With the 2022-2023 season less than a week away (!), we wanted to release our annual season preview of the Providence Friars. Below, we’ll provide our very uneducated opinions on how the season will unfold, along with some guesses on starting line-ups, leading scorer, post-season accolades, and anything and everything in between.
We’re excited to cover another season of the Providence Friars here at The Providence Crier.
Without further ado…
Big East Standing Predictions
|1.||Creighton Blue Jays||Xavier Musketeers|
|2.||Villanova Wildcats||Creighton Blue Jays|
|3.||UConn Huskies||Providence Friars|
|4.||Xavier Musketeers||UConn Huskies|
|5.||St. Johns Red Storm||Villanova Wildcats|
|6.||Providence Friars||St. Johns Red Storm|
|7.||Butler Bulldogs||Marquette Golden Eagles|
|8.||Georgetown Hoyas||Seton Hall Pirates|
|9.||Marquette Golden Eagles||Butler Bulldogs|
|10.||Seton Hall Pirates||Georgetown Hoyas|
|11.||DePaul Blue Demons||DePaul Blue Demons|
BOC’s Big East Tournament Champions: St. John’s Red Storm
Crier’s Big East Tournament Champions: Villanova Wildcats
Friars Projected Starting Line-Up
Traditional 5: Bynum, Locke, Carter, Hopkins, Croswell
Big Man 5: Bynum, Locke, Hopkins, Castro, Croswell (used to combat teams with size like a UCONN or Creighton)
BOC’s Friar Predictions
1. Hopkins leads team in scoring, with Bynum directly behind him.
2. Croswell leads team in rebounding.
3. Bynum and Hopkins make All-Conference team.
4. Devin Carter leads team in steals and tied with Croswell for most on-court scuffles.
5. Pierre surprisingly gets 15 minutes a game and is the clear heir apparent to Bynum as next great PC point guard.
Crier’s Friar Predictions
- Friars play with more pace on offense this season, will finish top-150 in offensive tempo.
- Jared Bynum will remain first team all-Big East.
- Bryce Hopkins earns a spot on an all-Big East team by season’s end.
- Noah Locke will finish top-5 in three pointers made in a season by a Friar.
- Ed Croswell will record 10+ double-doubles this season.
BOC Season Predictions
PC Record Out of Conference: 9-2
PC Record In Conference: 11-9
PC Record: 20-11
PC NCAA Tournament Seeding: 8/9 Seed
PC Final Outcome: Losing to 1 Seed in Round of 32
Crier Season Predictions
PC Record Out of Conference: 9-2
PC Record In Conference: 14-6
PC NCAA Tournament Seeding: 5/6 Seed
PC Final Outcome: Sweet 16
BOC’s Miscellaneous College Basketball Predictions
1. Posh Alexander wins Big East Player of the Year
2. Brady Scheierman dukes it out with Bryce Hopkins as most impactful transfer to the Big East, earning All-Conference Honors.
3. Creighton leads the NCAA in Points Per Game.
4. Final 4 Prediction – North Carolina, Houston, Kentucky, Creighton
5. Championship Prediction – North Carolina defeats Houston
BOC’s Friar Outlook
With the transfer portal now commonplace, the premise of a rebuild after a prior successful season doesn’t usually land as an excuse with fans. It should for Providence, however. Cooley has done a fanatic job reloading the talent on the roster in one offseason, but any objective fan cannot overlook that Providence has lost all five starters from last year. PC will never be a Kentucky or Duke that can reload rosters in one year without skipping a beat. There will be some growing pains this year, no doubt.
All who follow me know I’m a huge advocate of “stars matter” when it comes to recruiting players and likelihood for collegiate success. A 4 or 5 star is more likely to have success than a 3 star. When analyzing the roster from this paradigm, this roster is up there as the most talented squad Ed Cooley has ever possessed. Hopkins, Carter, Floyd Jr., Locke, and Pierre were all blue chip, Top 150 recruits nationally.
The talent is there, but is this talent experienced enough? Does talent equate to wins? I’m in wait and see mode before being too bullish on this squad. This team needs to learn how to play together, how to overcome adversity, and win close games.
This is why I think the story of this season will ultimately be how this team is the foundational piece to a “leveling up” of Cooley’s PC squads for years to come. After this year, I think Providence will be entering into unchartered waters under Ed Cooley as a consistent second weekend (or better) team in the NCAA’s. These guys need a year to gel. The theme at year’s end will be the rising expectations of a nationally ranked Providence Friar squad in 2023-2024.
With all that said, I’m really going to enjoy this year. With all the new faces and pieces, it is a joy as a fanatic of this program to get to know these players and see them develop. I have no real expectations for this team beyond enjoying the ride and hoping they can pleasantly surprise. Good times are ahead for the Friars, and this is the year that sets the stage for Cooley to make his run at a Final 4 in years to come.
This is a big season for the trajectory of the program going forward. Providence has a ton of momentum from last year’s Sweet 16 run. That momentum only carried over from the haul Cooley was able to land in the transfer portal. Providence’s backcourt is the deepest it has been in the Cooley Era and the combo of Bynum/Locke has potential to be lethal offensively. Add that with Bryce Hopkins, who has all the tools to blossom into a star, and seasoned vets in the frontcourt with Croswell and Moore they’re going to be a tough out. Do they repeat as Big East champs? Probably not. Are there going to be some bumps along the way? Sure. But this team was built to be good this season and into the next few. As Ed Cooley likes to say, “It’s an Exciting Time in Friartown”.