Class of 2023 Ranking Updates – Relevant Names for the Friars

With the Class of 2022 seemingly complete for the Friars (a slight chance at adding another wing recruit), we turn the page to the 2023 recruiting cycle. The recruiting behemoth 247 sports recently updated the Class of 2023 rankings, and there are a handful of names that are being heavily pursued by the Providence Friars. We detail names of significance below

Matas Buzelis – 5 star, 4 Overall – Buzelis, playing for Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, had a meteoric rise this spring/summer/fall. Buzelis went from a Top 50 prospect to being ranked as one of the 4 best players in his class. The Friars have the local angle to work here, but this recruitment feels like it will end with Buzelis committing to a traditional blue blood.

Taylor Bowen – 4 Star, 21 Overall – Bowen has long been a target for the Friar staff and has been on campus multiple times. It is clear that Cooley has made him a significant priority. Another Brewster Academy player, Cooley is going to continue to push. Bowen was on campus for the second time in 3 weeks as he took in the team scrimmage last week.

Jayden Lemond – 4 Star, 39 Overall – There hasn’t been much traction here, but an offer stands. Also, Providence is making more of an effort in the Jersey State.

Isaiah Miranda – 4 Star, 42 Overall – Miranda may be the most realistic blue chip prospect for the Friars to land in the 2023 class. Miranda hails from Rhode Island, with the Friars being front and center in this recruitment. With Horchler, Watson, and Croswell departing over the next year, along with the addition of a developmental big in Essandoko, it would be ideal to land Miranda who would likely be able to provide the Friars with solid minutes at the 4/5 the moment he steps onto campus.

Akil Watson – 4 Star, 40 overall – Watson is a frontcourt player from the Garden State, playing for the powerhouse Roselle Catholic program. The Friars have offered here, but it seems like they are on the outside looking in with programs like UCONN, North Carolina, and Oklahoma State being the perceived programs to beat. Watson’s teammate Simeon Wilcher recently committed to UNC.

Gavin Griffiths – 4 Star, 61 Overall – A Connecticut product that has been on campus before, Griffiths visited with Bowen a few weeks back. The need for wings (detailed here) has already been discussed in detail, and Griffiths would fit that mold to a tee.

TJ Power – 3 Star, 119 Overall – Another local flavor here hailing from Massachusetts, Power is more of a 4 than a true center. I think if the Friars turn up the heat here, they have a great shot at landing Power.

Summary: Providence needs to continue to land Plan A recruits. While all of the above players are consensus blue chip prospects, the Friars need to win a tough recruitment with local players if they want to remain in the upper echelon of the Big East. There is A LOT of talent departing from the program after this year, and the Friars need to reload.

I’m also a bit surprised we aren’t more involved with the 2023 North Carolina recruits on this list (Brandon Gardner, Brandon White, Jaylen Curry, Jakwon Moore, Jaydon Young, Wesley Tubbs, and Silas Demary Jr.). I’m sure the Battle connections will help us make some in-roads with the aforementioned Carolina players.

Random Observations when Viewing 247 Top 150

  • Edgerrin James Jr. being on this list is a testament to how old I am getting. I’ve never watched any film on him, but I’m sure he is a physical presence as a point guard.
  • Jazz Gardner = Great name
  • Bronny James being ranked in Top 75 appears to be accurate. I hope for his sake he goes to a program that best fits him and skill set, and he doesn’t necessarily pick a school that has the “brightest lights”.
  • Dajuan Wagner having a son of the same name and being ranked #1 in the class is a stark reminder I am no longer young and spry. I remember watching his father play basketball.

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