Friars Season Preview- Part I The Squad

In one Robert Williams windmill dunk the Friars 2017-2018 season came to a crashing end. Did the Crier turn into his true form that day? As a grown 29 year old man I cannot confirm or deny this. The Friars would fall to the Texas A&M Aggies in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament and so would begin your typical long and mundane college basketball offseason. Except for the Crier, this offseason was far from mundane. Bags were dropping, wiretaps were leaking, David Duke Jr was yamming on some guidos.

From a personal standpoint, the Crier would see the Sox winning another World Series, the Pats Dynasty ending but not really ending, the shorthanded Celtics making a run to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and those same Celtics selecting Robert Williams in the NBA Draft (so he can’t hurt me anymore). It all comes full circle here at The Providence Crier and with that I give to you the Friars Season Preview- Part 1

THE SQUAD

Alpha Diallo 6′ 7″ Jr G/F

What is there not to like about the Friar junior? He is a crafty driver to the basket, he posts up smaller and weaker defenders with ease, he drills elbow mid-range Js in his sleep and he brought back the Antoine Walker shimmy last season. People say that Alpha needs to improve his 3-point shooting but he shot 100% from three in the above highlight video so the jokes on them.

GIF: Antoine Walker gets his shimmy on.

Emmitt Holt 6′ 7″ R-Sr F/C

Another Friar that uses his unique size and skill set to his advantage is Emmitt Holt. Holt may only be 6′ 7″, but his long arms and big frame allow him to bang in the post. Holt is able to score in the paint and can even step out for the occasional three. Holt also has a mean streak to him on defense- him and Nate Watson are going to be Bully Bros this season. Holt missed all of last season due to an abdominal injury, but he is back and hungry to lead the Friars to victory. I mean the guy lost 40 pounds, I’d be pretty hungry too. But in all seriousness Holt’s comeback season will be one of the better story lines this year and he seems like a guy you really want to root for.

Nate Watson 6′ 10″ So C

If you want to know what to expect from Nate Watson this season, just follow his dad’s twitter page. Junathaen Watson is the conductor of the Nate Watson Hype Train and with good reason. We all saw glimpses of what his son is capable of last season. He’s big and strong with a nice touch around the rim and has some bounce to him as well. If Nate can be a better rebounder this season he may truly become the Beast of the Big East. Him and Holt will be a problem next season.

Isaiah Jackson 6′ 6″ R-Sr G/F

There are two words to describe Isaiah Jackson, GLUE GUY! Isaiah Jackson is a guy that the Friars can either start or come off the bench and give the Friars a little bit of everything. He can provide the occasional scoring punch, can help on the glass and get a handful of steals as well. Will Isaiah miss the occasional bunny layup or turn it over by dribbling with reckless abandon? Sure… but he’s a guy you want on your team.

Makai Ashton-Langford 6′ 3″ So G

The biggest question regarding MAL this season is which guy are we going to get? Will it be the guy who scored double digits vs St. Louis, Rider, URI and Brown… or the guy who just scored 12 points over a 12 game span at the end of non-conference play and deep into the Big East play? Makai possess the size and dribbling ability to attack the basket from the guard position. He’s produced at a high level in the prep circuit, on AAU’s biggest stage in the Adidas Gauntlet and showed flashes last season. Makai is clearly talented, he just needs to get his confidence and swagger back. The Crier believes that he will.

 

David Duke Jr 6′ 5″ Fr G and AJ Reeves 6′ 6″ Fr G

Felt it was only appropriate to do the future of PC’s backcourt in one post. These two former Mass Rivals teammates decided to take their talents to Friartown and fans can expect them to make an impact as soon as this season. Lets start with the Prince of Providence David Duke Jr. He has elite size, length and athleticism from the point guard position. Those three characteristics allow him to be a good defender for the Friars from Day One. It will also be fun to watch him develop his offensive game, similar to that of the growth of Friar legend Kris Dunn. AJ Reeves is from Boston and is the prototype shooting guard. What most impresses me watching AJ’s tape, because I crush tape, is his ability to create space for his shot. He has the footwork and dribbling skills to hit step back jumpers that you rarely see out of many high schoolers. It reminds me a lot of James Harden. I’m not saying AJ Reeves is going to be James Harden but I’m not not saying it.

come on eye roll GIF by NBA

Time will tell how big of an impact these two will make this season but these guys can lead the Friars to a Final Four run in their career. The Crier Prophecy is for 2020, so two years guys no pressure.

Maliek White 6′ 3″ Jr G

Maliek White will be a nice change of pace guard to MAL that Ed Cooley will have at his disposal. He has the speed and quickness from the guard spot that MAL lacks. What is underrated about White is his 3 point shooting ability. He shot 32% as a freshman and then bumped that up to 34% on more attempts in his sophomore campaign. I know 34% really isn’t off the charts from distance but he battled a shoulder injury last season that brought those numbers down. He has the ability to really heat up from three as he did going 4-5 from deep in a 2 game stretch at MSG last year. If Maliek can really be that 3-point marksman for PC a lot of Friar fans will be very excited.

IMG_3064

Kalif Young 6′ 7″ Jr F

Kalif is a useful big man to have come off the bench. He has a big build and can actually run the floor pretty well for a man his size. If the Friars are struggling on the glass, Kalif will be the guy to provide the spark, as he registered at least 5 rebounds in 15 games for the Friars last year. My one gripe with Kalif is he just seems too nice of a guy on the court. Kalif is Canadian, I get it I’m a quarter French Canadian, at times we can be too nice. If Kalif can get a mean streak out on the court I think it can help his game. Let’s say he’s a Bully Bro in training.

Jimmy Nichols 6′ 8″ Fr F

Who wears short shorts? Jimmy Nichols wears short shorts… but do you blame him? The guy has legs that don’t end but it isn’t his shorts that are getting talked about this preseason. There are a lot of good things being said about the freshman and he had a sequence in the last preseason game where he blocked a shot on one end ran down the court for a slam on the other. Jimmy has the potential to carve out a role this season and could be another diamond in the rough for Ed Cooley and his staff.

Drew Edwards 6′ 4″ R-Jr G

Unfortunately, Drew Edwards injuries have kind’ve derailed his career here at PC. He will probably play the least among the upperclassmen but if the Friars are sucking on defense, Cooley is going to call Drewski’s number. Edwards is a good defender and although he has had injuries, he does have experience including being the one who had the game winning pass for PC’s tournament win over USC in 2016.

(it never gets old)

Kris Monroe 6′ 8″ Fr F

Signing and draining triples, THATS WHAT KRIS MONROE DOES! Listen I don’t know how much burn he will get this season but there will be a game this year where he comes in and hits a monster three, book it!

Andrew Fonts 6′ 2″ So G

I have a bold prediction regarding Andrew Fonts. This year Andrew Fonts will at least triple production from last, you heard it here first. Fonts, a Portsmouth, RI native and Friar preferred walk-on, should expand his bench hype man role from last year. They said Donte DiVincenzo was the Michael Jordan of Delaware, well Andrew Fonts is the Steph Curry of Rhode Island!

 

Those are your 2018-2019 Friars, look out for Part 2 of the Friars Season Preview, which will go through some of the key games on the schedule and will drop tomorrow

– The Crier

 

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