up being his only points of the game.

This performance by Brooks just points out how hard it is to win in the Big East. A superior scorer is not enough. You'd almost be better off with two or three really good scorers who can keep defenses honest.

The inability of Keno Davis to develop talent around his star is a big part of what holds Providence back from contention (in his defense, he's not the only one to have that problem at this school). Davis once upon a time had a line on Shabazz Napier, who has instead become a valuable contributor for a revitalized UConn team in his freshman year. Davis also got a verbal commitment from Naadir Tharpe during early recruiting, but the talented guard has since reconsidered and joined the next Kansas Jayhawks class. This past week, hometown guy Ricardo Ledo backed out of a commitment as well (though, in Keno's defense, that's pretty much what Ledo does to everyone).

Keno Davis seems to be a good enough guy, but he may be in over his head in the Big East. It ought to be killing this team and its head coach that they wasted such a masterful performance by Marshon Brooks.
Posted on: January 10, 2011 10:25 am

Coach Speak: Roy Williams is a cookie monster

Posted by Eric Angevine

Our video today comes from the A-10. Here, a couple of our television colleagues talk with UMass head coach Derek Kellogg about the Minutemen's 55-50 upset of defending NIT champs the Dayton Flyers.

Quotable Coaches

"I'm sitting here right now, and I feel like I've been inside the cookie jar in the cookie store and stole every cookie out of the jar and every cookie out of the store, and I want to get out of town as fast as I can. It was one of the ugliest W's I've ever been involved with."

-Roy Williams on North Carolina’s narrow  win at Virginia on Saturday


"I use the story that I have a dog. Every time the doorbell rings my dog runs to the front door to say 'Hi' to the person who rang the doorbell. In all the time I've had the dog, it's never been for him. The person that came to the door has never come to the door to see my dog. But that doesn't stop my dog. Every time it rings, he goes. And that's how Will rebounds. Every shot goes up, he goes to the boards. Even if it's not going to come off on his side, if it appears its going in, if its a lay-up, he goes every time, and he's rewarded for that. We want him to rebound like my dog."

-Oakland head coach Greg Kampe discussing forward Will Hudson’s inside presence on WXOU-FM


"They didn't make shots, and I'm sure John is disappointed. But I don't think he'll be disappointed in how they guarded or how they fought."

-Kansas coach Bill Self praises the Michigan team that nearly upset his squad on Sunday


“It’s a major swing. It’s a turnover. It’s taking away a basket from the other team. It’s taking away momentum from the other team and slipping it back to you. I tell the guys, ‘When a guy takes a charge, you’ve got to run over there like you’ve just won the lottery and pick him up.’

-San Diego State’s  Steve Fisher reflects on the value of sub Tim Shelton’s ability to draw offensive fouls


They did a great job on Kemba, forced him into some real tough shots. But coming down the stretch, Kemba Walker is Kemba Walker."

-Jim Calhoun reveals the intricate game plan that allowed UConn to triumph over Texas


“It’s not something she’s looking forward to doing again”

-Bruce Pearl talks about his wife Brandy’s reaction to watching Tennessee lose to Arkansas with him while he is on suspension


Heard a good one from your team's head man? Pass it along to eric.angevine@cbsinteractive.com

Hot Seat

Keno Davis, Providence Friars. The near-misses are not going to cut it much longer. Providence is 0-4 in the Big East after almost beating St. John’s, hanging close to Syracuse and Pitt and then, quite frankly, laying an egg against Rutgers two days ago. Davis’ rapid ascension to the Big East always seemed a bit rash – he served just one (albeit very good) season as head man at Drake – and he still seems to be in over his head in his third season at PC. Davis - son of the great former Iowa coach Dr. Tom Davis – seems to be a very good recruiter. What happens after he gets the kids on campus continues to underwhelm, however. Looking at those four losses again, it seems that the Friars play to the level of their competition; banging with the two ranked league teams they’ve seen, then going soft at the wrong moments to lose to two undermanned teams under new head coaches. Throw in the rash of discipline problems the team has faced during Davis’ tenure, and it doesn’t look good for Keno.

Posted on: December 26, 2010 10:38 am
Edited on: December 26, 2010 10:54 am

Providence keeps Ledo at home

Posted by Eric Angevine

When Rick Pitino began talks with the Puerto Rico national team, pundits assumed that, in part, he hoped to gain an upper hand in recruiting. One of the primary targets he was after at the time was Ricardo "Ricky" Ledo, a top 2012 shooting guard from Rhode Island who is eligible to play for the island's squad due to his parentage.

Turns out, Ledo would rather play in front of his hometown fans and family, which is quite the Christmas gift for Keno Davis.

"I'm going to do it in front of my family and friends as opposed to leaving," Ledo said on Christmas morning. "So many other guys have left. I want to stay close to home, like Marvin Barnes."

Barnes, PC's legendary big man of the early 1970s, was a top player at Central High but never received the regional or national acclaim that Ledo has owned over the last two years.

Ledo said the attraction of his family and friends was powerful, as was PC's pitch for him to stay home and follow in the footsteps of Barnes, Ernie DiGregorio, Joe Hassett, Abdul Abdullah and, most recently, Jeff Xavier, as local high school stars who played for the Friars. Ledo spent Christmas with his grandparents, Ada and Julio Carrasco, as well as his brother Kyron and his parents, Kimeco Ledo and Ricardo Carrasco. He said everyone was excited with his choice.

-Kevin McNamara, Providence Journal

Davis has had a rough time in recent months, with Greedy Peterson and other players encountering legal troubles and being dismissed from the team. In addition, his leading recruiter, Pat Skerry, decamped to Big East rival Pitt. Keeping Ledo at home should go a long ways toward rehabbing the program's image, but Davis will probably need to win a fair number of games between now and 2012 in order to keep the wolves at bay.
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