The 2023 Recruiting Primer: Providence Friars

Providence, fresh off landing a stellar 3 man recruiting class in 2022, look to stack another solid recruiting class on top of that to continue to remain in the upper echelon of the Big East. We analyze team needs for the 2023 class, identify the key recruits Providence is targeting, and provide our predictions for who the Friars ultimately land.

Team Needs & Roster Composition

The 2022 Class landed two guards in Jayden Pierre and Quante Berry, alongside a true 5 man in Christ Essandoko. With the COVID year upon us, it is difficult to ascertain who will and won’t be returning after this year. The players we know are definitely leaving are Nate Watson, Noah Horchler, and Al Durham. Theoretically, AJ Reeves and Justin Minaya could return as well, although I believe both will likely conclude their college career after this year. Ed Croswell will likely be the starting 5 man after this year and will have his eligibility used up after the 2022-2023 season. Bynum will also be on his last year of eligibility in 2022-2023.

Roster Projections for when the 2023 class lands on campus are as follows:

Senior: Allyn Breed, Brycen Goodine

Junior: Mattheus Case

Sophomore: Legend Geeter (redshirt), Rafael Castro (redshirt), Quante Berry, Jayden Pierre, Christ Essandoko

Freshman: To be determined

Roster spots: When looking at the roster, it is clear that the 2023 class is likely going to be another 3 or 4 man class similar to 2022. I’d presume that Cooley will fill any immediate needs with a transfer, in a similar capacity to how he has done so with Bynum, Horchler, Durham, Croswell, and Minaya.

The 2022 class did a fantastic job of securing the backcourt of the future in Pierre and Berry. I believe the 2023 class is going to focus primarily on the wing and frontcourt, with an option to add in the backcourt if a stellar prospect decides to come on board at Providence. With the way the 2021-2022 season is going, Providence may get the ever illusive NCAA tournament bump when it comes to recruiting.

If I had to make my prediction today, I would envision this class being a 3 man class, with 2 of those 3 players being a “big guard/wing” type recruit and another being a stretch 4/small ball 5 recruit. Things can obviously change year over year with the transfer rules in place, but I think that is where I’d spend the most of my time if I’m Ed Cooley and Staff.

Below, we identify the recruits that have either been offered already or have been shown interest by the Friars.

Recruits of Interest – Guard

Jayden Lemond

A lead guard out of Blair Academy in New Jersey, there hasn’t been too much traction with Lemond despite a Providence offer. Providence appears to be making more of a push in the Garden State with offers to players that play on an NJ AAU team in Team Rio in the 2021 and 2022 class (Jayden Pierre and Rafael Castro). I’d anticipate Lemond to land at a Northeast school and potentially one of Providence’s Big East foes.

Reid Ducharme

Ducharme is a shooting guard out of New England with ties to Brewster Academy. Ducharme was offered by the Friars in June of 2021. It appears this will be another Northeast battle brewing, with UCONN and Syrcause some of the primary competition. Ducharme is a smooth shooting wing that is lethal from deep, but also willing and able to attack the rim. He’s the type of player PC doesn’t land too often, but is sorely needed on the roster.

Silas Demary Jr.

A shooting guard out of the friendly confines of North Carolina, Demary Jr.’s stock has exploded this AAU season. I’d expect the relationships Battle has developed in the Tar Heel state to assist us here if we decide to push. This may be a familiar scenario where Providence goes head to head with ACC foes.

Recruits of Interest – Wing

Matas Buzelis

6’8 Small Forward from Brewster Academy – Providence was an early offer here, but he has seen his recruitment explode. Look for schools like Michigan, Arizona, and Kansas to be the heavy hitters in this recruitment, as they’ve had some success with similar players as Buzelis. Simply put, Buzelis can choose to attend whatever school he desires.

Taylor Bol Bowen

Bowen, another wing from Brewster Academy, 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. This is going to be a similar battle to Wenyen Gabriel, where the Friars are the local school trying to fend off the blue bloods like Duke and Kentucky. Bowen, while highly ranked, still is somewhat raw and needs some type to develop in a college strength and conditioning program before he reaches his full potential.

Gavin Griffiths

A Connecticut product that has been on campus a handful of times already. The need for wings has already been discussed in detail, and Griffiths would fit that mold to a tee. This is one of the recruits I feel most confident in Cooley landing due to familiarity with the program and frequency of visits, but the in-state school UCONN presents a significant problem.

Wesley Tubbs III

An under the radar wing that has accumulated offers over the past year. Tubbs III hails from North Carolina, and this should be a battle between Mid-Atlantic programs and Providence, should Providence decide to push harder in this recruitment.

Recruits of Interest – Bigs

Isaiah Miranda โ€“

Miranda is the next blue chip prospect to hail from the Ocean State in the 2023 class. The Friars are front and center in this recruitment. With Horchler, Watson, and Croswell departing over the next two years, 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. This recruitment seems to have been pushing away from the Friars as other programs like USC, UCONN, Kentucky, Duke, and LSU get in the mix, but an NCAA tournament run could help sway things back in the favor of the Friars. Miranda reminds me of the new modern big, like an Evan Mobley, that is all of 7 feet tall, but can run the floor.

TJ Power โ€“

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. Competition will likely include the local B.C. Eagles.

Akil Watson โ€“

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, Illinois, and Oklahoma State being the perceived programs to beat. Watsonโ€™s teammate Simeon Wilcher recently committed to UNC.

Papa Kante

Kante is another big from Connecticut. While he holds an offer from PC, I haven’t seen much noise between player and program. I’d anticipate he lands at a Rutgers or Syracuse.

Brandon White

White was originally a North Carolina high school recruit, which is likely how the Friars got into the mix, but is now playing out West at the newly formed Donda Academy. That move can’t be great for Providence, but we’ll see how engaged they remain. White reclassified from 2022 to 2023 to give himself more time to develop, which appears to be paying off with his growing recruitment.

Class Predictions

BOC: It is still so early in the process, but I believe that Providence ends up with a 3 man class, with 2 of those players being Gavin Griffiths and…shocker…Bol Bowen. The third player will likely hail from North Carolina and be somebody Jeff Battle hones in on. This class gives them instant impact with Bowen, with a long term building block in Griffiths. This should cement the Providence Friars with a Top 25 nationally ranked class and keep them in the upper echelon of the Big East. Unfortunately, I just donโ€™t see or believe that the local Miranda stays local and enrolls at PC.

Regardless, a two year class of Pierre, Berry, Griffiths, Bowen, and Essandoko would open some eyes nationally.

Crier: It feels like itโ€™s been awhile since Iโ€™ve thought about recruiting, a 14-2 start to the season can do that. In terms of making a prediction on how many guys PC will land is tricky. Think about some of the guys that have played pivotal roles for the Friars success this season- Al Durham, Noah Horchler, Jared Bynum, Justin Minaya and Ed Croswell are all transfers. I think Cooley has liked his return on the transfer portal and will no doubt try to tap into it for next season and the season after. If the Friars can continue their hot start and parlay it into a NCAA Tournament run that will give recruiting out of high school an instant boost. So I predict that does happen this year and because of it the Friars will land a top 50 prospect for 2023.

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