The Providence Friars brought Ed Cooley on board two seasons ago and in that time span he has certainly found a way to change the direction of the men’s basketball program.
After missing the postseason in Cooley’s first season, the Friars qualified for the NIT Tournament here in 2012-13. While Cooley’s overall goal is to get Providence into the NCAA Tournament, there is no doubt that he has this team playing hard, playing better than expected and moving in a direction that fans can appreciate.
Well, on Wednesday afternoon, Providence announced that they have extended the contract of Cooley, agreeing to a long term deal, according to a press release from the school. Following a run to the quarterfinal round of the NIT, the Friars have plenty of moment in terms of looking ahead to the 2013-14 season. Cooley is 34-32 in his two seasons at Providence.
While the loss of Vincent Council undoubtedly hurts, Providence is expected to return many of their other major contributors next season. The 2013-14 season will be a major step forward for the Friars.
The Cooley extension comes as good news, but it comes on the heel of some disappointing news following Ricky Ledo‘s decision to enter the 2013 NBA Draft just the other day. Ledo, who was ruled as a partial qualifier this past season, could not play this year, but certainly could have had the opportunity to be a superstar next year. Just look at the advantage that Kansas freshman Ben McLemore had this past season — now he’s a projected top five pick. Ledo on the other hand, is making the leap to the professional ranks without appearing in a collegiate game. Ledo will be lucky if he’s drafted at all.
Everything aside, the Friars ended this past year on a positive note despite their NIT loss and the direction of the program is trending in a positive direction. Providence clearly sees that as well and Cooley’s long-term extension is an obvious indication of that.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS