Providence Crier Recruiting Primer: Transfer Portal Edition

The Providence Friars have found great players in the transfer portal over the years. Al Durham, Justin Minaya, Noah Horchler, Jared Bynum and Ed Croswell all played vital roles in Providence’s Sweet 16 run. With Matteus Case entering the transfer portal, Justin Minaya forgoing his final year of eligibility, and Christ Essandoko’s request to be released from NLI, the Friars now have 4 open scholarships. While we still await the decision from AJ Reeves, there’s no doubt Cooley will look towards the portal again to replenish his roster.

To be clear, the transfer portal is 1000+ players deep and there’d be way too many players to evaluate on being potential Friars. So we decided to put together a list of guys that we feel can fill needs for the Friars and those who actually become linked to the Friar program. Our primer will be changing throughout the offseason, and we will provide updates periodically. So without further ado here is The Providence Crier Recruiting Primer: Transfer Portal Edition.

Positional Needs

The Friars have some needs to address. The first being someone to replace the defense on the wing from Justin Minaya. We don’t know what exactly to expect out of Legend Geeter in his sophomore season and the Friars would love to add a guy that can have a similar skill set to Justin Minaya, 3 and D. There is a glaring absence at the power forward position and PC could use a guy that could stretch the floor like Horchler. With Reeves gone the Friars need to get guard help especially at the 2-spot. They need to have an additional ball handler on the floor, like they had with Durham and someone who can make threes from the 2/3 spot. So to summarize:

  • 2-Guard/Combo Guard
  • 3 & D wing
  • Big that can stretch the floor.

Players Linked to the Friars

Noah Locke– Louisville- The Friars were recruiting Locke hard out of high school before he ultimately chose Florida. The Friars then showed interest when he entered his name in the portal last offseason before he chose Louisville. Could the third time be a charm? Despite a down year last year shooting wise, Locke is a career 38.7% shooter from three. He’d make up the loss in shooting if AJ Reeves decides to forgo his last year of eligibility. UPDATE: NOAH LOCK HAS COMMITTED TO PROVIDENCE

Devin Carter – South Carolina – Carter is one of the few transfers where PC is outwardly named as interested in the media. The 6’4 guard just finished up his freshman year at South Carolina, averaging 9 points and 4 boards. Coming out of high school, he was a consensus Top 100 recruit from Miami.

His three-point shooting left a lot to be desired at 27%, but he still has 3 years of development ahead of him. He shot over 35% from 3 in high school, so the shooting ability is there. He’s known as an athletic guard that can defend. When was the last time we had a perimeter player transfer from South Carolina that was known for their defense? Hmm. That seemed to work out well…

At this stage in his career, Carter uses his size and athleticism to attack off the dribble and finish in the paint. He can play above the rim too.

UPDATE: Devin Carter has committed to Providence 4/17

Clifton Moore- LaSalle- A late add to the portal primer as he visited Providence on April 15th. Moore is a 6-10 big man that provides rim protection. He does nice work in the paint and runs the floor well for a guy his size. Moore averaged 12.9 ppg 6.1 rpg and 2.9 bpg. He has the capability to hit a three if left open as well. Reading the tea leaves it seems as if Moore could be the next shoe to drop in Friartown.

UPDATE: Clifton Moore has committed to Providence 4/17.

Bryce Hopkins – Kentucky – The Friars were in the final 3 of this recruitment coming out of high school, but ultimately fell short to the allure of playing for a blue blood in Kentucky. There was always the feeling that we may get back involved with Hopkins if he didn’t get immediate playing time as a freshman. That time is now. I’d expect the Friars to get involved quickly and make a serious run at landing the Top 50 recruit. Having Henton on staff, who had a seriously similar game to Hopkins, may help the Friars win this recruitment. UPDATE: Bryce Hopkins committed to PROVIDENCE

Corey Floyd Jr.– UConn – Providence was heavily after Floyd Jr out of high school, as his father played for the program 1990-92. Floyd chose UConn and enrolled early where he was a redshirt last season. He’s a guard with a big frame and an elite ability to attack the basket. Update: Corey Floyd Jr. committed to Providence 4/24

Eric Williams Jr. – Oregon – The old adage of get old and stay old by Mike Brey rings true here. Williams was a redshirt senior last year at Oregon and has availability due to the COVID free year. Providence has expressed interest here, and it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Over a four year career, with stints at Duquense and Oregon, Williams averaged 11.7 ppg and 6.8 rpg. He is a solid catch and shoot guy from 3 and a good athlete that can get on the boards. He could be a nice replacement for the departure of Minaya. Update: Eric Williams Jr is pursuing a professional career 4/18

Crier Wishlist

These guys may not be linked to the program at the moment but could be a player we would target based on previous recruitment and positional need.

Guards

Jaelin Llewellyn– Princeton- Llewellyn (pray for the Crier spelling that name correctly all season if he lands in Friartown) is a 6-2 guard with a year left of eligibility. Averaged 15.7 ppg, 2.5 apg on 44.7% FG and 38.6% 3pt for the Tigers. He is a little undersized to play at the two but could be a dynamic scorer and play maker to go alongside Jared Bynum. Update- Jaelin Llewelyn committed to Clemson 4/12, then decommitted from Clemson 4/19 and committed to Michigan 4/29.

Noah Kirkwood– Harvard- At the moment Kirkwood is not officially in the portal but a guy Kevin McNamara mentioned as a possible player they’d be after. Kirkwood is a big-bodied guard that scored 17.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3 apg on 47.7% FG and 35.3% 3pt. This is a name to keep an eye on because if he does enter the portal he’d be a perfect guy to slide into the 2 spot. Update: Kirkwood is forgoing final year of eligibility and will pursue pro career 5/4

Desmond Cambridge Jr- Nevada- Cambridge originally played college ball down the road at Brown and was an instant playmaker in the Ivy league. He then transferred to stiffer competition in the Mountain West and didnt alter his game. Cambridge averaged 16.2 ppg the last two seasons for the Wolfpack and shot 37% from deep on 8 attempts per game last season. Update: Desmond Cambridge Jr and his brother Devan committed to Arizona St 3/31 (now I don’t have to cover Devan in the wings portion of the write up)

Earl Timberlake– Memphis- Ah the one that got away. Friars were all in on Earl before he took his talents to South Beach. After a promising freshman season at Miami he transferred to Memphis and saw his role greatly diminished. At 6-6 220 is he a guard or is he a forward? I have no clue but he’s built like a house and would be a perfect fit for Cooley. Update: Earl Timberlake committed to Bryant 4/18

Tyree Appleby– Florida- Appleby came over to Florida from Cleveland St and it took him a bit to get going but came on strong towards the end of the year. He had a 3-game stretch in February where he scored 66 points on a sizzling 13/28 from three. He can provide instant offense and be a secondary ball handler. Update: Appleby committed to Wake Forest 5/4

Kevin McCullar– Texas Tech- The Crier will refuse to forget seeing Kevin McCullar dapping up Cooley when he fouled out of the PC/Texas Tech game back in December. It could mean nothing, it could mean everything. McCullar is another big-bodied guard with solid handles and a streaky 3pt shot. He is currently testing the waters for the NBA but still has 2 years of eligibility and could return to college if need be. However McCullar never specifically said that college would be Texas Tech. If he does become available look for Cooley to pounce, he’d be a perfect Friar. UPDATE: Kevin McCullar has entered the portal 4/27, down to two schools Kansas/Gonzaga

Rob Phinnese– Indiana- Could the Friars tap into the Hoosiers program like they did with Emmitt Holt and Al Durham? Possibly. Phinnese was a fan favorite at IU but saw a diminished role this past season. He was absolutely massive for the Hoosiers in an upset over Purdue, where he scored 20 points on 8/13 and 4/7 from three including the winning shot. If he is anywhere near the joy to watch that Al Durham was sign me up. Update: Rob Phinnese committed to Cincinnati 4/20

Jermaine Couisnard– South Carolina- Perhaps Justin Minaya could recruit his former teammate to the Friars? Couisnard has good size at 6-4 and plays the combo guard role really well. He is a good slasher and shooter plus has playmaking skills. He would be a great fit for the Friars. Update: Couisnard committed to Oregon 5/5

Others of Interest- Andre Curbelo (Illinois-> SJ), Joe Toussaint (Iowa-> WVU), Ethan Anderson (USC-> Wyoming), Sean McNeil (WVU->OSU), Sir’Jabari Rice (NM St -> Texas), Camren Wynter (Drexel), Kyrell Luc (Holy Cross-> St Bonnaventure), Mark Sears (Ohio -> Bama)

Wings

Antonio Reeves– Illinois St- Reeves might be one of the more sought-after wings in the portal after finishing 19th in the nation in scoring at 20.1 ppg. He has a real nice stroke from three-point land and seems to have plus athleticism and finishing ability. With the Friars tournament run touring his hometown Chicago could Cooley land a big-time transfer? Update- Reeves committed to Kentucky 4/27

Jaiden Delaire– Stanford- Delaire is a grad transfer that has good size (6-9) and a decent shooting stroke (32% 3pt). He also has New England ties hailing from North Granby, CT. It seems as if you could play him at either the 3 or the 4 spot, we know how Cooley loves his versatility.

Khalid Moore– Georgia Tech- If you start 30/32 games and only average 5.3 ppg it must mean you’re a plus defender. It was so nice to have a defensive stud on the wing like Minaya and Moore could fill that role if Minaya were to pursue pro-options. Update Khalid Moore transferred to Fordham 5/3

Brandon Suggs- East Carolina- Brandon Suggs could be a diamond in the rough type add off the transfer portal. He has good size and is a good scorer. Suggs is also only a sophomore, so you’d have 2 years of eligibility remaining. Update: Brandon Suggs committed to UCF 4/25

Tyler Burton– Richmond- Once again listing a guy who isn’t in the portal at the moment, but this guy has Friar ties. His dad Quinton played for the Friars and graduated in 1990. Tyler was a Friar fan and attended many games growing up. He only had 5 points against PC in the Round of 32 but make no mistake this kid can ball 16.1 ppg and 7 rpg for the Spiders. If he were to enter he will be immediately linked to PC. UPDATE- Tyler Burton entered his name in the NBA draft while maintaining his college eligibility – 4/6

Others of Interest- Terrence Shannon (Texas Tech-> Illinois), Dontaie Allen (Kentucky-> Western KY), Eric Van Der Heijden (Ole Miss), John Camden (Memphis-> VA Tech)

Stretch 4

Ben Vander Plas– Ohio- Ben Vander Plas would be the perfect replacement for Noah Horchler. Vander Plas averaged 14.3 ppg and 6.8 rpg for Ohio last season and hit 67 three-pointers on the season. With Vander Plas’ versatility as a big man look for him to have several suitors. Update: Ben Vander Plas committed to UVA 4/23

Shareef O’Neil– LSU- Could the son of Kazaam choose Friartown as his last destination in college? Shareef O’Neil has not been much of a productive player in his stints at UCLA and LSU. However, he is 6-10 with length and perhaps he’s a late bloomer. After all Shaq did say his son was a “Giannis Antetokounmpo with a jump shot”.

Bryce Golden– Butler- With the Big East allowing intraconference transfers, why not throw Bryce Golden on the list. Golden has been working to improve his three-point shot over the years improving to a career best 34.3%. He has always given the Friars fits. Update- Golden has committed to Loyola Chicago on 4/10

Jake Stephens– VMI- Stephens is the ultimate stat stuffer. The 6-11 big man dominated in the SoCon last year to the tune of 19.6 ppg, 9 rpg, 3.3 apg, and 2 bpg. On top of shot a blistering 74/151 from three land, good for 49%. He may more of a stretch 5 but I’ll take any big that can shoot 49% from three. His foot speed may be a concern playing at a higher level of competition but expect for this guy to have a high list of suitors. He’s basically a unicorn. Update: Stephens committed to Chattanooga 4/11

Others of Interest- Norchad Omier (Arkansas St-> Miami), Brandon Johns Jr (Michigan-> VCU), Fardaws Aimaq (Utah Valley-> Texas Tech)

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