Nov. 16, 1997
Head coach Pete Gillen led the Friars to a 24-12 record last season.
Friars Set for Season Opener
Providence Hosts Vermont Tuesday
Providence College vs. Vermont
SITE: Providence Civic Center (12,993) - Providence, Rhode Island
TIME: Tuesday, November 18, 1997 - 7:30 p.m.
FRIARS VERSUS CATAMOUNTS...
PC is 2-0 versus the University of Vermont in this short all-time series. The Friars won the first meeting in Providence on December 19, 1942, 73-37. The last meeting came in Providence on December 21, 1991 with the Friars prevailing, 74-67.
The Catamounts were 14-13 last year and 7-11 for sixth place in America East. Coach Tom Brennan is in his 12th season at Vermont and his 15th as a Division I head coach. Vermont lost just three lettermen from last year's team, while returning 11. UVM's top returning player is 6-7 forward Erik Nelson, the lone senior on the team. He averaged 14.9 points and 8.6 rebounds last season.
FRIARS IN SEASON OPENERS...
The Friars open their 71st season of play tonight. In 70 previous season openers, the Friars are 62-8 overall. When that season opening game is at home, PC is 48-3 and the record is 14-5 when the first game occurs on the road. In home openers, the Friars are 65-5 all-time. Providence has won three season openers in a row with the last loss coming on November 26, 1993 at Oklahoma State (113-102 in ot). PC has won 12 straight home openers with the last loss coming on November 29, 1984, a 70-67 decision to Assumption at the Civic Center.
The Friars rallied from an 11-point deficit on November 8th to defeat the Washington D.C. Explorers, 74-71. On November 12th, the Friars downed the Around the World All-Stars, 72-58.
Location: Providence, R.I.
President: Rev. Philip A. Smith, O.P.
Athletic Director: John M. Marinatto
Head Coach: Pete Gillen (Fairfield '68)
Career Record: 261-112/13th season
Ass't. Coaches: Bobby Gonzalez, Tom
Herrion, Michael Malone
Adm. Assistant: Alexis Sherard
Trainer: Kevin Gorey
Captains: Kendrick Moore, Jamel Thomas and Corey Wright
1997-98 PROVIDENCE RECORD
(2-0 in preseason)
Nov. 8 D.C. Explorers W 74 - 71
Nov. 12 Around The World Stars W 72 - 58
Pos.No. Name Pts/Reb. Ht. Wt. Class Hometown
F 25 Ben PERKINS 1st Year 6-7 200 Fr. Vinton, La.
F 42 Llewellyn COLE DNP 6-7 215 So. New York, N.Y.
C 34 Ndongo N'DIAYE 0.7/1.0 7-0 225 So. Dakar, Senegal
G 10 Corey WRIGHT 3.3/1.9 5-8 160 Jr. New York, N.Y.
G 33 Jamel THOMAS 14.0/5.1 6-6 215 Jr. Brooklyn, N.Y.
OFF THE BENCH
Pos.No. Name Pts/Reb. Ht. Wt. Class Hometown
G 3 Kendrick MOORE DNP 6-3 180 Jr. Hartford, Conn.
F 4 Kofi POINTER 0.6/0.4 6-8 220 So. Baltimore, Md.
C 5 T.J. McKENZIE 1st Year 6-10 235 Fr. Friendswood, Tex.
G 12 John LINEHAN 1st Year 5-9 165 Fr. Chester, Pa.
G 13 Mark ADAMS 0.3/0.0 6-3 200 Sr. Clifton, N.J.
F 15 Peter FARRELL- 1st Year 6-5 195 Fr. Hanover, Mass.
G 20 Dennis CLEARY 0.1/0.0 6-0 160 So. West Orange, N.J.
G/F 24 Erron MAXEY 1st Year 6-6 195 Fr. Lake Elsinore, Cal.
G/F 40 Justin FARLEY DNP 6-6 205 Jr. Indianapolis, Ind.
F 50 Rick CORDELLA 0.1/0.3 6-4 210 Jr.. Foxboro, Mass.
Jamel Thomas is the Friars leading returning scorer at 14.0 ppg.
PROVIDENCE...All-time record: 1082-665 (.619) - Best in New England...Home record: 641-200 (.762)...Civic Center record: 317-119 (.727).
PROVIDENCE IN BIG EAST...112-174 in regular season and 125-191 overall in 18 seasons ... Eighth all-time in wins and percentage.
PC ON THE AIR
Vermont at Providence 7:30 p.m. WPRO Radio - 630 AM with John Rooke and Joe Hassett
BIG EAST FAXBACK ...(201-947-3918) - Allows you to access PC's short notes (1721); PC's full game notes (1722); PC's statistics (1723) or Box scores (1724)\. Also the BIG EAST is on the Internet at www.bigeast.org
HEAD COACH PETE GILLEN
FOURTH YEAR AT PC: 24-12/10-8 in BIG EAST
Overall at PC: 59-37 (.615)/26-28 in BIG EAST
XAVIER: 202-75 (.724)
12-YEAR CAREER: 261-112 (.700)
BIG EAST TOURNAMENT: 4-3
BIG EAST GAMES: 26-28
Vs. Vermont: First Meeting
NON-LEAGUE GAMES: 33-9 (Losses vs. Vlllanova - BE Tourney (1995, 1996, 1997); Virginia Tech - NIT; at Texas, ST. JOSEPH'S - NIT, Middle Tennessee State, Rhode Island, Arizona - NCA7)
NCAA TOURNAMENT: 10-8 (1985-91; 1992-93, 1997)
NIT: 4-3 (1993-94, 94-95, 95-96)
1996-97 (24-12/10-8)...Elite Eight...Beat Marquette (81-59)...Defeated #8 Duke (98-87)...Knocked off Tennessee-Chattanooga (71-65)...Lost to eventual champion, #13 Arizona, 96-92 in overtime...Second in the BIG EAST 7...cdUpset #18 Texas (74-66)...Upset #8 Villanova (91-68)...Recorded 250th career win at St. John's, 72-59...Knocked off #25 Boston College (83-71)...
1995-96 (18-12/9-9)...Third in BIG EAST ...Upset #21 Boston College at Conte Forum (76-75)...Upset #8 Georgetown (84-77) ...Beat St. John's (80-72) in BIG EAST Tournament....1996 NIT versus Fairfield (91-79)...Lost to St. Joseph's (62-82)...
1994-95 (17-13/7-11)...Sixth in BIG EAST...First BIG EAST win 1/4/95 vs. Pittsburgh...Upset #4 Connecticut...Upset #11 Villanova...Upset #20 Syracuse in BIG EAST Quarterfinals
1993-94 (22-8/8-2) First in MCC...NIT Quarterfinalists...Midwestern Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year...Upset # 19 Cincinnati...Assistant Coach Dream Team II
1992-93 (24-6/12-2) First in MCC... Lost in second round of NCAA...Midwestern Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year... Head Coach North Team, U.S. Olympic Festival...Upset #17 New Orleans...
1991-92 (15-12/7-3) Second in MCC...
1990-91 (22-10/11-3) First in MCC...MCC Tournament Champions...Lost in second round of NCAA... Upset #11 Nebraska in NCAA Tournament.
1989-90 (28-5/12-2) First in MCC...Second in MCC Tournament...Lost in Sweet 16 of NCAA... Midwestern Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year...School's most wins ever...Upsets of #25 Loyola-Marymount and #8 Georgetown (NCAA Tournament)...
1988-89 (21-12/7-5) Third in MCC...MCC Tournament Champions...Lost in first round of NCAA... Upset #4 Louisville
1987-88 (26-4/9-1) First in MCC...MCC Tournament Champions...Lost in first round of NCAA... Midwestern Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year...School's best-ever winning percentage...
1986-87 (19-13/7-5) Third in MCC...MCC Tournament Champions...Lost in second round of NCAA...Beat #14 Missouri in NCAA Tournament.
1985-86 (25-5/10-2) First in MCC...MCC Tournament Champions...Lost in first round of NCAA... Midwestern Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year.
GILLEN COACHED UPSETS VERSUS TOP 25 TEAMS (1985-97)
Year Rank Team (Score) Year Rank Team (Score)
1986-87 #14 Missouri (70-69 - NCAA Tournament) 1994-95 # 4 CONNECTICUT (72-70)
1988-89 #4 Louisville (85-83) 1994-95 #11 VILLANOVA (71-70)
1989-90 #25 Loyola Marymount (115-113 OT) 1994-95 #20 SYRACUSE (71-69 OT - BE Tourney)
1989-90 #8 Georgetown (74-71 - NCAA Tournament)1995-96 #21 Boston College (76-75)
1990-91 #11 Nebraska (89-84 - NCAA Tournament) 1995-96 # 8 GEORGETOWN (84-77)
1992-93 #17 New Orleans (73-55) 1996-97 #18 TEXAS (74-66)
1992-93 #19 Cincinnati (82-76 OT) 1996-97 # 8 VILLANOVA (91-68)
1996-97 #25 BOSTON COLLEGE (83-71)
1997-98 BIG EAST PRESEASON PICKS
ALL-BIG EAST TEAMS...
First Team Second Team
F - Pat Garrity, Notre Dame F- Damian Owens, West Virginia
F - Tim James, Miami F - Richard Hamilton, Connecticut
F - Zendon Hamilton, St. John's F - Todd Burgan, Syracuse
G - Vonteego Cummings, Pittsburgh G - Jamel Thomas, PROVIDENCE
G - Shaheen Holloway, Seton Hall G - Felipe Lopez, St. John's
G - Victor Page, Georgetown
BIG EAST PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Pat Garrity, Notre Dame
BIG EAST PRESEASON ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Ron Artest, St. John's
COACHES' PRESEASON POLL
BIG EAST 7 BIG EAST 6
Syracuse (10) 81 Connecticut (9) 69
Georgetown (2) 66 St. John's (4) 63
Miami (1) 65 West Virginia 46
Pittsburgh 44 Villanova 40
PROVIDENCE 39 Notre Dame 32
Rutgers 30 Boston College 18
Seton Hall 30
First place votes in parentheses.
MONTH BY MONTH (1997-98)...The Friars were 4-1 in November last season...
HOME COOKING...PC was 12-3 at home last season which gives the Friars a is 57-15 (.792) record over the last 72 games at the Providence Civic Center (dating back to January 25, 1993).
Over the last five full seasons, PC is 64-18 (.780) at the Civic Center. PC is 32-4 (.889) in its last 36 non-conference games in Providence dating back to the start of the 1992-93 season. Two of the losses have come in the NIT (Virginia Tech -1995, St. Joseph's - 1996) and two losses have been to Rhode Island (1992, 1996).
CIVIC CENTER RECORD...PC owns a 317-119 (.727) record at the Providence Civic Center since the building opened in 1972. The Friars recorded their 300th win their on January 8, 1996 against Canisius (91-63).
NAIL BITERS...PC is 14-11 in games decided by five points or less in Pete Gillen's three seasons at PC. The Friars were 2-3 in games decided by five or less last season.
CAPTAINS...Three juniors will serve as the Friars tri-captains this season. Kendrick Moore, Jamel Thomas and Corey Wright were selected as captains prior to the start of the 1997-98 season.
FRIARS IN THE NBA...Providence College currently has seven players in the NBA. They are:
Otis Thorpe - Vancouver Grizzlies
Austin Croshere - Indiana Pacers
Eric Murdock - Miami Heat
God Shammgod - Washington Wizards
Dickey Simpkins - Golden State Warriors
Michael Smith - Sacramento Kings
Eric Williams - Denver Nuggets
Also, Atlanta Hawks coach Lenny Wilkens, is one of Providence College's all-time greatest players.
ROSTER UPDATE...Two players on the Friars roster will be out of action. Junior swingman Justin Farley. who transferred to Providence last January, will be eligible to play on December 20th at Canisius. Junior Waleed Driscoll is out of the lineup after having surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee. He is expected to miss the entire season.
PLAYER SIGNING...Sean Connolly, a 6-4, 190-pound guard from Peabody, Massachusetts and Bishop Fenwick High School has signed a national letter of intent to attend Providence College for the 1998-99 school year.
FAMOUS RELATIVES...Junior guard/forward Jamel Thomas is the cousin of the Minnesota Timberwolves' Stephon Marbury.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES...The Friars return just one starter (Jamel Thomas) from last year's Elite Eight and 24-12 team. Gone to graduation are Austin Croshere (Indiana Pacers -12th pick overall), Derrick Brown (CBA - Connecticut Pride), Ruben Garces (recovering from leg surgery) and Jason Murdock (out of basketball). Sophomore guard God Shammgod (Washington Wizards) opted for the NBA Draft where he was selected in the second round by Washington. Those five players accounted for 75.9% of PC's scoring and 68.1% of the Friars rebounding last season.
ATTENDANCE MARK...The 1996-97 Friars averaged more fans per game that ever at the Providence Civic Center. PC played 15 home games in front of 165,447 fans for an average of 11,030 per game. The previous best year was 1993-94 when the Friars averaged 10,882 per game.
CLASS BY CLASS..This season's Providence College roster features one senior, seven juniors, three sophomores and five freshman.
FRIARS VERSUS 1997-98 OPPONENTS:
University of Vermont: 2-0
Boston College: 49-36
University of Utah: 1-1
Rhode Island: 59-48
Cleveland State: 1-0
Iona College: 1-1
St. John's: 30-49
West Virginia: 6-1
Seton Hall: 38-32
Notre Dame: 5-3
PROVIDENCE - VERMONT
Series Record: 3rd meeting - Providence leads, 2-0.
BIG EAST Series: N/A
At Vermont: No Games
At Providence: PC leads 2-0
Neutral Courts: No games
Last Meeting: 12/21/91 - PC 74 UVM 67
Last PC win overall: Same as above
Last Vermont win: None
Current Streak: The first meeting between the two schools came on December 19, 1942 with PC winning 73-37. It took 49 years to play the second game in 1991.
STATISTICAL COMPARISON (1996-97 stats)
24-12 Overall Record 14-13
10-8 League Record 7-11
.447 Field Goal Pct. .391
.336 3-Pt. Field Goal Pct. .311
.723 Free Throw Pct.. .645
.431 Opp. FG Pct. .437
.354 Opp. 3-Pt. FG Pct. .325
.669 Opp. FT Pct. .693
37.3 Rebound Average 38.5
+1.1 Rebound Margin - 0.4
16.1 Assists/Game 13.5
15.8 Turnovers/Game 14.1
3.9 Blocks/Game 4.3
9.3 Steals/Game 7.3
76.5 Points/Game 68.6
70.1 Pts Allowed/Game 70.7
Notes: Vermont returns its top nine players from last year's team includeing Third Team America East standout, Erik Nelson. The Cats leading scorer (14.9 ppg, 8.6 pg) was among the national leaders in blocking shots. Forward Craig Peper (13.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and guard Tobe Carberry (7.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg) are other Vermont players to watch.
Coach Tom Brennan is in his 12th season as the Catamounts bench boss. UVM was 14-13 overall last year and finished sixth in America East with a 7-11 record.
Junior guard/forward Jamel Thomas is the Friars' top returning player and has already caught the eye of the national media.
JAMEL THOMAS -
Chosen Preseason Second Team All-BIG EAST
Dick Vitale's Preseason Second Team All-BIG EAST
Adidas/Blue Ribbon Honorable Mention All-American
Athlon Sports Preseason Third Team All-BIG EAST
Swish Magazine New England Division I Men's Dream Team
YOUTH WILL BE SERVED
The Friars open the 1997-98 season with one of the youngest and most inexperi -enced teams in the nation. The lone senior is a four-year walk-on. Jamel Thomas (33) and Corey Wright (3) are the only returning players to start games last year. Here is a look at the games played by members of this year's team: