College basketball Journal: PC going on the offense to add depth for 2015

Posted on 30 Aug 2014 at 03:03AM

He was a first-team All-MIAA pick and starred for Maryland 3D on the AAU circuit. Edwards is the ... The A-10 said that 75 of its games will be telecast on one of three national TV channels, ESPN, CBS Sports Network and NBC Sports Network. The Rams ...

Drew Edwards, who on Thursday committed to become the third member of Ed Cooley’s 2015 recruiting class, is expected to add some depth to what is a very thin backcourt group for the Friars.

Providence remains active with other players for the 2015 class. One is Justin Robinson, a Virginia point guard who may be favoring PC and Virginia Tech. PC is also pushing hard for Davon Dillard, a 6-foot-5 scoring wing from Indiana.

Edwards, a 6-3, 175-pound combo guard from Baltimore, averaged 15 points per game and led Calvert Hall to a 28-6 record in his junior year. He was a first-team All-MIAA pick and starred for Maryland 3D on the AAU circuit.

Edwards is the third player to verbally commit to PC for 2015 and can sign a letter-of-intent in November. The other two are Indiana shooting forward Ryan Fazekas and Alex Owens, a burly power forward from Orlando, Fla.

“It feels like I took about 20 pounds off my shoulders just doing that,” Edwards told The Baltimore Sun. “I’m ecstatic right now, playing in the Big East for an amazing program and an amazing coach. That was the biggest thing I was looking for. I’m really set to go right now.”

Jack Kraft, a successful head men’s basketball coach at the University of Rhode Island in the 1970s, has died. He was 93.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Kraft’s passing late Thursday night. The coached worked at Villanova from 1961-73 and led the Wildcats to the postseason 11 times in 12 seasons. He won 75 percent of his games at that school, the best record of any coach in Villanova’s history.

Kraft surprised the college hoop world when he left ’Nova for URI in 1973. He coached the Rams for seven seasons before retiring in 1981 for health reasons. Kraft finished with an overall record of 361-191 in 20 seasons. His best years came in 1978 and ’79 on teams led by All-American Sly Williams. In ’78, the Rams made the NCAA Tournament for the only time in Kraft’s tenure and lost to Duke in the first round, 63-62.

Cooley is making sure that strength of schedule won’t be an issue for his basketball team this season.

The Providence College coach announced the nonconference portion of the Friars’ schedule, and the team will see plenty of iron. The Friars will play likely preseason No. 1 team Kentucky in Lexington; face four Atlantic Coast Conference foes (Florida State, Notre Dame, Boston College, Miami); and two New England rivals with home games against Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Last season, PC’s strength of schedule came into focus at the end of the season as it jockeyed for a position in the NCAA Tournament. If the Friars hadn’t upset Creighton to win the Big East championship, they might have been left out of the NCAAs as an at-large entry.

Eight of PC’s 13 nonleague games will come at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The URI (Dec. 10) and UMass (Dec. 20) games highlight the home dates. The team’s stiffest test should be at Kentucky, which is heavily favored to win the national title in 2014-15. Neutral-court games against FSU and Notre Dame at Mohegan Sun and Miami at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn give the Friars chances to grab resumé-boosting wins.

The Big East is finalizing its conference schedule, and PC is hoping to release the dates of those 18 games next week. Here’s the full PC nonconference schedule:


8, STONEHILL (exhibition); 15 ALBANY; 17, BINGHAMTON; 20, NAVY; 22, vs. Florida State (Mohegan Sun); 23, vs. Notre Dame (Mohegan Sun); 28, YALE; 30 at Kentucky.


5, at Boston College; 8, BROWN; 10, RHODE ISLAND; 13, STONY BROOK; 20, MASSACHUSETTS; 22, vs. Miami (Barclays Center)

The Atlantic 10 has released its men’s basketball schedule, and it’s clear that the Rhode Island Rams will have to be ready for action early on.

The Rams will open A-10 play at the defending league champion, Saint Louis. After games against Fordham and Duquesne, the Rams will host Virginia Commonwealth, the heavy favorites to win the conference.

With the addition of Davidson, the Atlantic 10 now has 14 teams. That’s increased the league schedule to 18 games, with teams playing five opponents home-and-home. URI will face Massachusetts, Fordham, La Salle, Saint Joseph’s and Saint Louis twice.

The A-10 said that 75 of its games will be telecast on one of three national TV channels, ESPN, CBS Sports Network and NBC Sports Network. The Rams will have six national TV conference games, beginning with the Jan. 3 opener at Saint Louis on NBCSN.

The nonconference portion of the Rams’ schedule is not complete. Rhody will play Kansas in the first round of the three-game Orlando Classic on Thanksgiving Day. The Rams will host Brown, Nebraska and Detroit at the Ryan Center and also play at Providence.

On Twitter:n @KevinMcNamara33n

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