2022-23 Providence College Hoops: AMPed for a Title Defense

bsan34

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I mean, for someone super ambitious, every school is in some way a stepping stone except for like 5.

The dream is having someone like Jay Wright, Mark Few, etc., but those are so rare. What hurts about Cooley is it seemed like he was one of those, and at one time probably envisioned himself being that. He probably could have left without taking a flamethrower to what he'd built here if he left for Texas, Michigan, etc. He chose very poorly.
 

Humphrey

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I'm relatively neutral here (Holy Cross). Simply don't see the Georgetown job being anything great in this day and age. Their best attendance that I can find for ONE SEASON is pretty much what PC gets year in and year out.

What would really suck is if he brought a few players with him. One of them will not be Hopkins, he'd have to sit out a year.
 

Pepper03

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I agree the way he’s handled this is going to leave a lot of ill will behind. It didn’t have to be this way. It’s a shame. It really is. I’ll be with some of his biggest fans today who’ve said in the past if he did leave they would understand and be thankful for what he did for the program. I wonder what they will think after the last few days in particular and maybe how this did impact the season.
I really hope if he leaves they find a guy like Holloway at SHU. My daughter is an alum so we are big fans of the Pirates. I think he’s going to be a very good leader for that program.
 

pdaj

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Cooley seems to be presenting with diminished executive functioning. The only time I've seen an experienced man make an impulsive job change for more money is when he's preparing for/in the divorce process.

Regardless, I see this as a loss/loss/loss situation. A loss for Georgetown, a loss for Providence, and a loss for Cooley.
 

Mloaf71

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Cooley seems to be presenting with diminished executive functioning. The only time I've seen an experienced man make an impulsive job change for more money is when he's preparing for/in the divorce process.

Regardless, I see this as a loss/loss/loss situation. A loss for Georgetown, a loss for Providence, and a loss for Cooley.
Agree, if you had a $6M budget I can’t believe Cooley is your top target? That’s too 5 - 10 pay in the nation for a guy with 3 tourney wins in his career.
 

steveluck7

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Officially official via the PC twitter


College President Rev. Kenneth R. Sicard, O.P. and Athletics Director Steve Napolillo have announced that the college will begin a national search for a men’s basketball coach to replace Ed Cooley, who resigned today. He coached the Friars for 12 seasons.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Agree, if you had a $6M budget I can’t believe Cooley is your top target? That’s too 5 - 10 pay in the nation for a guy with 3 tourney wins in his career.
Agreed he is not top 10, but I have a tough time settling on where he truly stands. I mean getting PC to the tournament 7 out of 9 years is an unprecedented accomplishment in program history, and have to give Cooley props for giving his squad that many cracks at the Big Dance. And I have to take the lack of tourney wins with a grain of salt due to the "lose-and-you're-out" format and relying on the luck of the matchups, injuries, etc. But at the same time his teams have had wild swings in season and recruiting-wise the team always seems one piece short of being a shoo-in to consistently advance past the 1st round of the tourney. In the Big East, they should be able to attain a very good seed year-over-year and avoid some of these difficult matchups.

I think Cooley saw the writing on the wall that despite the body of work, the perception of his postseason struggles was going to quickly bring him to a fork in the road. Get out of dodge while he still has upward or lateral mobility, or Cooley may have been headed toward the gallows himself with a few consecutive subpar seasons, left to drop down to a lesser job. Georgetown is a good match in that Cooley is prolific at GETTING to the Dance, and that is all G'Town wants in the near future. Success in the tournament commensurate with their prime years will be a more distant phase 2.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Officially official via the PC twitter


College President Rev. Kenneth R. Sicard, O.P. and Athletics Director Steve Napolillo have announced that the college will begin a national search for a men’s basketball coach to replace Ed Cooley, who resigned today. He coached the Friars for 12 seasons.
They've really let Ed Cooley control the narrative on his presumed and now actual exit thus far. I'm hoping for their sake it is because they have been reaching out to coaches behind the scenes and have a short list of guys who can keep the program moving without missing a beat.
 

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Did Dan Hurley’s quick success at UConn make Cooley and wife think about a different version of their future?
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Did Dan Hurley’s quick success at UConn make Cooley and wife think about a different version of their future?
Well unfortunately as someone who wants PC to be a major player, this leads me to him not getting a warm and fuzzy feeling about commitment to the basketball program from the new AD. Steve Napolillo replaced Bob Driscoll who was simpatico with Cooley, after his retirement in 2022. And Napolillo has been with PC Cooley's whole career, so this departure are the new AD's first season is not a glowing endorsement.
 

Mloaf71

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I’m not an insider by any means but his interview last night has led to speculation about issues in his personal life that necessitated a move to a new city.

Take it with a shaker of salt…
 

steveluck7

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Well unfortunately as someone who wants PC to be a major player, this leads me to him not getting a warm and fuzzy feeling about commitment to the basketball program from the new AD. Steve Napolillo replaced Bob Driscoll who was simpatico with Cooley, after his retirement in 2022. And Napolillo has been with PC Cooley's whole career, so this departure are the new AD's first season is not a glowing endorsement.
FWIW, this aligns with stuff I’ve heard from folks I know here in Lil Rhody. different feelings towards NIL $$ were a part of it.
 

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HomeRunBaker

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The pouring-you-hear-out interview yesterday was a mistake but beyond that, I'm not sure what Cooley could have done differently. When one party desperately wants to stay together, there's no good way to break up.
He was in a can’t win situation. If he says he is going to stay then leaves, he’s a liar. If he downplays it, he let his team down.

I wish he was more open minded about Kolek’s leap that he took at George Mason coupled with the long relationship he’s had with his father knowing and playing with him since HS.

So much is unknown though…..there is a greater than zero chance that Cooley knew there was a real good chance he was leaving this year for Georgetown after Ewing failed.We were also loaded at guard and didn’t want to put his old buddies son in a spot of losing two coaches in two years. The Kolek’s are an extremely loyal family. The father could have transferred to a D-1 school during his time at UMass-Dartmouth but that was his commitment. His son never would have even left George Mason without the coaching change.

Any word on transfers or recruits leaving?
I would imagine most, if not all, of them. That’s just how it works today.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I think Cooley saw the writing on the wall that despite the body of work, the perception of his postseason struggles was going to quickly bring him to a fork in the road. Get out of dodge while he still has upward or lateral mobility, or Cooley may have been headed toward the gallows himself with a few consecutive subpar seasons, left to drop down to a lesser job.
He literally won a National Coach of the Year Award 12 months ago…..at Providence College.

Cooley seems to be presenting with diminished executive functioning. The only time I've seen an experienced man make an impulsive job change for more money is when he's preparing for/in the divorce process.

Regardless, I see this as a loss/loss/loss situation. A loss for Georgetown, a loss for Providence, and a loss for Cooley.
Do we know it was impulsive though? Every year someone is after him and at some point an option will be intriguing especially with a new President who is not your old President.

Georgetown went from Ewing to Cooley, how in the world is that a loss? Cooley received a huge pay increase. The only real loser here is Providence.
 

pdaj

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He literally won a National Coach of the Year Award 12 months ago…..at Providence College.

Do we know it was impulsive though? Every year someone is after him and at some point an option will be intriguing especially with a new President who is not your old President.

Georgetown went from Ewing to Cooley, how in the world is that a loss? Cooley received a huge pay increase. The only real loser here is Providence.
Georgetown is paying him 6 million. He was making 4.5 in Rhode Island -- about top-15 in the country. Considering the cost of living, it's a push. This wasn't about money.

Cooley benefitted from the false narrative that Providence is the hardest job in the country. This may have been the case 15 years ago but it's no longer true. (Facilities are outstanding). As a result of the sustained perception, if you do well here, you're always going to be in consideration for national recognition. It's like COY in the NFL. The best perceived "overachiever" wins almost every time.

Ed deserves credit for stabilizing/elevating PC's program following dark times. But let's not get crazy. In his hometown, folks were readying his statue after a Sweet 16 run that included wins against South Dakota State and Richmond. He's won one other NCAA tourney game during his time (12 years). Worthy of top-15 pay? Not based on results. John Thompson's son got fired after a much more successful tenure.

Cooley's an average X's and O's guy, but his strengths are in his abilities to connect, recruit, and sell his story. Being a "Providence guy" was a big part of that, and why PC invested so much into keeping him.

I don't think Georgetown's getting the hungrier, grinder of a coach Cooley was years ago. (Ed's health issues are well known.) They're a program in dire straights, similar to when Ed came to Providence. I think that, for a while, just getting back to the NCAA will be enough. I don't think Cooley ever sniffs another Sweet 16, and when that's clear, he'll move on to TV.

So when I say it was an impulsive decision? For the move to be handled so poorly throughout … to the point of severely tarnishing his legacy in his own city … for another 5-7 years of coaching? When he could have likely bounced to Michigan or Louisville and been cheered onward? I suspect that other, more private/personal matters contributed. The skeletons in the closet type.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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He literally won a National Coach of the Year Award 12 months ago…..at Providence College.
Even if the coach of the year was awarded based on best turnaround which it often is (taking out Bill Self, Mark Few, etc.), you could argue Bruce Pearl, Tommy Lloyd and John Calipari had a bigger team improvement year over year from 20-21 to 21-22. PC's offensive rating was 101st and defensive rating was 125th. They weren't near the objective 13th best team in the country like the final AP Poll shows.

As @pdaj says above, PC seems to get some sort of underdog label despite being a very well-equipped program (as close as you can get to Power 5 without having football). So when they start winning, for some reason journalists (who are the voters for the Naismith award) start saying "OMG where did these guys come from?!?! Give them all the accolades." Cooley is also a great salesman and breeds a family culture, displayed by his reaching out to Georgetown basketball alumni per their message boards and hitting the ground running by securing a transfer to Georgetown who literally visited him at the PC campus last weekend. Helping G'Town on PC's dime haha.

Cooley's a very good coach and PC may not win as consistently without him, but I'm having a hard time seeing a major improvement in his success at Georgetown vs what was built at Providence. At least a level of success that is worth burning bridges at his hometown school. Now whether the extra dollars are worth it? He must think so...
 

HomeRunBaker

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Hearing that Kim English, the George Mason coach, is a done deal to Providence. Not from my 100% source but a next level source that I trust.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Cooley benefitted from the false narrative that Providence is the hardest job in the country. This may have been the case 15 years ago but it's no longer true. (Facilities are outstanding). As a result of the sustained perception, if you do well here, you're always going to be in consideration for national recognition. It's like COY in the NFL. The best perceived "overachiever" wins almost every time.
I don't buy the top 15 narrative myself, but let's not undersell Cooley here.

I was there for the Elite 8 run, and then I had to watch the likes of Tim Welsh and Keno Davis have what, 3 winning records in 13 years of conference play? The reason Providence is considered a better place to play now is not because of the facilities (which are certainly better than when I was there, as well as the entire campus itself), it's because of Ed Cooley. Kids wanted to come and play for him, he knew he couldn't compete with the 1 and done programs and get 5 stars, so he went out and used the transfer portal like a boss and focused on experienced kids who couldn't get off the bench for whatever reason where they were and he coached them up, but they were still never deep in talent.

He took over a program that had gone 4-14 in conference in back to back years, then went 4-14 in his first year. As much as Providence, the city, has gotten nicer and more metropolitan, I just don't see the draw that others are seeing. Cooley was the draw, and I fear we're heading into a prolonged period of pain, unless they manage to grab a coach who moves the needle.
 

pdaj

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He took over a program that had gone 4-14 in conference in back to back years, then went 4-14 in his first year. As much as Providence, the city, has gotten nicer and more metropolitan, I just don't see the draw that others are seeing. Cooley was the draw, and I fear we're heading into a prolonged period of pain unless they manage to grab a coach who moves the needle.
Cooley deserves A TON of credit for getting PC to the NCAAs consistently. His energy, especially in the early going, helped Driscoll in his efforts to fundraise for the vast improvements we've seen over the past 12 years.

Let's not forget, however, that Cooley's transition to Providence also co-occurred with the restructuring of the conference. The Friars have benefitted from the smaller, mostly basketball-only reconfiguration as much as any other program. Despite Cooley's success, I'd argue that he never overachieved. Despite recruiting well and killing it in the portal, he did as well as expected or didn't go as far (NCAA 1st round). He grabbed HIGHLY ranked recruits (Dunn, Duke, Reeves), yet the potential never quite actualized.

But, hey, when you lived through the Welsh and Keno days (like we have), the Cooley years feel like a truly golden era. (Ed's now entering the very same situation at GU.) I'm hoping that Cooley's work will be a catalyst for even better days ahead. With the right coaching hire, perhaps that will be the case. Over the next decade, I'd easily trade 50% fewer NCAA appearances for twice as many 2nd weekends.

I'm not a betting person, but if I was, I'd put considerable money on Cooley's decision being described by Ed himself (and objective observers) as a poor decision when it's all said and done. Time will tell!
 

HomeRunBaker

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I think Cooley is going to make Ewing look very, very bad in a short period of time…..like as soon as the next few months.
 

Mloaf71

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Seems like English is a done deal and unfortunately the Cooley personal stuff I alluded to yesterday seems to be a major driving factor in his decision to leave.

It’s unfortunate that if he knew he had to go he couldn’t try and leave the home town team in a better position as opposed to the Parcells like episode we’ve seen here. At least Parcells went to the ‘ship that year.
 

moondog80

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Cooley is catching shit for how he handled recruiting in the final months, which I 100% get, but...this must happen all the time. He's not the first coach to find out about a job through backdoor channels and knowing he was going to take it well before it became official. What's the ethical thing to do at that point? Tell recruits nothing and act you can't wait to coach them? Be honest and tell them you are leaving when you haven't told anyone else? Not recruit at all? What should a closeted lame duck coach do?
 

shawnrbu

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It’s hard to get excited about Kim English because as soon as he wins 1 or 2 NCAA tournament games with PC, he will move on to another job. The great thing about Cooley is he made you feel like he was a lifer and it was totally believable until two weeks ago.
 

bsan34

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We just paid a coach in the top 15 in the country and built a brand new practice facility! If we lose Kim English 6 years from now because some school loses its fucking mind and makes like it’s the first day of NFL free agency with him then we had a good run.
 

rmurph3

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We just paid a coach in the top 15 in the country and built a brand new practice facility! If we lose Kim English 6 years from now because some school loses its fucking mind and makes like it’s the first day of NFL free agency with him then we had a good run.
If it's six years from now, sure... good run, spin the wheel again. But what if it's two years? That's the risk you run. Not saying that's particular to English, just the reality of someone without a sticky connection to PC like Cooley.
 

steveluck7

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If it's six years from now, sure... good run, spin the wheel again. But what if it's two years? That's the risk you run. Not saying that's particular to English, just the reality of someone without a sticky connection to PC like Cooley.
Isn’t this the real test? If English comes in, has success and leaves in 2 years then is t PC back to (still?) just a low end “major” school? If, OTOH, he comes in, had success and in 2 years passes up on “bigger” (more successful but not necessarily blue blood level) jobs, does PC get elevated (or stay elevated) and be on the level of the Villanovas, Syracuses, etc. of the world?
 

Mloaf71

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It’s all about how big of a buy out PC can negotiate into his contract to protect themselves from poaching.

Cooley’s buyout was only $5M - $6M…live and learn.
 

CouchsideSteve

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I agree with a lot of what has been said above regarding Cooley and the state of the program. I also think it’s important to acknowledge that the school was very aggressive with his compensation and is competitive (relative to the Big East) in NIL — Jeff Goodman noted the latter point in a Field of 68 podcast earlier this week. The facilities and fans are *elite*, as we all know.

The problem, to the extent you can call it that, has been maximizing high end talent. Ed has turned several 3 and low 4-star recruits into all-conference players (e.g., Henton, Bentil, Cartwright). Unfortunately, we’ve been star-crossed with our elite recruits:
  • Kris Dunn (#16 nationally in his class per 247 Sports) was a super duper star here, despite injuries
  • Ricky Ledo (#11) and Brandon Austin (#47) never suited up for PC due to off court issues
  • Paschal Chuwku (#67) jumped to Syracuse after one season and his late spring transfer really hurt the team in Dunn’s last year, even if he never developed into a star
  • Then what really hurt was to bring in Makai-Ashton Langford in ‘17 (#41) and David Duke and AJ Reeves in ‘18 (#47 & #48), only to have none of the three pan out in terms of really high end college production
All told, I think you would expect a higher yield from that group — Reeves was the only guy here for the Sweet 16 run, and he was that team’s 4th or 5th best player. If we had one more guy pop and become a multi-year all Big East player, I wonder if the results and narrative are different. That’s where this perception of a ceiling over Providence remains in tact.

***

As for Kim English… boy do I think he’s in for a rough time going head to head against Cooley, Pitino, McDermott, Miller, Shaka and Hurley on the Xs and Os. But if he can keep Bryce Hopkins, Devan Carter and Corey Floyd — all of whom would need a waiver to transfer — it might be OK. The recruiting just becomes extremely important from here forward, whereas Cooley punted on a couple of years because the player development was so good.
 

Mloaf71

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*

As for Kim English… boy do I think he’s in for a rough time going head to head against Cooley, Pitino, McDermott, Miller, Shaka and Hurley on the Xs and Os. But if he can keep Bryce Hopkins, Devan Carter and Corey Floyd — all of whom would need a waiver to transfer — it might be OK. The recruiting just becomes extremely important from here forward, whereas Cooley punted on a couple of years because the player development was so good.
By all accounts English is a great recruiter. He needs to keep the Big 4, the 3 you mentioned plus Pierre, and bring in a couple of his high end guys from Mason to get off to a good start.

If he’s competitive next year, I think he can keep the talent level up and flowing.

I’m worried that at 34 years old he doesn’t have enough X and O coaching chops and doesn’t have the network to bring in a really solid staff. Leveling up a mid major staff won’t cut it. It took Cooley a few years to get the right staff around him.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Cooley is catching shit for how he handled recruiting in the final months, which I 100% get, but...this must happen all the time. He's not the first coach to find out about a job through backdoor channels and knowing he was going to take it well before it became official. What's the ethical thing to do at that point? Tell recruits nothing and act you can't wait to coach them? Be honest and tell them you are leaving when you haven't told anyone else? Not recruit at all? What should a closeted lame duck coach do?
With todays rules, it doesn’t even matter if he was recruiting since kids would simply leave once the coach made the announcement he was going. People who don’t recognize this simply aren’t paying attention. English better get to work quickly as I’m sure we’ll be losing many of the kids that Cooley brought here through the protocol.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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ESPN speculated Micah Shrewsbury as a candidate for the Friars... [behind pay wall, but trust me, okay?]
 

Pmoose82

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The Scout board is agreeing with your source too.
Everybody over there is repeating the same Twitter rumors, but is there anything that actually seems valid? It seems like people just don't want to accept that Cooley left for a better job.
 

RedOctober3829

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Kim English is going to be the head coach which I think is a very underwhelming hire. Assuming the first call was to Billy Donovan which was a turn down I would have looked to others such as Micah Shrewsbury, Steve Pikiell or Chris Collins. Established power conference coaches who have experience building programs up.
 

bsan34

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Kim English is going to be the head coach which I think is a very underwhelming hire. Assuming the first call was to Billy Donovan which was a turn down I would have looked to others such as Micah Shrewsbury, Steve Pikiell or Chris Collins. Established power conference coaches who have experience building programs up.
It's a reach, but if you think they have "it" (and Rick Barnes and Frank Haith both think he does), then I'm fine with it.
 

Mloaf71

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Everybody over there is repeating the same Twitter rumors, but is there anything that actually seems valid? It seems like people just don't want to accept that Cooley left for a better job.
On the pay side of Scout there are a couple guys very close to the Program who were hinting at it before Cooley’s weird interview with Providence news on Sunday, after that interview it got more specific and then Tuesday all hell broke loose on twitter.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Kim English is going to be the head coach which I think is a very underwhelming hire. Assuming the first call was to Billy Donovan which was a turn down I would have looked to others such as Micah Shrewsbury, Steve Pikiell or Chris Collins. Established power conference coaches who have experience building programs up.
Why would any of those guys come to Providence? We don’t get experienced guys, we never have. Nearly all of our hires in modern history have been young coaches with a couple years experience who had success at a lower level. The only one I can think of who didn’t fit that timeline was Gillen.
 

HomeRunBaker

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On the pay side of Scout there are a couple guys very close to the Program who were hinting at it before Cooley’s weird interview with Providence news on Sunday, after that interview it got more specific and then Tuesday all hell broke loose on twitter.
This is funny. I texted my guy. They are literally at dinner with him right now. My read is that they are finalizing some minor contractual language…..either that or English is planning to pull a Sly Williams and wanted to get one more Capitol Grille meal out of this!
 

moondog80

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The way (many) Friar fans are handling this is an embarrassment. The only reason Georgetown is the first Big East school to hire a coach from another school in-conference is that Fr. Shanley was unable to talk Rick Pitino into leaving Louisville. The same people who are complaining that Cooley is going to steer his recruits to GTown are also wondering if Kim English can get the top 100 commit George Mason has to come to PC.

I get it, it sucks. I wish he stayed. But he didn't. He left for what is almost certainly a better job in terms of being able to position yourself for a run at a national championship. I'm happy for the 12 years he spent at PC but to paraphrase Bill Belichick, I'm on to Kim English.
 

RedOctober3829

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Why would any of those guys come to Providence? We don’t get experienced guys, we never have. Nearly all of our hires in modern history have been young coaches with a couple years experience who had success at a lower level. The only one I can think of who didn’t fit that timeline was Gillen.
Times are a changing. They were paying Cooley at a level that a coach like I named would command so they're obviously good with paying top dollar. If PC wants to be content with where they are now, fine go hire a mid major guy who can keep things where they are. The guys I mentioned are experienced but they’re also grinders who have built good programs at places where it’s not historically been easy to win. Now Pikes would probably be out of their league given the enormous buyout in his deal but the other two would get a nice raise if they pay them the way they paid Cooley.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Times are a changing. They were paying Cooley at a level that a coach like I named would command so they're obviously good with paying top dollar. If PC wants to be content with where they are now, fine go hire a mid major guy who can keep things where they are. The guys I mentioned are experienced but they’re also grinders who have built good programs at places where it’s not historically been easy to win. Now Pikes would probably be out of their league given the enormous buyout in his deal but the other two would get a nice raise if they pay them the way they paid Cooley.
Are they changing? Take Cooley out of the pictures and it is same as it ever was. We just signed English who is 35 yrs old with two years head coaching experience at a lower level than The Big East……this is the same profile for every hire post-Gavitt sans Gillen.