The Big East will hold their annual Media Day on Tuesday, October 11th at Madison Square Garden. All ten member schools send their head coach and usually a few players to NYC each year to hear Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman give her “State of the Big East” speech and meet with the media ahead of the upcoming season. Providence will have four players in attendance this year, the league announced today via the Big East Men’s Basketball Twitter account. Juniors Rodney Bullock and Kyron Cartwright will be joined by sophomores Ryan Fazekas and Isaiah Jackson as Providence’s player representatives.
Bullock is in his fourth year at Providence despite only getting on the court for the first time last season due to suspension and injury. He is the team’s leading returning scorer and rebounder who averaged 11.4 points/game and 6.8 rebounds/game while playing 32.8 minutes/game. Bullock will be counted on to provide scoring punch with Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil gone to the NBA Draft.
Cartwright is the team’s leading returning assist man at 4.0 assists/game. With Dunn gone, Cartwright will be handed the keys to the Providence team and asked to continue the excellent guard play that Cooley and the Friars have enjoyed in recent memory. Cartwright was already a leader towards the end of last season and he is expected to be the team’s most vocal and emotional leader, both on and off the court in his junior campaign. A recent article by Brendan McGair of the Woonsocket Call described Cartwright’s successful quest to create a sports media major at Providence, of which he is the only enrolled student. It’s a worthwhile read.
Fazekas got off to a hot start in his freshman season at Providence before being derailed by a case of mononucleosis. Prior to becoming ill, Fazekas started the first nine games of the season and was averaging 7.8 points/game and shooting 47.2% from beyond the arc on 36 attempts. After missing a month, Fazekas returned and never really got his shooting back on track. He finished the season averaging 5.1 points/game and shooting 34.3% from 3-point range, including shooting 26.9% after returning in early January. Fazekas will be counted on as a key shooter for the Friars this season.
Jackson will be making his debut at Providence in 2016-17 after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. The Florida native transferred to Providence from George Mason when the Patriots fired their head coach after Jackson’s freshman season. Jackson had a solid rookie campaign at the Atlantic 10 school, including an 11 point, 6 rebound effort against the Rhode Island Rams. He finished fourth on that George Mason team in scoring with 8.7 points/game and shot 35.6% from beyond the arc on 87 attempts. Jackson provides versatility to this Providence team and has worked hard during both his year as a sit-out transfer and this past summer to change his body and become more Big East-ready.
I’ll be in attendance at this year’s Big East Media Day, so stay tuned for plenty of updates on the site, as well as on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You can follow all of the various social media pages below: