Credit the job that Providence head coach Ed Cooley has done this season.
They didn’t have the full roster that they expected going back to last summer, but the Friars certainly exceeded expectations in 2012-13. After a rough stretch around the midway point of the season, the Friars responded down the stretch and built themselves up to be a bubble team heading into theBig East Tournament
On Wednesday afternoon however, the Friars got off to a sluggish start and were never able to recover against a Cincinnati squad that was looking to avoid slipping onto the bubble themselves. Even if Providence had won on Wednesday, they probably would’ve needed a bit more work, but an opportunity to take on top-seeded Georgetown would have presented itself.
Either way, that NCAA Tournament potential comes to an end for the Friars, as Providence will now get prepared for the NIT. Albeit, that was not the team’s ultimate goal, the Friars still have brighter days ahead. If their stretch down the tail end of this regular season was any indication that Providence has some growing potential, then fans should certainly be in for a treat in the coming years.
Cooley has done a terrific job in his short time with the Friars’ program and once again that bodes well for things down the line. The bottom line on Wednesday however — Providence struggled shooting (28.1.%) the basketball on Wednesday and their early deficit was what ultimately may have cost them the game.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS