It’s apparently All-Star game season in Rhode Island. Friar fans had the unique opportunity to witness three of Providence’s top local recruiting targets play on the same team last Saturday in the “All About the Buckets” All-Star game in Warwick benefiting Camp ERROL. On Wednesday night one of those targets, Cole Swider, will be playing in the 2nd Annual Rhode Island Higher Learning Sports Spring Classic at Portsmouth High School. A portion of the events proceeds will benefit the James L. Maher Center in Middletown, RI. For more on the work that is done at the Maher Center, click here.
Camp Errol was founded by Calvin Jones and named in honor of Errol Clinton who was killed at the age of 15 by a random act of violence in the city of Providence. E.R.R.O.L. stands for Education, Respect, Responsibility, Opportunity and Leadership. This Saturday Camp Errol will be hosting an All-Star game at CCRI Warwick and there will be several Providence recruits playing, including top local targets in the Class of 2018.
The first offseason defection occurred on Wednesday when news broke that Providence sophomore wing Ryan Fazekas would transfer, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN. Fazekas saw his minutes and role diminish greatly in his second season at Providence after starting off hot in his freshman season until that year was derailed by mononucleosis.
Providence’s season ended a week ago today. That doesn’t mean the Friar coaching staff is sitting back and resting. Providence has two committed players coming to campus for the 2017-18 season in big men Dajour Dickens and Nate Watson. Dickens has been committed since February 2016 and Watson pledged to Cooley in September but don’t be surprised if Providence adds a player in April, May or even June.
Obviously the result of this game wasn’t what Providence fans wanted. The 15 point halftime lead never truly felt comfortable. That’s a product of watching plenty of Providence games over the years that has fans always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Usually that other shoe is a player transferring or an injury or a coach leaving that cripples the program in the short term and sometimes even the long term.
Here’s the postgame press conference after Providence’s 75-71 loss to USC in the First Four of the NCAA Tournament:
Providence (Ed Cooley, Jalen Lindsey, Emmitt Holt)
|USC||Boatwright: 24||McLaughlin: 10||McLaughlin: 4|
|Providence||Holt: 18||Holt: 11||Cartwright: 7|