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NCAA Basketball March MadnessProvidence Friars

Providence’s 6 Most Important Players in 2014 NCAA Tournament

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2014 NCAA Tournament: Providence's 6 Most Important Players

Providence Friars
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The Providence Friars are back in the NCAA Tournament. After 10 long years, Ed Cooley and his band of iron men have played their way to the Big East Championship and a first round matchup with the Tar Heels of UNC. Due to injury, suspension and transfers, the Friars have been forced to play with a six-man rotation this season. The following is a review of how important each of them truly are this week in San Antonio.

6. Carson Derosiers

Carson Derosiers
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6. Carson Derosiers

Carson Derosiers
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The big man was the only bench player to receive any significant minutes this season, and he made the most of them with his well-timed blocks and clutch free throws. For the Friars to succeed, he'll need to play at a high level when his teammates are in foul trouble, continue to swat at every ball that comes his way and make his size known to UNC when they want to bounce around inside.

5. Josh Fortune

Josh Fortune
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5. Josh Fortune

Josh Fortune
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Fortune was recruited the same year the highly-touted Ricky Ledo and Kris Dunn joined the fold, yet it is he who has played the big minutes for them this year. Josh Fortune is the one player other than Bryce Cotton who is encouraged by Cooley to pull the trigger when he has an open shot. He has been doing that much more lately and finding success. His career-high 24 points against St. John's helped save the game, and he needs keep it up.

4. Tyler Harris

Tyler Harris
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4. Tyler Harris

Tyler Harris
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The sophomore transfer from NC State has been solid this season playing a variety of roles. Harris can run the point when necessary, drains threes and hits free throws. He surprisingly plays large under the rim and comes up with valuable rebounds when needed. Harris is streaky to say the least, but he can be the best player on the court from time to time. He'll need to be solid against UNC if the Friars want to win.

3. Kadeem Batts

Kadeem Batts
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3. Kadeem Batts

Kadeem Batts
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Batts, a senior, is similarly streaky but can be clutch when needed. His patented 17-foot jumper never seems to fail, and he plays big and tough under the rim to get the good rebounds. He is also skilled at drawing fouls and hits from the line at a high percentage. On a team that lacks a true big man (sorry Carson), Batts will have to continue to be the muscle along with Henton and play his senior heart out on Friday.

2. LaDontae Henton

LaDontae Henton
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2. LaDontae Henton

LaDontae Henton
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Henton is Cooley's first true recruiting success story at PC and has developed nicely into a three-year starter. Henton does everything for the Friars, whether it's rebounding, free throws, passing or shooting. His field goal at the end of the BET Championship game not only halted a late Creighton run, but it sealed the game for PC. Henton is the glue that keeps the team together, and he'll need to continue to produce if they want to beat UNC.

1. Bryce Cotton

Bryce Cotton
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1. Bryce Cotton

Bryce Cotton
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No surprise here. Cotton is their do-everything man and unquestioned leader. His iron-man reputation speaks for itself. Every team that makes a run in the tournament has a player who can carry the team with their clutch, leadership, quickness, shooting, decisiveness and determination. Cotton has all of these qualities and more, and will need to be the guy that carries the team if the Friars want to return to MSG for the Sweet 16.