Transfer Portal Spotlight – George Mason Wing Justyn Fernandez

Kim English has been busy. As discussed in our transfer portal article on Josh Oduro (, English needs to do a lot in his first week on the job. He needs to re-recruit the current Friar roster, try to win back the 2023 recruiting class, and land a few transfer portal players to improve the Friar roster. He reconfirmed the commitment of 2023 recruit Donovan Santoro, which is a heck of a start (

Another key piece to building the Kim English era in Providence is landing talented portal players. Insert freshman transfer Justin Fernandez. Fernandez entered the portal and is looking for a new home after a year at George Mason. A highly touted recruit that actually chose GMU over Ed Cooley and Providence, Fernandez surprisingly played sparingly at George Mason. He averaged 4 points on 14 minutes while shooting 34% from deep. The Richmond, VA product will have 3 years of eligibility wherever he chooses to play.

We break down his game below and how he’d fit on the Friar roster.

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Transfer Portal Spotlight – George Mason Forward Josh Oduro

With the Kim English era upon us in Friartown, English has to hit the ground running at turbo speed. The transfer portal is both an amazing asset and a potential death knell to a new coach taking over a program. English not only needs to re-recruit the Friars that were on the roster last year after Ed Cooley departed for Georgetown, but he also needs to fill the gaps from those that departed the Friar team due to graduation and/or transferring. In total, Providence is definitely losing the following players: Ed Croswell, Clifton Moore, Noah Locke, and Jared Bynum. The first three are out of eligibility while Bynum is choosing to transfer.

It is also foolish to think English retains all of Bryce Hopkins, Devin Carter, Corey Floyd Jr., Alyn Breed, Rafael Castro, and Jayden Pierre, the players who have eligibility beyond this past season. That’s the nature of college basketball these days with the rosters fluctuating so frequently due to the transfer portal. The likelihood of a roster turnover further increases after a coaching change.

English is working on re-recruiting the high school commits from the 2023 class in Garwey Dual, Drew Fielder, and Donovan Santoro. As of this writing, he is currently out West meeting with each of these players. For this exercise, let’s assume English doesn’t get any of these three back in the fold (I think he will get some of them back, but I digress).

I lay that groundwork to say that Kim English has a lot of work to do in the transfer portal. I personally believe English will bring in, at a minimum, 3 players from the portal with 4 or 5 transfer portal players likely. English needs to bring in high caliber talent to replenish the roster, along with players that fit the mold of what English is trying to build culturally.

Enter Josh Oduro.

Oduro, a senior with one year of eligibility remaining, hails from the Virginia area. Oduro is a 6’9 forward from Paul VI (a DMV hotbed) who averaged 15.6 points/game, 7.9 rebounds/game, and 2.6 assists/game. Oduro is the best of the best in the A10, as he is two time First Team All-A10 selection. His junior year actually was a bit more impressive statistically, as he averaged 17.7 and 7.5. Oduro has been with George Mason his entire career. Stating the obvious, he has been with Kim English for both of his years coaching George Mason.

Below, we’ll break down Oduro’s game, what he would bring to the team he transfers to, and how he would fit with the current iteration of the PC basketball program.

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Kim English Named as Providence’s 16th Head Coach

The Friars have found their next leader of the men’s basketball program, and that is 34-year-old Kim English. The announcement came Thursday AM, ending a trying few days for the program. English comes to PC after being the head man at George Mason for the past two seasons. Prior to that, English served as an assistant at Tennessee, Colorado, and Tulsa. English was a decorated college player for the University of Missouri, where he was a 2x Big 12 All-Conference 3rd team selection, 2012 Big 12 Tournament MOP and led the Tigers to a 2-seed in NCAA Tournament his senior year. He was then drafted to the NBA by the Detroit Pistons in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft. His professional career, which included stops in France, Italy, and Venezuela, was brief but he learned immediately as a professional that he wanted to get into coaching.

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A Thank You to Ed Cooley

Lost amidst Ed Cooley’s departure from Providence College is an appreciation for everything Mr. Cooley has done to elevate the Providence Friar basketball program. While I personally disagree with how he handled this entire saga, and I think he will reflect back later and agree, there is no question that the Providence Friar program he took over today is night and day different from the Providence Friar basketball program he took over when he first joined from Fairfield in 2011. Where we sit today is directly because of the efforts of Ed Cooley during his tenure as Head Coach.

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Providence’s Up and Down Season Comes to an End: Friars Lose to Kentucky 61-53

Providence chose a very poor time to be ice cold offensively. With their season on the line, the Friars went 36% from the floor and 21% from deep on the way to a first round exit of the NCAA Tournament. In the past month, it has been the defense that has been the root of the issues with the Friars, but the defense actually did an admirable job against this Kentucky squad. It was the multitude of offensive rebounds and second chance opportunities that ultimately did the Friars win.

We break down the game below and what’s next for the Providence Friars:

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A Season in Review – 2022-2023 Friars & What’s Next

We wait all offseason for the season to arrive, seemingly taking forever. Once it arrives, it is a whirlwind and seems to conclude with the blink of an eye. That is one of life’s many ironies.

It is hard to find a Providence season that was as up and down as this one. The highs were certainly high (talks of a Big East repeat) and the lows were certainly low (ongoing rumors of Cooley leaving, player squabbles, etc.). With the season concluded, I don’t know if there has ever been a more highly anticipated offseason in Friar memory. The trajectory of Providence basketball is very much up in the air, and I don’t think that is being overly dramatic in writing that.

We break down below what this season meant for the future as well as what is at stake with the impending decision of Ed Cooley as coach of Providence.

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Tracking the Transfers – PC Targets in the 2023 Portal: Providence Crier Transfer Portal Primer

Providence has become “Destination U” for collegiate transfers. Some may call Ed Cooley the Lane Kiffin of College Basketball. Ed Cooley recognized that Providence may not always have the appeal of a blue blood and land the blue chip recruits out of high school and decided to land the collegiate version of blue chippers. His early emphasis on leaning into the portal has paid off immensely for Providence.

Look at this current year. Providence accepted the transfers of Bryce Hopkins, Devin Carter, Noah Locke, and Clifton Moore from Kentucky, South Carolina, Louisville, and La Salle, respectively. It was a massive success for Ed Cooley, as Bryce Hopkins turned into a first team All-Big Easter, Devin Carter was Honorable Mention All-Big East and Noah Locke averaged his career high in points.

The year prior Cooley landed Justin Minaya and Al Durham en route to winning the regular season Big East Conference for the first time ever and making the Sweet 16. Bynum, Horchler, and Croswell weren’t transfers last year, but did transfer into the program. Cooley has an eye for talent and knows that he can get immediate production from a collegiate transfer who has already produced versus a hit or miss high school recruit.

Below we break down what the Friars need in the transfer portal for the 2023-2024 basketball season and beyond. After that, we’ll keep a running list of players in the transfer portal that Providence has expressed interest in. We’ll also list players that we think would be good fits for the Friars. This will be regularly updated. Enjoy!

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A Bluegrass First Round Opener: Kentucky PC Game Preview

As the picks went by on Selection Sunday, my nerves slowly started to creep up. PC’s resume wasn’t bullet-proof by any means. With each selection, I thought a chance for a snub was becoming more and more likely. That is until I saw Kentucky as the 6 seed with an opening at 11. I knew, given the circumstances around Bryce Hopkins, that is where we’d be selected. Sure enough, Providence was selected as the 11 seed to take on the Wildcats at 7:10 PM on CBS.

We break down the Wildcats, who to watch on their team, and what the Friars need to do to advance to the Round of 32.

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Revisiting The Providence Crier’s 2022-2023 Season Preview and Bold Predictions

Mike and I tend to think we know the Big East and Providence Friars fairly well. Reviewing our predictions for the Friars and Conference as a whole certainly was a humbling endeavor. Below, we break down what things we were right about (very little) and what things we missed the boat on (a lot).

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Slow Start Again Dooms Friars: PC Loses to Connecticut 73-66

In the World’s Most Famous Arena, Providence was lifeless for the majority of the game. It wasn’t until the final few minutes that Providence miraculously found life and almost closed the gap against the Connecticut Huskies. UConn held a significant double digit lead for most of the game (at times 20+ point lead), but that lead seemed to evaporate at the drop of a hat when Providence shrunk the lead to five.

While sitting in the arena after a Hurley timeout when the lead was cut to five, I was completely shell-shocked that PC was able to flip the switch that quickly. I don’t think anybody in the building expected that game to get within single digits, let alone a two possession game. Nothing that was transpiring leading up to that moment made you feel as if that was a possibility. This never give up attitude is one of the hallmark traits of an Ed Cooley squad.

Unfortunately, Connecticut showed some maturity and resilience out of that timeout. A few timely three pointers by Connecticut ultimately helped them prevail as they advance to the Big East Tournament semi-finals. For Providence, it awaits its fate on Selection Sunday. The Friars, as of this writing, should be in, but crazier things have happened.

We break down the game and what the Friars need to tighten up before March Madness.

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