PROVIDENCE, R.I. – It's hard to know what to expect from Providence College in the reconfigured Big East.
The Friars tied for ninth in the conference at 9-9 and 19-15 overall in 2012-13, losing to Cincinnati 61-44 in the second round of the Big East tournament and then reaching the quarterfinals of the NIT.
In a preseason poll, league coaches picked Providence to finish sixth in the 10-team league. But with many of the conference's traditional powers having left, the Friars have high hopes of returning to the NCAA tournament after a 10-year absence.
Senior guard Bryce Cotton averaged 19.7 points per game for Coach Ed Cooley last season, tops in the Big East, and is a member of the preseason all-league team, while forward Kadeem Batts was given honorable mention.