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.

BOC Predictions and Analysis

1. Jimmy Nichols starts at the 4 over Horchler and Gantt: This wasn’t too far off, I guess? Nichols did start a handful of games this year until injuries derailed his season. Nichols, as we all know, is transferring.

Where I missed here was realizing the impact Horchler would make on this team. He looked lost the first half of the season, but I think that was more indicative of him finding his role on the team. He clearly has the talent to play in the Big East, exemplified by Cooley recruiting him to return for another year and start at the 4. We wrote about his impact next year here: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2021/03/30/noah-horchler-returns-to-providence-analyzing-the-impact/#more-3502.

2. David Duke Jr. Wins Co-Big East Player of the Year alongside Collin Gillespie and Defensive Player of the Year: Duke had a fabulous statistical season, but may have fallen short of expectations. Friar fans, myself included, may have thrust unrealistic expectations on Duke, which wasn’t too fair to him. Duke was second team All-Big East and an honorable mention All American, so my prediction wasn’t too terrible.

Where I completely whiffed was the defensive POY prediction. Duke was a lockdown defender his first two years, but seemed to regress defensively this year. It may be due to the burden on Duke on the offensive end, which led to him being tired defensively. It is a shame he didn’t return for his senior year because I do think there was a chance he could have been a dark horse Naismith POY candidate.

3. Nate Watson averages 14 and 8 and is First Team All Big East – Watson was Second Team All Big-East, but put up better offensive numbers than even I predicted, averaging 17 and 7. One could argue he should have been first team, but the Friars having an average record likely supplanted JRE over him.

Nate, especially with Duke’s departure, has that chance to be Big East Preseason POY and may get some looks nationally as a preseason second or third team All-American. We wrote about his impact next year here: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2021/03/18/nate-watson-returns-for-year-5-thoughts-impact-to-2021-2022-friars/#more-3446

4. Friars land nationally ranked recruiting class – This, as of this writing, may have been my biggest swing and miss. The Friars have 2 recruits in the 2021 class with Legend Geeter and Rafael Castro, with Epps looking to reclassify into the 2021 class. If Epps reclassifies, the Friars will have a 3 man recruiting class of Epps, Geeter, and Castro. Epps is a 4 star and Geeter/Castro are 3 stars.

If they were to land another recruit in the 2021 class, which is appearing unlikely, they may sneak into the National Top 25 rankings. In my opinion, where they will have more of a recruiting success is on the transfer market. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that they land another coveted transfer like an Earl Timberlake and/or Noah Locke/Kadary Richmond.

Crier Predictions & Analysis

The Crier completely missed the boat on some of these predictions, wow. It makes me wonder if he even knows this Friar team!

1. Friars win the Maui Invitational – Yikes. Maybe the Friars should just sit out early season conferences moving forward? Providence went 1-2 in the Maui, losing to Indiana and Alabama and narrowly defeating Davidson. Both losses weren’t even close games either.

Please let it be known BOC predicted Texas would win the Maui, which they did.

Crier– Pardon me for thinking the squad would have something to prove in a early season tournament given what happened the year prior. The Maui was certainly a disaster for the Friars and should’ve told me then the squad wouldn’t have what it takes to make the tournament. Considering the tournament wasn’t in Maui do I get a mulligan?

2. Friars have two All-Big East first teamers – We were both aligned here, and I actually consider this a hit by Crier. Watson and Duke both had fantastic seasons, but were second teamers.

Crier- If you ain’t first you’re last BOC and I will not take your sympathy credit for me getting this right. Duke and Watson would’ve had a stronger case for first team had the team as a whole performed better.

3. Jyare Davis wins Big East freshman of the year – Was the Crier playing the long game and meaning Davis wins frosh of the year in 2021-2022? It is hard to win freshman of the year when you don’t see the court at all.

All joking aside, Friar fans are hopeful Davis sticks with the Providence program, and we are able to see what a “normal” offseason does for him.

Crier- Would’ve been nice if Cooley informed me Jyare wouldn’t play a second this season before making my prediction. The reason why I made the prediction was because he reminded me of a prototypical hybrid forward that Cooley loves. Friars will bring in another hybrid guy in Legend Geeter this upcoming season, let’s see if either of these guys can make impacts in 2021-2022.

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