PC 2021 Recruiting Primer – Transfer Edition (4th Version – Updated April 10th)

We have written several articles already on the importance of the 2022 recruiting class. You can find those below, as they serve as a good barometer for where PC stands with the 2022 class.

2022 High School Recruiting Primer: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2020/12/14/2022-recruiting-primer-providence-friars/

Offer We’d Like to See: PG Ben Roy: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2021/03/08/2022-recruit-of-interest-new-jersey-point-guard-ben-roy/#more-3376

Recruiting and a Comparison to the Rest of the Big East: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2021/01/15/providence-recruiting-a-comparative-analysis-to-the-rest-of-the-big-east/#more-3000

In this article, we focus on a different aspect of recruiting that has become more prominent in recent years: the transfer market.

The transfer portal has become the Wild Wild West, and this year it’s only going to be crazier with the “free year” due to COVID. Despite PC’s season just coming to a close the staff is already after players who have entered the portal. In fact they started gauging interest in one player even before they tipped off with DePaul. Let’s take a look at who the three players PC has reached out to and what they can bring the program.

4/10 Update: The Friars have landed Al Durham at the guard position, while losing Monroe, Gantt, and Nichols to transfer. David Duke Jr. has also declared for the NBA and signed an agent. With all of these moving pieces, we’d expect Providence to pursue the following: 1. A big with multiple years of eligibility to provide depth this year and be a potential starter the subsequent year. 2. A 3 and D wing. 3. A point guard to be the successor of Bynum/Breed/Durham.

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Revisiting 2020-2021 Bold Predictions

In the Summer of 2020, we made some bold predictions on the upcoming 2020-2021 basketball season. See here: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2020/07/01/bold-predictions-2020-2021-providence-friars/#more-2241

We analyze below where our predictions hit the mark and where we were terribly off. Let’s just say I was a more accurate prognosticator than the Crier himself.

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Stars, in Fact, Do Matter: Analyzing the Final 4 Rosters Relative to Recruiting Rankings

With all of the Providence news transpiring this past week, I thought it may be refreshing to take a step away from Friartown and look at hoops from a national landscape. Below, I have analyzed the final 4 teams in college basketball and how they have shaped their respective rosters.

I warn those reading this that I am a huge advocate for “recruiting rankings matter”. See my two articles below discussing why I think landing these recruits are the primary reason a program succeeds or fails.

Looking Back on PC’s Recruiting Classes & Their College Output: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2021/01/06/why-stars-matter-a-look-back-on-recruiting-classes-showing-why-pc-must-continue-to-land-top-tier-national-recruits/

Providence’s Recruiting Classes Relative to the Rest of the Big East: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2021/01/15/providence-recruiting-a-comparative-analysis-to-the-rest-of-the-big-east/

It is my personal belief that the more players you land in the 4 and 5 star range, the more likely your team is to have success. Those arguing against this have openly said to me that culture and scheme fit matter more than star rankings. I agree, to an extent, but a lot of times this statement is made when your school lands an unheralded 3 star recruit. Fans naturally try to justify the recruit by leaning on the culture and scheme fit instead of simply stating we whiffed on our Plan A recruits. Rationalization is a curious thing. You rarely hear a fan talking about culture and scheme fit when a 4 or 5 star commits to a school, but I digress.

Additionally, if a 4 or 5 star doesn’t pan out on your team, fans claim that star rankings are broken because said player didn’t produce relative to their high school ranking. You can cherry pick examples like this all day long, but I’m of the belief that a squad filled with 4 and 5 stars is going to beat the squad with 3 stars nine out of ten times. There are more examples of 4/5 stars having success than there are of 4/5 stars completely flaming out.

In looking at the rosters of the final 4 teams, I’ve uncovered a few themes worth mentioning:

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Friars Strike Again: IU’s Aljami Durham to Transfer to PC

Ed Cooley said there would be changes this off-season and he is not joking around. Over the past few weeks we have seen Greg Gantt, Kris Monroe, and Jimmy Nichols all leave the program. The Friars then announced that Nate Watson and Noah Horchler would return. Yesterday they landed Jayden Epps, who will reclassify and enroll at PC at his summer. Today PC made another move as Indiana guard Aljami Durham will finish his college career in black and white.

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Noah Horchler Returns to Providence: Analyzing The Impact

There have been rumors of Noah Horchler returning to Providence, taking advantage of the “free” year the NCAA granted this past year due to COVID-19. Horchler made it official on Sunday, ensuring that Providence has one of, if not the, strongest frontcourt in the Big East. This news comes on top of Nate Watson returning to Friartown, which we wrote about extensively in the attached link (https://theprovidencecrier.com/2021/03/18/nate-watson-returns-for-year-5-thoughts-impact-to-2021-2022-friars/#more-3446).

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Providence Wins the Epps Sweepstakes – Jayden Epps Picks The Friars

Jayden Epps announced Monday afternoon that he pledged to Ed Cooley and the Providence Friars. Epps is a 6-1 combo guard out of Virginia and can really score the basketball. Jayden picked PC over the other finalists NC State and Florida. There are also rumblings he could reclassify and join the squad for this upcoming season, which is a massive development given the recent departures of Monroe, Gantt, and Nichols. With the Friars having three players transfer out of the program over the past 2 weeks, Cooley was quick to restock the cupboard. He certainly did with Jayden Epps.

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Jayden Epps Decision Day: Analyzing the Competition

Decision day is here for 2022 combo guard Jayden Epps of Suffolk, VA. Epps, a consensus 4 star on all recruiting sites, is scheduled to pick his college at 12PM EST. Providence is squarely in the mix here, with the understanding the choosing will be between NC State, Florida, and the Friars. We’ve heard there are chances he may reclassify as well, joining the 2021 class of Legend Geeter and Rafael Castro. We analyze below the chances for each school and make a prediction based off what we have heard and believe.

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