Quante Berry, the 2022 combo guard from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, earlier this week chose to commit to the Providence Friars over a slew of top tier programs. Berry is the first commit of the 2022 class (we’ll ignore a certain previous 2022 commitment that spurned the Friar fanbase).
Berry chose Providence over offers from schools primarily in the mid-Atlantic to Southeast region of America. Some notable schools include Auburn, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, and Virginia Tech.
Berry is rated as a 3 star on both Rivals and 247.
The first thing that jumps out to you when watching Berry is his size at the guard position. Both Rivals and 247 list him as a point guard, but I see him as more of a combo guard that is a score first type player.
At this point in his career, he is best at attacking the rim and using his length to finish over his opponents. He has the athleticism to contort his body mid-air to successfully finish in the paint when driving.
His mid-range is actually pretty well developed for somebody heading into his senior year of high school as well. You can see the influence of the pick-in-roll in his game, as he utilizes that often and with ease to create opportunities inside the 3 point line.
Defensively, Berry uses his frame and length to intercept passes and pick the pockets of his opponent. It is not often you are defended by a guard with his measurables and quickness. Berry appears to know that and uses it to create instant offense off turnovers.
Where I think Berry can improve is his ball-handling. Being 6’4 has so many advantages, especially in the backcourt, but he needs to learn to not dribble the ball so high. Coach Battle and the rest of the staff will help him tighten that handle in no time.
College: David Duke Jr. – This is by no means meant to put unneeded expectations on Berry, but any sensible Friar fan can watch a few clips of Berry and see the similarities. At this stage, I would say that Berry lacks the athleticism and explosiveness of David Duke Jr., but likely has a better repertoire of offensive moves at his disposal. It will be really interesting to see how he does the rest of this summer on the AAU scene and in his senior year.
Professional: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Shai is another lengthy guard that can fill up the stat sheet. I see a lot of similarities in their game, especially in the mid-range.
Impact to Friar Program
Right now, the guards on the roster consist of Jared Bynum, Allyn Breed, Matteus Case, and Brycen Goodine. The only proven player at the Big East level in this grouping is Breed.
Berry is going to have the opportunity to get minutes immediately with the lack of depth in the backcourt. With the transfer rule now in effect, it is a fool’s errand to predict what the roster will look like a year from now. Did anybody really expect to have Watson, Horchler, and an Indiana/South Carolina transfer on the roster while losing Duke, Gantt, Monroe, and Nichols?
Even though he is a 3 star, I’d expect him to earn 10-15 minutes a game as soon as he steps onto campus. It may be out of necessity.
What’s Next – 2022 Recruiting Class
Even with the commitment of Berry, I still think Providence needs to target another guard that would complement Berry. I am thinking about a pass first point guard that can push the tempo and be the floor general, which allows Berry to get out into transition and hunt for his own looks. Somebody like a Leland Walker or Ben Roy would fit the mold perfectly here. We’ve written about Roy in a past article: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2021/03/08/2022-recruit-of-interest-new-jersey-point-guard-ben-roy/#more-3376
Besides another guard, Providence absolutely needs to land an impact big man in the 2022 class. Landing Berry is paramount because he is high school teammates with 2022 big man Christ Essandoko (https://247sports.com/Player/Christ-Essandoko-46109347/). Providence is close here and landing a true big man and combo guard would be a heck of a start to the 2022 class.