2022 Recruiting Primer Version 2.0 – Providence Friars

The original overview of the class of 2022 was written in December. As with all things recruiting, the recruiting board and personnel being recruited are consistently changing. This 2.0 version updates with new names that are being recruited, interest in players that have yet to be offered, and removal of names that have committed elsewhere.

Spots Available

The Friars have one more scholarship in the Class of 2021. With the “free year” for all eligible players, it is really difficult to predict how many players the Friars will be targeting in the class of 2022.

4/21 Update: Well, I didn’t see a mass exodus of players transpiring after the 2020-2021 offseason. Providence is bringing in two freshman in Geeter and Castro, alongside the grad transfer Al Durham. This offsets the losses via transfer by Gantt, Monroe, Nichols, and Davis, alongside David Duke leaving early for the NBA draft.

Given the new rule of one-time free transfer without sitting out, I wouldn’t worry at all about recruiting numbers if I’m on the Providence staff. There is going to be too much movement every offseason to limit the number of players you can take. If I’m Cooley, I’d look to grab 3-4 players a class. Attrition is going to happen to EVERY program moving forward.

Let’s make the following assumptions:

  • Friars roll over the extra scholarship from the Class of 2021 to the Class of 2022. What can change with this scenario is Cooley taking on an extra high school player to add to the 2021 class or going the transfer route.

4/21 Update: This seems to be the status quo still. I don’t foresee an extra player being added to the 2021 class, unless we are still considering the reclassification of Jayden Epps. For now, the 2021 class is a two man class paired with the transfer of Al Durham and potentially 1-2 other transfers.

  • Duke, Reeves, and Croswell lose their eligibility, meaning the Class of 2022 can have up to 4 people. There is a chance Duke goes to the League after this year. I think that scenario is 50/50. What is more farfetched is Croswell leaves after this year. I anticipate him utilizing the “free year” and returning next year to be the starting 5 man. Either way, they should have room for 4 recruits in the Class of 2022.

4/21 Update: I don’t think anybody expected Watson and Horchler to get an extra year of eligibility. This is massive for the 2021-2022 team, but leaves a gaping hole in the frontcourt after this upcoming year.

Duke has already declared and is no longer part of the program, while Croswell and Reeves will be out of eligibility. Thus, to my point above, next year we will see again 5 scholarship players leave the program (Durham, Watson, Horchler, Reeves, Croswell). Cooley needs to land one of his best classes in the 2022 class from both a quantity and quality point of view. He’s already off to a heck of a start with the commitment of Epps.

  • No players leave the program (transfer) with eligibility remaining.

4/21 Update: Swing and a miss on this assumption.

With the following assumptions made, the Class of 2022 can become a rather sizable class of 4 players.

4/21 Update: It wouldn’t shock me to see the 2022 class be 3-4 players paired with 1-2 transfers in. The blend of high school and college transfers is the way of the NCAA moving forward, for better or worse.

Positional Need

The Friars have struck out in the 2021 class on landing a PG and C. It is clear Cooley was targeting both positions heavily, illustrated by the misses of the following recruits in the 2021 class:

PG: Pettiford (twice), Joseph, Johnson, Pass

C: Wiznitzer, Aidoo, Ayomide

These two positions should be the focal point of the 2022 class, likely adding a true point guard to succeed Bynum as well as a combo guard to replace the duo of Duke and Reeves. On top of that, the hits to losing Watson, Horchler, and Croswell will lead to massive holes in the frontcourt.

Here is where we see the spots being filled, by position:

PG, Combo Guard, 2 Best Available frontcourt players

Recruits of Interest

We wrote here about the 2022 class several months ago. It should serve as a good foundational piece when analyzing the 2022 class. Since that writing, there have been some movements on players. Some players we’ve gained positive momentum, while some we’ve lost momentum and/or were eliminated from their recruitments.

Rather than listing recruits by the traditional 1-5 positions, we’ve grouped into 3 categories: Guard, Wing, Big

Guard

Leland Walker https://247sports.com/player/leland-walker-46096727/

Summary: Combo Guard out of Indianapolis that has previous experience playing with wing Reggie Bass. Primary competition derives from other Big East schools and in-state schools. There have been numerous meetings with Walker and the Friar coaching staff.

4/21 Update: Walker was supposed to decide on April 12th, but that decision was postponed. We are still trying to get information on this, but are unsure if it means that Walker is waiting on an in-state Indiana offer perhaps or if Providence is slowplaying Walker. Regardless, he’d be a good pairing with Epps in the backcourt.

Corey Floyd Jr https://247sports.com/player/corey-floyd-jr-46086130/

Summary: Another combo guard out of NJ that plays for a nationally known program. We have written about Floyd Jr. in various articles highlighted below:

Corey Floyd Jr Top 7 – Analyzing the Finalists

Corey Floyd Jr. Offer – A Familiar Name

4/21 Update: Floyd Jr. committed UCONN.

Jayden Epps https://n.rivals.com/content/prospects/2022/jayden-epps-256453

Summary: A PG from the DMV area, Providence has been in on this recruitment early. State schools and SEC programs are in heavy pursuit.

4/21 Update: The first commitment of the 2022 class. This was a massive signing. We wrote about the impact of his signing here: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2021/03/29/providence-wins-the-epps-sweepstakes-jayden-epps-picks-the-friars/#more-3474

Jazian Gortmanhttps://247sports.com/player/jazian-gortman-46100261/

Summary: We hesitate to include Gortman, as he hails from South Carolina and is a consensus top 50 nationally ranked recruit. We’ll see how serious we are in this recruitment.

4/21 Update: I wouldn’t envision much of a shot here, but would love to be wrong.

Ben Royhttps://247sports.com/player/ben-roy-46101147/

4/21 Update: Providence plans to meet with Roy in the summer of 2021. An offer hasn’t come about yet, but I am advocating for one to be extended. I will go on record saying this is my favorite player in the 2022 class, regardless of star rankings. He will set the culture for a program and will produce at a high level before it is all said and done.

We wrote about him here: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2021/03/08/2022-recruit-of-interest-new-jersey-point-guard-ben-roy/#more-3376

Wings

Reggie Basshttps://247sports.com/player/reggie-bass-46102427/

Summary: Reggie Bass is a wing playing in Tennessee that originally hails from Indiana. He has played with Leland Walker on the AAU circuit and put the Friars in his Final 4 schools. He will be committing March 19, 2021.

4/21 Update: Bass committed to Illinois.

Alex Karaban: https://247sports.com/player/alex-karaban-46085750/

Summary: The Friars were the first high major offer for Karaban, who plays in New England. They will be in this until the very end, and Karaban may be at the top of the wishlist for the Friars.

4/21 Update: I get the sense that Karaban isn’t as high on the Friars, but time will tell. This would be quite a recruiting win for Cooley. He announced a transfer to IMG Academy recently.

Christian Watson: https://247sports.com/player/christian-watson-46098093/

Summary: The wing from the DC area has already had a Zoom visit with Cooley and staff.

4/21 Update: Status Quo

Chisom Okpara https://247sports.com/Player/Chisom-Okpara-46098107/

Summary: Okpara’s recruitment has fallen off the radar a bit, but he has visited PC’s campus a few times pre-COVID. He may not get the hype of other recruits, but is somebody the staff has longed for being in this 2022 class for some time.

4/21 Update: Okpara transferred to play at nationally ranked La Lumiere, where he is getting more national notoriety. We like where Providence stands, but are concerned that Okpara hasn’t jumped on board yet. The longer this drags on, the less likely Providence is to land him, in our opinion.

Big

Donovan Clingan -https://247sports.com/player/donovan-clingan-46086979/

Summary: This will be one of the first premiere battles between PC and UCONN, with other blue bloods firmly entrenched as well. I don’t expect this one to go PC’s way, but the appeal of immediate playing time should resonate with the Bristol, CT native.

4/21 Update: Providence is battling hard here, but Clingan will have his choice of suitors.

Kyle Filipowskihttps://247sports.com/player/kyle-filipowski-46101556/

Summary: Filipowski’s recruitment has blown up over the past couple of months. He appears to be trending away from the Friars, which is tough given where he plays prep ball and the need for frontcourt players.

4/21 Update: Not many updates here. We don’t expect him to be a Friar.

Noah Clowney https://247sports.com/player/noah-clowney-46110266/

4/21 Update: A recent frontcourt offer from Cooley, I love this kid. He is the modern big man and would be an incredible addition to the program. He is only listed as a 3 star, but I don’t anticipate that to last long. I believe he’ll be a 4 Star, Top 125 player by the time he enrolls in college.

Brandon Whitehttps://247sports.com/Player/Brandon-White-46102431/

4/21 Update: This was one of two recent offers to big men in the 2022 class (other being Clowney). Just like Clowney, White should see immediate playing time at the 4 and 5. I’m just always skeptical of the likelihood of Providence landing 4 star players from ACC country. Even if Duke or UNC don’t offer, an ACC school usually swoops in with an offer.

TJ Powerhttps://247sports.com/player/tj-power-46103238/

Power is more of a power forward. I have a feeling if Providence pushed hard, they’d be the favorites to land the New England native.

Patrick Wessler – https://247sports.com/Player/Patrick-Wessler-46102430/

Wessler recently received a scholarship offer from Providence. It looks like Providence is targeting landing one of a few Carolinas big men (White and Clowney come to mind). We’ll see how this recruitment develops.

2022 Class Prediction

It is way too early to be making 2022 class predictions, but we’re in a pandemic, and games are getting cancelled left and right. Let’s have some fun.

Original Prediction:

Corey Floyd Jr., Reggie Bass, Alex Karaban, Chisom Okpara

4/21: BOC is 0/2 on his initial prediction. I’ll stick to my day job.

Here is my updated prediction on the 2022 class as of this writing:

Epps, Roy, Okpara, Unknown Big Man

Crier Prediction

Corey Floyd Jr. & Alex Karaban

4/21 update- Crier is 0/1 and of course the one I missed is going to freaking UConn of all places. I don’t feel that confident about Karaban at this moment either. If Epps is going to stay as 2022 recruit then the class is off to a good start. However I feel like there is a ton of uncertainty with this roster beyond 2021 that I don’t have a prediction for who they land.

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