Men's Basketball Weekly Release

November 12, 1998

PROVIDENCE COLLEGE (0-2)
vs.
#23/#25 UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND (2-0) 
Saturday, November 14, 1998 - 1:05 p.m.
Providence Civic Center (12,993) - Providence, Rhode Island

FRIARS VERSUS RAMS...This afternoon's game is the 110th meeting between the two schools from Rhode Island. Providence leads the all-time series, 59-49 although URI has won the last two meetings. When its a Friars' home game, PC is 30-21. URI holds the edge when the Rams are home at 26-25 and the Friars lead on neutral courts, 4-2. URI was a 69-58 winner last season at the Providence Civic Center.

FRIARS VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS...URI is the second nationally-ranked opponent PC will face this week. The Rams are ranked 23rd by the Associated Press and 25th by USA TODAY. The Friars lost a 79-77 decision to #25/#24 Texas Christian University in the second game of the CoSIDA Classic on Tuesday. The last time PC faced two ranked teams in a row was last January when PC lost to #23/#21 ranked West Virginia and #9/#8 ranked Connecticut.

PROBABLE STARTERS

Pos.    No. Name             Pts/Reb.    Ht.  Wt. Class   Hometown
    F   22  Sean CONNOLLY   12.5/3.0    6-4  180    Fr.   Peabody, Mass.
    F   33  Jamel THOMAS    21.5/9.5    6-6  215    Sr.   Brooklyn, N.Y.                  
    C   24  Erron MAXEY      7.0/3.0    6-6  195    So.   Lake Elsinore, Cal.
    G    3  Kendrick MOORE  11.0/2.0    6-3  180    Sr.   Hartford, Conn.
    G   12  John LINEHAN     4.0/2.5    5-9  165    So.   Chester, Pa.
    
OFF THE BENCH
Pos.    No. Name             Pts/Reb.    Ht.  Wt. Class   Hometown
    G    5  Jamaal CAMAH     3.0/1.0    6-4  195    So.   Salem., Mass.
    G   10  Corey WRIGHT     1.0/1.0    5-8  160    Sr.   New York, N.Y.
    F   11  Rahim  JOHNSON   0.0/0.0    6-6  235    Fr.   Queens, N.Y.
    F   15  Peter FARRELL-   0.0/0.0    6-5  195    So.   Hanover, Mass.
                  MARCELLINO
    G   20  Kareem HAYLETTS  0.0/0.0    6-0  160    Fr.   Bergenfield, N.J.
    F   25  Ben PERKINS      0.5/0.5    6-7  205    So.   Vinton, La. 
    F   40  Justin FARLEY    2.0/0.5    6-6  205    Sr.   Indianapolis, Ind.
    F   42  Llewellyn COLE   9.0/0.5    6-7  220    Jr.   New York, N.Y.
    F   50  Ryan McAULIFFE   0.0/0.0    6-5  205    Sr.   Essex Jct., Vt.
LAST GAME...PC jumped out to a 21-9 lead against TCU but couldn't hold off the Horned Frogs in a 79-77 defeat. Jamel Thomas had his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Sean Connolly added 15, Kendrick Moore 11 and Llewellyn Cole 10 in the two point loss. Thomas' final shot missed with two seconds left. TCU was led by All-American candidate Lee Nailon who scored 30 points with ten rebounds. Ryan Carroll added 17 and Scott Gradney got the winning hoop with 18 seconds left. PC was 0-2 in the CoSIDA Classic while TCU was 1-1.

NEXT GAME...The Friars are off until Saturday, November 21 when they host Texas - Pan American University at the Civic Center. Game time is 1:00 p.m. Texas-Pan Am is coached by former Friar Delray Brooks.

PROVIDENCE...All-time record: 1095-683 (.617) - Second in New England...Home record: 649-208 (.758)...Civic Center record: 325-127 (.719).

PROVIDENCE IN BIG EAST...119-185 in regular season and 133-203 overall in 19 seasons ... Eighth all-time in wins and percentage.

PC ON THE AIR... Marquette at Boston College 7:30 pm WPRO Radio - 630 AM with John Wagner at Rutgers 7:30 pm Rooke and Joe Hassett. WJAR-TV 10 St. Peter's at Seton Hall 7:30 pm and ESPN Regional with Mike Gorman and Alabama A&M at West Virginia 8:00 pm Ron Perry, Jr.

PROVIDENCE COLLEGE BASKETBALL - TOUGH SCHEDULE...Friars' head coach, Tim Welsh has a tough schedule in his first season as PC's basketball bench boss. 16 of the team's 28 games come against teams that played in postseason tournaments a year ago. 12 games come against NCAA Tournament teams (TCU, URI, North Carolina State, Purdue, Connecticut, Syracuse, Miami and two each against West Virginia and St. John's). The other four are against teams that saw NIT action - Vanderbilt, Seton Hall and two with Georgetown.

HOME COOKING...The Friars finished the 1988-89 season with an 8-6 home record. Over the last six full seasons PC is 72-26 (.735) at the Civic Center. The Friars are 36-7 (.837) in their last 43 non-conference games in Providence dating back to the start of the 1992-93 season. The back-to-back losses against Vanderbilt and TCU mark the first time since the 1984-85 season that PC has lost two non-conference games in a row at home. That year, the Friars dropped home games to Assumption and Dayton on November 29 and December 1.

NAIL BITERS...The Friars were 5-3 last season in "close" games - games decided by five or less points. They are 0-1 this season after losing to TCU, 79-77.

MONTH BY MONTH...PC's November 9th opening date marks the earliest any Friar team has ever started the season. The earliiest start was last November 18 against Vermont. The most any PC team has ever played in November is five and that was during the 1996-97 season when PC played in the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks. Last year, the Friars were 2-1 in November...PC is 0-2 this November.

CIVIC CENTER RECORD...PC owns a 325-127 (.719) 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).

FRIARS IN SEASON OPENERS...With the season opening loss to Vanderbilt, the Friars' all-time record in season opening games goes to 63-9. When that season opening game is at home, PC is 49-4. When the first game is on the road, the Friars are 14-5. In home openers, the Friars are 66-6 all-time. Last night's loss snapped a four-year streak of wins in season openers and a string of 13 straight home openers dating back to November 29, 1984 when they lost a 70-67 decision to Assumption at the Civic Center. PC's last season opening loss came on November 26, 1993 - a 113-102 overtime loss.

FRIARS IN THE NBA...Providence College had eight players and one coach in the NBA the last time that league played games. They are:

Otis Thorpe - Washington Wizards
Austin Croshere - Indiana Pacers
Eric Murdock - Miami Heat
God Shammgod - Washington Wizards
Dickey Simpkins - Chicago Bulls
Michael Smith - Vancouver Grizzlies
Eric Williams - Denver Nuggets
Marty Conlon - Miami Heat

Also, Atlanta Hawks coach Lenny Wilkens, is one of Providence College's all-time greatest players.

FAMOUS RELATIVES...Senior standout Jamel Thomas is the cousin of the Minnesota Timberwolves' Stephon Marbury.

NEW ASSISTANT COACHES...Joining Tim Welsh at Providence College are four new assistant coaches. Steve DeMeo joined Welsh on April 2nd after the two worked together at Iona. King Rice, a former standout point guard at North Carolina joins the staff after spending five years at Illinois State as an assistant. Bob Walsh comes to Providence after a year at San Diego State. He had served as a graduate assistant to Welsh at Iona for two years prior to taking an assistants job in San Diego. Vince Cautero takes over as the administrative assistant. He has been an assistant coach at Florida State (1988-1992) and Florida International (1992-1998).

ONE DIVISION FORMAT...The BIG EAST returns to a one division format this season doing away with the BIG EAST 7 and BIG EAST 6 Divisions. Teams will be ranked from 1-13 for the 18-game regular season schedule. This will also be the final year that the BIG EAST plays an 18-game league schedule. A 16-game schedule will be in place for the 1999-2000 season.

KENDRICK MOORE SELECTED...Providence College senior guard Kendrick Moore (Hartford, Conn.) has been selected to the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for the 1998-99 school year. The SAAC is made up of dedicated, hard working student-athletes who are the voice of their fellow student-athletes within the NCAA. The committee meets three times a year in January, March and August. Moore's appointment began on September 1st.

FREE THROWS...Providence College had three players shoot 78% or better from the charity stripe last season. Freshman guard John Linehan led the way with a 90.7% success rate, making 49 of 54 on the year. The 90.7% success rate was the best ever by a Providence College freshman and the second highest single season total ever. (Joe Hassett, .941 in 1976-77 season is best at PC). Senior guard Kendrick Moore hit on 81.1% (73 of 90) and senior forward Jamel Thomas checked in with a 78.0% success rate as he hit 156 of his 200 free throws on the year.

NEW COMERS...The Friars return eight starters from last season and have added three new players for 11 players under scholarship. Freshman Sean Connolly is expected to start for the Friars after scoring 30 points in two preseason games. The 6-4, 180-pound Connolly was the Massachusetts Player of the Year last season and is the fourth all-time leading scorer in state history. Jamaal Camah (pronounced comma)sat out last season as a Prop 48 but will play a key role in Tim Welsh's game plan this season. A tenacious defender, Camah scored 20 points in the two preseason games with eight rebounds. The third freshman, Rahim Johnson did not play in either preseason game as he continues to work his way into the Friars new system. He is expected to see playing time during the coming season.

TWO YEAR SENIORS...Two key members to the 1998-99 Friars are seniors Kendrick Moore and Justin Farley. Both close out PC careers this season after transferring two years ago from Missouri. Moore, who graduated in the spring and is currently a graduate student working on his MBA led the Friars with 3.3 assists per game last year and was third in scoring with 9.2 points per game. Moore is like a coach on the floor and can play either guard spot. Farley joined the Friars before Christmas last season after transferring from Evansville. The 6-6, 205-pound forward worked his way into a starting role in January and was second on the team with 9.5 points per game. In his last eight games of the season he averaged 14.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Both players are excellent students and are candidates for Academic All-America honors this season.

SLOW START...The Friars' 0-2 start marks the first time since 1932-33 that PC has opened the year with two losses. The Friars have never lost three games in a row to start the season.

HEAD COACH TIM WELCH

FIRST YEAR AT PC: 0-2 Overall at PC: 0-2 IONA: 70-22 (.761) 4-YEAR CAREER: 70-24 (.744) BIG EAST TOURNAMENT: BIG EAST GAMES: NON-LEAGUE GAMES: 0-2 NCAA TOURNAMENT: 0-1 (1997-98) NIT: 0-2 (1995-96, 1996-97) VERSUS RHODE ISLAND: 2-0 (while at Iona) CLOSE ONES: 0-1

(Games decided by five or less)

1997-98 (27-6/10-4)...Led Iona to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship...Coached Iona to first NCAA appearance since 1985...MAAC Coach of the Year...Metropolitan Area's Division I Coach of the Year...Jack Bruen Award as New York State Coach of the Year...Team won school record 27 games...

1996-97 (22-8/11-3)...Led Iona to first place finish in MAAC...Made second consecutive NIT appearance...MAAC Coach of the Year...NABC District II Coach of the Year...

1995-96 (21-8/15-3)...Won first of three MAAC regular season titles...Took Iona to first NIT appearance since 1983...Winner of Peter A. Carlesimo Award as Metropolitan Area Division I Coach of the Year...

JAMEL THOMAS - ALL-AMERICA and ALL-BIG EAST Candidate
Senior forward Jamel Thomas came into his own during the 1997-98 season and will once again be the Friars' team leader on and off the floor. As a junior, Thomas scored over 500 points for the second time in his career to become only the ninth Providence player in school history to reach that plateau. He joins: Jimmy Walker (three times), Marvin Barnes (three times), Joey Hassett (three times), Bruce Campbell, Ernie DiGregorio, John Thompson, John Egan and Kevin Stacom.

The Friars team MVP in 19987-88, Thomas finished the regular season averaging 18.5 points and 6.9 rebounds to lead the team in both categories. He had career highs in three points attempted (178); free throws (156); free throws attempted (200); free throw percentage (.780); rebounds (200) and steals (44).

In the BIG EAST, Thomas was third in scoring averaging 19.2 points (346) in league games. Eric Murdock (1990-91) is the only PC Friar to score more points (435) or have a better scoring average (27.2) than Thomas in BIG EAST play. The Brooklyn, New York native is already fourth on PC's all-time BIG EAST scoring list with 771 points in 54 league games over three seasons.

1998-99 PRESEASON HONORS FOR JAMEL THOMAS

  • FIRST TEAM All-BIG EAST
  • Basketball News First Team All-BIG EAST
  • Dick Vitale's College Basketball Second Team All-BIG EAST
  • Dick Vitale's Sixth Best Swing Forward in Country
  • Swish Magazine New England Division I Dream Team

    1,000 POINT CLUB...Thomas became the 34th player in PC history to score over 1,000 points in his career on January 13th at Syracuse. With 1,310 points in three seasons, Thomas currently ranks 13th on PC's all-time scoring list. Here's the Top 13 scorers in PC history:

     NO  PLAYER             GP    POINTS
      1  Jimmy Walker       81     2,045
      2  Eric Murdock      117     2,021
      3  Marvin Barnes      89     1,839
      4  Joe Hassett       124     1,828
      5  Bruce Campbell    122     1,809
      6  Ernie DiGregorio   86     1,760
      7  Otis Thorpe       113     1,625
      8  Austin Croshere   121     1,523
      9  John Thompson      79     1,520
     10  Jim Hadnot         84     1,467
     11  John Egan          80     1,434
     12  Bob Cooper        123     1,424
     13  JAMEL THOMAS       95     1,353
    

    DOUBLE FIGURES...Jamel Thomas scored in double figures in every game for the Friars last season. He and Notre Dame standout, Pat Garritty were the only two players in the BIG EAST to do that in every game. Thomas heads into his senior season with a streak of 33 consecutive games in double figures, tops in the BIG EAST. Thomas scored 536 points in 29 games for an 18.5 ppg average.

    REBOUNDER TOO... Thomas led the Friars in rebounding on the season with 200 rebounds in 29 games for a 6.9 rebound per game average. He became the first Friar to lead the team in scoring and rebounds since Steve Wright did it in 1987-88. Since 1956-57 only Jim Hadnot (3 times), John Thompson, Marvin Barnse (twice), Rudy Williams, Rich Hunger, Otis Thorpe, Wright and Thomas have led the Friars in both scoring and rebounding in a single season.

    SUPERPESTS...Keep an eye on Friar guards John Linehan and Corey Wright. Despite their size (5-9 and 5-8 respectively), they have a way of getting under their opponents skin. The duo combined for 105 steals last season with Linehan getting 50 and Wright 55. Linehan set a BIG EAST freshman record with nine steals in a game against Pittsburgh. With seven steals in the Vanderbilt and TCU games, Corey Wright moved into ninth on the Friars' all-time steals list with 135 in 67 games.

    1.  Eric Murdock        117 376
    2.  Carlton Screen      109 226
    3.  Harold Starks       117 207
    4.  Joe Hassett         124 176
    5.  Michael Brown       123 174
    6.  Billy Donovan       122 170
    7.  Bill Eason          116 159
    8.  Dwight Williams      61 150
    9.  Corey Wright         66 135
    

    PRESEASON PICKS...The Friars were picked to finish 10th in the BIG EAST this season in voting done by the league's coaches. Senior Jamel Thomas was selected to the Preseason First All-BIG EAST team by the coaches. Here's a look at both polls:

    BIG EAST COACHES' POLL

     1.      Connecticut  (12)   144
     2.      Syracuse (1)        130
     3.      Miami               116
     4.      St. John's          102
     5.      Georgetown           98
     6.      Villanova            79
     7.      Pittsburgh           78
     8.      Rutgers              72   
     9.      Seton Hall           60
    10.      PROVIDENCE           54
    11.      West Virginia        42
    12.      Notre Dame           26
    13.      Boston College       14
    
    FIRST TEAM ALL-BIG EAST...
    Richard Hamilton - Connecticut
    Tim James - Miami
    Vonteego Cummings - Pittsburgh
    Khalid El-Amin - Connecticut
    JAMEL THOMAS - Providence

    SECOND TEAM
    Shernard Long - Georgetown
    Geoff Billet - Rutgers
    Ron Artest - St. John's
    Ryan Blackwell - Syracuse
    Etan Thomas - Syracuse

    PLAYER OF THE YEAR
    Richard Hamilton - Connecticut

    CO-ROOKIES OF THE YEAR
    Anthony Perry - Georgetown
    Erick Barkley - St. John's

    FRIARS VERSUS 1998-99 FOES...

        Vanderbilt University:    0-1
        Texas Christian Univ:     0-1
        Rhode Island:           59-49
        Texas Pan-American:       0-0
        North Carolina State:     0-2
        Maine:                    5-0
        Cleveland State:          2-0
        Brown:                  82-24
        Purdue:                   1-5
        Arkansas:                 0-0
        Boston College:         50-37
        Georgetown:             14-30
        Syracuse:                7-34
        Pittsburgh:             14-18
        St. John's:             30-50
        West Virginia:            6-2
        Connecticut:            20-32
        Seton Hall:             39-33
        Miami:                   11-8
        Rutgers:                  4-1   
        Villanova:              26-39
        Notre Dame:               7-3
    

    BOARD GAMES...Through the first two games of the season, the Friars have been outrebounded by a 71-58 margin. Vanderbilt outrebounded PC by seven and TCU did it by nine.

    GAME        PC   OPP    DIFF
    VANDERBILT  28    35   - 7.0
    TCU         30    36   - 6.0
    TOTALS      58    71   -13.0
    

    DOUBLE-DOUBLES....Friars with double-doubles this season:

    PLAYER      GAME       
    J. Thomas   TCU 21 pts/11rebs.
    
    GETTING NAILED....TCU's All-American forward candidate, Lee Nailon, turned in a double-double against the Friars. The 6-10 big man scored 30 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the 79-77 win on November 10th in the CoSIDA Classic. Nailon is the first player to score 30 on the Friars since December 21, 1995 when Reggie Freeman lit the Friars up for 37 points in a 92-83 loss at Texas.

    MOVING UP...With 43 points already this season, Jamel Thomas passed Billy Donovan to move into 13th on the Friars' all-time scoring list with 1,353 points. He has now scored in double figures in 35 consecutive games.

    CHARITY STRIPE...The Friars made just eight of 17 free throw attempts in the 72-66 loss to Vanderbilt. They bounced back the following night with a 23-27 (.852) night against Texas Christian.


     

     

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