Providence has become “Destination U” for collegiate transfers. Some may call Ed Cooley the Lane Kiffin of College Basketball. Ed Cooley recognized that Providence may not always have the appeal of a blue blood and land the blue chip recruits out of high school and decided to land the collegiate version of blue chippers. His early emphasis on leaning into the portal has paid off immensely for Providence.
Look at this current year. Providence accepted the transfers of Bryce Hopkins, Devin Carter, Noah Locke, and Clifton Moore from Kentucky, South Carolina, Louisville, and La Salle, respectively. It was a massive success for Ed Cooley, as Bryce Hopkins turned into a first team All-Big Easter, Devin Carter was Honorable Mention All-Big East and Noah Locke averaged his career high in points.
The year prior Cooley landed Justin Minaya and Al Durham en route to winning the regular season Big East Conference for the first time ever and making the Sweet 16. Bynum, Horchler, and Croswell weren’t transfers last year, but did transfer into the program. Cooley has an eye for talent and knows that he can get immediate production from a collegiate transfer who has already produced versus a hit or miss high school recruit.
Below we break down what the Friars need in the transfer portal for the 2023-2024 basketball season and beyond. After that, we’ll keep a running list of players in the transfer portal that Providence has expressed interest in. We’ll also list players that we think would be good fits for the Friars. This will be regularly updated. Enjoy!
2023 -2024 #1 Friar Need
Big Men. Big Men. Big Men.
It is as simple as that.
Ed Croswell and Clifton Moore are out of eligibility, meaning the Friars will only have the following big men on scholarship heading into next year: Rafael Castro and Drew Fielder. Yes, that’s it.
Providence needs to land, at a minimum, one 5 man that is ready to contribute and play 30 minutes a game. Castro hasn’t shown the ability to play at the Big East level and is still miles away from being physically ready for the day to day gauntlet that is the Big East. Drew Fielder, while promising, will only be a true freshman.
If it were up to me, I would target two transfer bigs. Providence has been missing a true rim protector, and it would be great to land a 6’11/7 foot big that can protect the paint. Kalkbrenner, Clingan, and Nunge will still be around next year, and their size has hurt us plenty this year. We need somebody who can physically and athletically match them.
If you are a five man, the thought of playing for the Friars has to be very appealing. Cooley runs his offenses through the bigs and has shown the ability to produce All Conference big men in his Providence tenure.
Expect the Friars to be in the mix with a ton of college transfer big men.
2023 – 2024 #2 Friar Need
The other sneaky need is another sharpshooting 2 guard. Locke has been a revelation this year. Not only has he been an assassin from deep, but he has shown a complete game as a scorer at all three levels. Cooley may like his roster composition for next year at the 2 spot with him hoping one of Breed or Floyd Jr. making the leap to being the knockdown off-ball shooting guard.
With that said, if there is a college ready three point shooter who wants a chance to compete for the starting 2 spot, I can’t see a scenario where Cooley says no. Providence has always lacked quality perimeter shooters, so adding to the roster with a deep threat would be a good idea.
Player Tracker – Big Men
B.J. Mack – Wofford -17 points, 6 Rebounds – 6’8 250 – I was surprised to hear Providence is involved here, given that Mack doesn’t have the traditional height that we will need in the frontcourt. Mack is a bit of mismatch nightmare, as he can also step out and hit the three. Mack needs to get himself in better shape for the Big East, but if he has multiple years of eligibility (not sure if he has 1 or 2 years), it may be worth an add as a bigger body Croswell replacement.
Josh Cohen – St. Francis PA – 6’11 230 lb Center – Providence has yet to express interest, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they reach out to Cohen. I have questions on if he can athletically hang in the Big East, but he is a throwback/retro big with excellent post moves. He was the NEC POY, averaging 22 points and 8 rebounds. Cohen has 2 years of eligibility remaining. I see him making the leap to the A10, but another body in the frontcourt couldn’t hurt.
Fardaws Aimaq – Texas Tech – 6’11 245 lb Center – Aimaq is doing the worldwide tour for his college career, as he will be attending his 4th school after declaring he will be transferring out of Texas Tech. This last year was filled with injuries, but Aimaq was a portal darling the year prior, scoring 20 and rebounding 14. Even with the injury plagued year, he still managed to put up 11 and 8 in the Big 12. This would be the type of impact big that Cooley is looking for, but his jumping around of schools gives me pause on if he’d be a cultural fit.
Tosan Evbuomwan- Princeton- I’m watching the Ivy League title game and find out that the Ivy doesn’t allow you to play as a graduate student. Enter Tosan Evbuomwan, the senior from England has been an absolute force in the Ivy. He is averaging 14.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, and 4.9 assists per game from a big man. Steve Wojciechowski called him the Ivy League Giannis. He is seen to have professional options whether it be the NBA or overseas but it’s likely he will enter the portal. At 6-8 he may be on the small side for what the Friars are looking for but who wouldn’t want a big that can get others involved.
Zach Austin – High Point – 6’5 200lb – 2 Years Remaining – Austin isn’t a traditional big man, but more so a wing. He averaged 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Cooley looks to be stacking defensive talent on the wings similarly to Devin Carter.
Jamille Reynolds – 6’10 285lb Center from Temple – 2 Years Remaining – At this point, you have to trust Cooley landing transfers from the Philly region. Ed Croswell, Clifton Moore, Jared Bynum, etc. Reynolds only played 20 minute a game, but averaged 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 block. Cooley may be envisioning molding Reynolds with the 2 years remaining, and the production in limited minutes is enticing.
Eddie Lampkin Jr. – 6’11 263 Center – 2 Years Remaining – Eddie Lampkin, let me introduce you to Ken White. Cooley may see a reclamation project on his hands, as Lampkin Jr. isn’t leaving Jamie Dixon and TCU on good terms. With that said, Cooley saw firsthand what a motivated Lampkin Jr. can do. Lampkin Jr. went for 16 points and 12 rebounds this year against Providence and was one of the few to get the better of Ed Croswell this year. He also plays with a very high motor and intensity, something that has to be appealing to Ed Cooley. It looks like this is the most involved we’ve been to date with a transfer portal individual.