Third Time is the Charm – Friars Land Their Shooter in Noah Locke

This one was a pleasant Friday surprise. We’ve heard and written a lot about Devin Carter (https://theprovidencecrier.com/2022/04/12/introducing-friar-fans-to-devin-carter-potential-transfer/#more-4900) and Bryce Hopkins (https://theprovidencecrier.com/2022/04/13/portal-spotlight-bryce-hopkins/#more-4909), but the talk was relatively quiet around Locke. Make no mistake, however. With Reeves and Horchler leaving, the Friars desperately needed deep ball shooters. Insert Locke.

Below, we break down Locke’s college career to date, what he brings to the Friars, and what comes next on the transfer portal front.

Locke’s Collegiate Career

Locke will only be with the Friars for one year, as he played three years in the SEC at Florida and one year in the ACC at Louisville. Locke is a very solid player, but does one thing exceptionally well – shoot from deep. On his career spanning over 4 years, he has averaged 38.7% from deep. His high mark was as a sophomore at Florida where he was 43.2% from deep. His low mark, oddly, was last year at 34.2% at Louisville.

Locke is also a very solid free throw shooter, averaging 74.8% over his career.

While he has never averaged more than 10.6 points/game, the Friars don’t need him to come in and be a 15+ scorer. His scoring numbers are oddly almost identical to Reeves, whose high mark in college was 9.9 points a game, 38.1% from deep, and 70.5% from the charity stripe. Eerily similar.

Providence Fit

Among the heavy rotation players, Providence lost its second and third best 3 point shooters in Horchler and Reeves, respectively. In the transfer portal article (https://theprovidencecrier.com/2022/04/07/providence-crier-recruiting-primer-transfer-portal-edition/#more-4819), we discussed the need for wing help and scoring help. Locke assists in both, while also being a seasoned collegiate veteran. Providence has depth at wing in Breed and Goodine, but that depth is largely unproven to date. Locke is more of a known commodity, and that is why this is such a valuable addition. You know what you are going to get with him, which is something needed when you lose 5 of your 6 starters.

Do not just assume Locke is strictly a three point shooter though. He can score in the mid-range and off the dribble. He may emerge as a complete 2-guard before season’s end and has shown that ability in spurts.

This will be Locke’s fifth year, and Providence will need to replace some of the leadership void left by Durham, Horchler, Minaya, Watson, and Reeves. Get old and stay old is something I live by when speaking to team building, and Providence should remain one of the oldest teams in the country with Locke, Bynum and Croswell all being in the rotation.

It also cannot be discounted that Locke played in the SEC and ACC. He won’t be fazed by the bright lights of the Big East, which means he should be ready to go from the onset of the season.

Lastly, he has familiarity with Cooley and Providence. Cooley tried landing him out of high school before losing out to Florida. Then, Locke was thinking about PC again before transferring to Louisville. It may have taken four years, but Cooley finally won out in this recruitment.

What’s Next

Providence currently has South Carolina combo guard Devin Carter on an official visit. Additionally, this went under the radar but LaSalle big man Clifton Moore was also visiting campus today.

The Providence Crier will keep everybody in the scoop on what is transpiring in the transfer market. This has the makings of being a monster recruiting weekend for Providence and Cooley.

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