Big Board Version 1.0: 2021 Providence Targets

Somewhere in the depths of Ed Cooley’s office at the Ruane Development Center he has a giant white board full of targets that him and his staff hope wear the black and white one day.

We did our best to replicate what we think the Providence Big Board may look like by accumulating a list of guys that PC has targeted. On top of this, we broke down their game, included film on said, listed other offers, and predicted the likelihood of them committing to the Friars. We will be updating the Big Board throughout the Class of 2021 recruiting season.  

Note: All players below are listed to have offers from Providence.

Point Guard

Need: With Bynum on the roster for the next three years, there isn’t a pressing need. With that said, it would be a luxury to have another true point guard on the roster to learn under Bynum.

Tyler Whitney Sidney – 6’3 from North Andover, MA – Unranked 3 star – Reported offers from Brown, Yale, Murray State – Slim likelihood of him becoming a Friar unless the Staff misses on Bensley Joseph.

Crier Evaluation- Good size out of the lead guard spot. Has the athleticism to drive to the hoop and finish through contact. Solid shooting stroke. Of the tape we have seen, he is not much of a passer.

Bensley Joseph – 6’1 from Putnam, CT – 3 star Top 150 – Reported Offers from Georgetown, Iowa, Marquette, Miami, Penn State, Rutgers – High likelihood of him becoming a Friar. Here is a read on Joseph’s game:

Bobby Pettiford – committed to Louisville

Crier Evaluation- Short but uber athletic point guard. Is a blur in transition. Would’ve been fun to see him in the black and white.

Ryan Conway – committed to Seton Hall

Crier Evaluation- Another point guard that is on the short side but the kid is a walking bucket. A really crafty scorer. Not only will I have to watch him get buckets against the Friars for 4 years, BOC won’t let me live down calling him “baby” via Twitter for at least 4 years.


Shooting Guard

Need: Not a need, but good to stockpile shooters and athletic wings. Likely will only sign 1.

Lucas Taylor – 6’6 from Wake Forest, North Carolina – 3 star Top 150 – Reported offers from Arizona State, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest – Uncertain on likelihood of becoming a Friar. Taylor is playing his recruitment close to the vest. Friar’s odds would have skyrocketed if Pettiford Jr. joined the fold.

Crier Evaluation- Lights out shooter, also has some athleticism. Be interested to see if he can create his own shot in college or if he becomes a 3 and D type guy.

Gabe Dorsey – 6’5 from Pottstown, PA – Unranked 3 star – Reported offers from Georgetown, Penn State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Xavier – Not much out there around Providence and Dorsey being a match.

Crier Evaluation- Dorsey says he models his game after Klay Thompson and seems to either be going to Penn St w/ his brother or Xavier.

Small Forward

Need: See above description of shooting guards. Likely will only sign 1.

Gianni Thompson – 6’8 from Chestnut Hill, MA – Unranked 3 star – Reported offers from Boston College, Temple, Virginia Tech, VCU – High likelihood of him becoming a Friar. Plays at old high school of AJ Reeves + Plays on Mass Rivals AAU Team + has Friars in Top 7

Crier Evaluation- A taller version of AJ Reeves? I know that sounds like a lazy take considering they went to the same high school but his tape reminds me a ton of AJ’s when he was at Brimmer. Something about the Brimmer guys with their innate ability to create space for themselves to go to work either on the drive or on the perimeter. 

Rafael Castro – 6’9 from Dover, NJ – 3 star Top 150 – Reported offers from Dayton, Seton Hall, VCU – Uncertain around likelihood of him becoming a Friar, as of today. He had a Zoom meeting with the staff last week.

Crier Evaluation- Slashing wing who is very long. Defensively he shows the ability to stay in front of his man and then use his length to reject shots. Blocks shots and dunks with authority.

Casey Simmons – 6’9 from Milton, MA – 3 star Top 150 – Reported offers from Georgetown, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Texas – Slim likelihood now, but would like to see the Friars make more of a push in his recruitment.

Crier Evaluation- No recent tape of Simmons. Going off film from a year ago, the first thing that came to mind was that he was slender. Definitely needs to bulk up for major CBB. In the tape linked below a lot of his stuff was off the catch or off a cut but shows ability to create his own shot at times. Good athlete and seems to have a nose for the basketball.


Power Forward

Need: I think Cooley targets 2 players that fit the mold of the 4/5, with him ideally landing one stretch 4 and one true center.

Eric Van Der Heijden – 6’9 from Raleigh, NC – Unranked 3 star – Reported offers from Boston College, Marquette, Maryland, Mississippi, Texas, Wake Forest – Not much out there regarding this recruitment.

Crier Evaluation- Fun player to watch, great shooter with the athleticism and ball handling to match. At 6-9 he plays more like a guard and he has got some swagger to him. Duke has yet to offer but he screams Dukie.

Kuluel Mading – 6’9 from Burlington, NC – Unranked 3 star – Reported offers from Clemson and Elon – Another N.C. player with the recruitment close to his vest.

Crier Evaluation- Very long, with good athleticism & shooting stroke. In the words of Rasheed Wallace he’s real paper thin.


Need: See above description of Power Forward.

Samuel Ayomide – 6’11 from Malvern, PA – 3 star Top 150 – Reported offers from Illinois, LSU, Memphis, Seton Hall, Texas A&M, Temple, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest – One of two primary big men targets for Friars at this point. See in-depth write-up of Ayomide here:

Gabe Wiznitzer – 6’11 from Chatham, VA – 4 star Top 150 – Reported offers from Clemson, Iowa, Louisville, LSU, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Saint Johns – Providence tried to get him to reclassify into 2020, but he stayed in 2021. Medium likelihood of committing to Coach Cooley, but we’ll see where the Friars stand as more programs get involved.

Crier Evaluation- More of your traditional big man. For his size he does have solid mobility, but I wouldn’t say he’s really athletic. Has really good footwork in the post, and displays an arsenal of post moves to score around the rim.

Micawber Etienne – 6’10 from Suffield, CT – 4 star Top 100 player – Reported offers from Illinois, Kansas, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Xavier – Slim likelihood of committing to Friars.

Here is BOC’s initial pass at a 2021 mock class for the Friars, in case you missed it:


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