Nov. 28, 1997

    Friars Prepare for Boston College

    Providence Civic Center (12,993)
    Providence, Rhode Island
    Sunday, November 30, 1997 - 7:00 p.m.          
    PROBABLE STARTERS
    Pos No Name            Pts/Reb.   Ht.  Wt.  Cl  Hometown
    F   25 Ben PERKINS     8.5/11.5   6-7  200  Fr. Vinton, La.    
    F   33 Jamel THOMAS    20.5/10.5  6-6  215  Jr. Brooklyn, N.Y.
    C   42 Llewellyn COLE  6.0/3.5    6-7  215  So. New York, N.Y.
    G   10 Corey WRIGHT    5.5/1.0    5-8  160  Jr. New York, N.Y.    
    G   12 John LINEHAN    11.5/2.0   5-9  165  Fr. Chester, Pa.
    OFF THE BENCH
    G    3 Kendrick MOORE  5.5/5.0   6-3   180  Jr. Hartford, Conn.
    F    4 Kofi POINTER    0.0/0.0   6-8   220  So. Baltimore, Md.
    C    5 T.J. McKENZIE   0.0/5.0   6-10  235  Fr. Friendswood, Tex.        G    13    Mark ADAMS        0.0/0.0    6-3    200        Sr.    Clifton, N.J.
    F   15 Peter FARRELL-  0.0/0.0   6-5   195  Fr. Hanover, Mass.
    G   20 Dennis CLEARY   2.0/0.0   6-0   160  So. West Orange, N.J.
    G/F 24 Erron MAXEY     5.5/2.0   6-6   195  Fr. Lake Elsinore, Cal.
    C   34 Ndongo N'DIAYE  3.0/2.0   7-0   225  So. Dakar, Senegal
    G/F 40 Justin FARLEY   DNP       6-6   205  Jr. Indianapolis, Ind.
    F   50 Rick  CORDELLA  0.0/1.0   6-4   210  Jr. Foxboro, Mass.

    FRIARS VERSUS EAGLES...The Friars and Eagles have met 85 times since the series started on February 16, 1942, a 64-37 Friars' win at the Rhode Island Auditorium. PC leads the all-time series, 49-36. The Friars won last year's lone meeting on February 1st, 83-71 at the Civic Center. PC has won five of the last six and eight of the last 10 meetings between the two schools. In Providence, the Friars have a 32-10 edge while trailing at Chestnut Hill, 15-23. PC also trails, 2-3, on neutral floors. The two teams will meet again on January 20th at Boston College.

    J. Thomas
    Jamel Thomas (on right) is averageing 20.5 points for the Friars. (file photo)

    EAGLE UPDATE...Boston College comes into tonight's game after playing three games this past week at the Maui Invitational. The Eagles are 3-2 on the season after losing to Top-ranked Arizona, 99-69 and George Washington, 76-64, in Maui. The Eagles won their final game, defeating Chaminade, 81-72 on Wednesday. BC started the season with wins over Central Connecticut (87-54) and Florida Atlantic (71-53).

    INJURED LIST...Junior forward Waleed Driscoll (torn ACL - right knee). Could miss the entire 1997-98 season.

    FRIARS IN BIG EAST SEASON OPENERS...Tonight's game marks just the fifth time in the 19 years of the BIG EAST that PC has opened the league schedule at home. The last time that Providence started the BIG EAST schedule with a home game was on December 21, 1989 when the Friars beat Boston College, 85-66. PC is 2-2 in league home openers and the Friars are 1-13 when they open away from home. In all BIG EAST home openers, the Friars are 8-10. The last time PC won a BIG EAST season opener was the December 21st, 1989 win against Boston College. The Friars are 0-7 in their last seven BIG EAST season openers.

    PROVIDENCE...All-time record: 1084-665 (.619) - Best in New England...Home record: 643-200 (.762)...Civic Center record: 319-119 (.727).

    PROVIDENCE IN BIG EAST...112-174 in regular season and 125-191 overall in 18 seasons ... Eighth all-time in wins and percentage.

    HEAD COACH PETE GILLEN
    FOURTH YEAR AT PC: 2-0 (1.000)/(0-0 in BIG EAST)
    Overall at PC: 61-37 (.622)/26-28 in BIG EAST
    XAVIER: 202-75 (.724)
    13-YEAR CAREER: 263-112 (.701)
    BIG EAST TOURNAMENT: 4-3
    BIG EAST GAMES: 26-28
    Vs. Boston College: 4-1
    NON-LEAGUE GAMES: 35-9 (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)    
    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)
    PROVIDENCE COLLEGE BASKETBALL
    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          
                    
    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)...2-0 in November...The Friars were 4-1 in November last season...

    HOME COOKING...The Friars are 2-0 at home this season after going 12-3 at home last season. The Friars are 59-15 (.797) record over the last 74 games at the Providence Civic Center (dating back to January 25, 1993). Over the last five full seasons plus two games this year, PC is 66-18 (.786) at the Civic Center. PC is 34-4 (.895) in its last 38 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 319-119 (.728) record at the Providence Civic Center since the building opened in 1972. The Friars recorded their 300th win on January 8, 1996 against Canisius (91-63).

    NAIL BITERS...PC is 15-11 in games decided by five points or less in Pete Gillen's three seasons at PC. The Friars are 1-0 in games decided by five or less this 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... Junior swingman Justin Farley. who transferred to Providence last January, will be eligible to play on December 20th at Canisius.

    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: 3-0
    Brown: 82-24
    Boston College: 49-36
    University of Utah: 1-1
    Rhode Island: 59-48
    Canisius: 19-5
    Loyola-Marymount: 1-0
    Purdue: 1-4
    Cleveland State: 1-0
    Georgetown: 14-29
    Iona College: 1-1
    Syracuse: 6-33
    Pittsburgh: 13-17
    St. John's: 30-49
    West Virginia: 6-1
    Connecticut: 20-29
    Seton Hall: 38-32
    Miami: 10-7
    Rutgers: 4-0
    Villanova: 25-38
    Notre Dame: 5-3

    FAST ROOKIE STARTS...John Linehan and Ben Perkins got their Providence College career's off to fast starts in the Friars' opening win over Vermont. Linehan played 36 minutes, scored 13 points , grabbed three rebounds and added two assists in the win. Perkins recorded a double-double in his first game with 10 points and a game high 12 rebounds. The 6-7 forward played 36 minutes and his free throw with 3:11 left in the game put the Friars ahead to stay.

    JAMEL THOMAS...Wasted little time in picking up where he left off as a sophomore. The 6-6 swingman scored a game high 25 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and had a PC best three assists in PC's win over Vermont. For Thomas it was the fourth double-double of his career. He also set career bests with 12 free throws and 16 free throws attempted.

    MORE JAMEL....Thomas picked up his second consecutive double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds versus Brown. That's the fifth double-double of his career and marks the first time he's done it in back-to-back games. The last Friar to have two double-doubles in a row was Austin Croshere who did it against Pitt (25-12) and Rutgers (17-13) on February 15th and 18th respectively.

    FOR STARTERS.....The Friars entered the 1997-98 season with just two players who had ever started a college basketball game. Jamel Thomas had 33 starts last season and Corey Wright had three in 1996-97. Ben Perkins, John Linehan and Llewellyn Cole all made their first starts in PC's win over Vemont.

    DEFENSE... The 33 points that Providence held Brown on November 25th were the fewest given up by the Friars since December 5, 1992 when PC defeated New Hampshire, 56-27. Brown scored 13 points in the second half. In the 12/5/92 game against UNH, the Wildcats were held to just 12 points in the first half.

    FIGURE THIS OUT...PC is only shooting 39.8% (41-103) from the floor this season. Despite that, Friar shooters are shooting three-pointers at a 50.0% (12-24) rate. John Linehan leads the Friars with five-of-seven for a 71.4% success rate, while Jamel Thomas has hit four-of-eight (50.0%) on the young season.

    MAKING THEIR MARKS....PC's four freshman are showing what they can do early in the season. Guard John Linehan has scored 13 and 10 points respectively in PC's first two games. Forward Ben Perkins had a double-double in his first game and added 11 more rebounds the second game. Center T.J. McKenzie sat out the first game with a sprained right wrist. Versus Brown, he played just nine minutes and had five rebounds, but no points. Swingman Erron Maxey made the most of his nine minutes against Brown as he scored 11 points with three rebounds.

    FRIARS TAKE TO THE ROAD....Tonight's game against Boston College will be the Friars' final home game until December 23rd against Loyola Marymount. PC heads to the Great 8 on Tuesday, December 2nd where the Friars face Utah. On Tuesday, December 9th, the Friars are the road team when they play the University of Rhode Island at the Civic Center and on December 20th, PC travels to Canisius for a game against the Golden Gryphons at the Marine Midland Arena.

    HOME OPENERS....The Friars opened their 71st season of play with a win against Vermont on November 18th. The Friars are now 63-8 overall in season opening games. When that season opening game is at home, PC is 49-3 and the record is 14-5 when the first game occurs on the road. In home openers, the Friars are 66-5 all-time. Providence has now won four season openers in a row. The Friars have now won 13 straight home openers dating back to November 29, 1984 when they lost a 70-67 decision to Assumption at the Civic Center.