With Ed Croswell and Clifton Moore departing the Friar program after this year, it is imperative that Coach Ed Cooley and the Providence staff replenish the frontcourt. Insert 2024 North Carolina big man Kany Tchanda. Tchanda is 6’10 and plays at Winston Salem Christian School.
Below, we do a deep dive on Tchanda’s recruitment, where we excels, where he can improve on the collegiate level, and what he’d bring to the Providence Friar program.
Tchanda is listed around 6’9-6’10 on various sites. He is listed anywhere from 180 – 210 pounds with room to grow and develop. Tchanda is categorized as a 4 star, Top 150 player on the 247 Composite.
Competition for Tchanda includes a host of SEC schools in Mississippi State and Texas A&M. Providence got in early on this recruitment with Jeff Battle’s fingerprints all over this. Providence has been a bit snakebitten with North Carolina recruits of recent (Essandoko, Kris Monroe, Greg Gantt), but I’m hopeful this one plays out differently.
Providence received an official visit from Tchanda in October and was able to take in a game. The odds of landing a player significantly increase when you can get them on campus for an official visit.
The first thing that jumps out to me is that he is the epitome of the modern big man. While he may never be a Nate Watson with exceptional back to the basket post moves, he can run, jump, rebound, dribble, and be an offensive threat from the perimeter. That’s an asset that is becoming more and more important as the game of basketball continues to evolve. The game is becoming positionless so to speak, and Tchanda fits the mold there.
Tchanda can handle the ball in the open court, which is a testament to his unique skill set. At 6’9/6’10, not many players can take care of the ball like he can.
His face-up game is pretty lethal as well. He uses his athleticism to blow by the man guarding him. Once he beats his man, his size allows him to finish over the man he just beat.
While it is important to show a diversified skill set, Tchanda needs to understand his best skill is rim running and finishing around the rim. Too many bigs these days live on the perimeter and are a big man by title only. We’ve seen how imposing Croswell and Watson can be when they buried their man in the low post using their strength and physicality.
Due to this athleticism, he can also guard the 3 – 5 spots in a pinch. Pick and roll and high ball screens are in vogue right now so having the ability to guard both in space and down low is such a huge asset.
Tchanda will likely need a few years to develop on the collegiate level. He has the size, but I’d be curious to see if he could withstand the rigors of the Big East frontcourt in his freshman year. Look at Rafael Castro for example. He’s in his second year at Providence and still having trouble getting on the court due to his lack of strength and ability to anchor in the post and on the glass. Castro has all the potential in the world with his length and size, but it is diminished when stronger players are taking the game right into his chest. Tchanda may have a bit more spring and athleticism to his game than Castro, but I think the playing time trajectory should be fairly similar.
Fit – Providence Friar Program
Early playing time is the selling point here. It is eye-opening just how shorthanded the Providence frontcourt will be in the years to come. I anticipate Cooley to short term remedy this via the transfer portal, but the Christ Essandoko de-commitment certainly stings.
As of this writing, if Tchanda were to sign with Providence, the only frontcourt players on campus when he arrives would be an upperclassmen in Rafael Castro and Sophomore in Drew Fielder. That’s it.
Tchanda is more in the mold of a stretch 4 than true 5, but Cooley needs to continue to add assets to the frontcourt. In an ideal world, Cooley pairs Tchanda with a traditional 5 man, in a similar capacity to Horchler and Watson last year.
The best is yet to come for Tchanda. He is still raw and relying on athleticism, which is a great sign for his future. Whomever lands Tchanda will land an uber-athletic frontcourt player that can impact the game on both sides of the floor. I can see his game developing into a poor man’s Kenneth Faried. For college comps, one can look at Big East brethren Oso Ighodaro. I see a lot of similarities in their game.
Providence has gotten in early here, and there is playing time to be had. Beyond that, who wouldn’t want to play for the Naismith Coach of the Year? All of the above has to be appealing to Tchanda, but we’ve seen countless times the appeal of playing in the ACC often deeply resonates with these Carolina recruits. Time will tell if Cooley can land the frontcourt successor, but I like where the Friars stand as of this writing.
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