Another week goes by where the transfer portal article is massively updated here at The Providence Crier. I can’t imagine being a college coach and having to re-recruit your entire roster every year. I’m certain this, along with NIL, is why we have seen the legends of the game like Coach K, Jay Wright, and Roy Williams retire abruptly. But I digress…
Version 3.0 highlights the efforts made by Kim English in his first two weeks on the job. English targeted two George Mason transfers with his first two moves in the transfer portal, landing freshman wing Justyn Fernandez and All-Conference forward Josh Oduro. Since the last update to the Transfer Portal Primer, English has also secured a visit on April 14th with Wyoming big man Graham Ike, which would be an absolutely massive win for the Friars for this upcoming year and future years.
Jayden Pierre also is back in the fold as the point guard of the future for the Friars, which fills a massive hole. Unfortunately, the back-up guard spot is still up in the air with Alyn Breed’s status unknown. Developmental big man Rafael Castro is also returning, and he should be a factor in the frontcourt next year at a minimum. Last but not least is the commitment of wing player Richard Barron, who was previously committed to George Mason. I’d anticipate a redshirt year for him, but he may pleasantly surprise.
In terms of needs right now, I’d rank them as follows:
1a. More frontcourt help (relying just on Oduro and Castro is not a recipe for success)
1b. Veteran PG willing to come off bench. He would serve as a mentor to Pierre and run the second unit for the Friars.
2. Shooter (I rank this below the two above because I think we see continued development from Pierre, Hopkins, Carter, and Floyd Jr.). I see this as a luxury add rather than mandatory need
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.
Transfer Portal & Recruiting Articles
Class of 2024 Recruiting Primer, Version 3.0 – https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/03/27/providence-college-basketball-recruiting-class-of-2024/
Transfer Portal Spotlight: Josh Oduro: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/03/25/transfer-portal-spotlight-george-mason-forward-josh-oduro/
Transfer Portal Spotlight: Justyn Fernandez: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/03/26/transfer-portal-spotlight-george-mason-wing-justyn-fernandez/
Transfer Portal Spotlight: Graham Ike: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/03/31/crier-recruiting-corner-introducing-wyoming-forward-graham-ike/
2023 Recruiting Primer: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2022/09/06/the-2023-recruiting-primer-providence-friars/
Transfer Portal Spotlight: Davonte “Ticket” Gaines: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/04/08/davonte-ticket-gaines-following-kim-english-to-friartown/
Rich Barron Commitment Article: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/04/10/richard-barron-commits-to-providence-analyzing-the-impact/
Transfer Portal Spotlight: Taran Armstrong: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/04/08/transfer-portal-spotlight-introducing-cal-baptist-guard-taran-armstrong/
2023 -2024 #1a 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 Josh Oduro. Yes, that’s it.
Providence needs to land, at a minimum, one more 5 man that is ready to contribute and play alongside Oduro and Castro. 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.
English has had a heck of a start here with landing Josh Oduro. He offensively is everything you want in a 5 man. Defensively, his lack of size leaves Providence vulnerable protecting the rim and rebounding. They lack a ton of size presently.
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.
Expect the Friars to be in the mix with a ton of college transfer big men. Graham Ike is visiting in about a week and would cement the frontcourt for PC. With that said, a lot can happen in a week, so I don’t want English to put all his eggs in the Ike basket.
2023 – 2024 #1b Friar Need
Back-up point guard to Jayden Pierre. Pierre has the keys to the proverbial car, but it would be fantastic to have a veteran point guard who can teach Pierre the intricacies of being a college ready point guard. Alyn Breed was theoretically going to be that person, but we’re unsure of his status with PC.
Not to put this in the air, but if Pierre gets hurt, Providence doesn’t have another point guard on the roster. Breed kept the ship afloat when Bynum was injured this past year, and it is essential to have another PG on the roster in case this happens again. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.
2023 – 2024 #2 Friar Need
The other sneaky need is another sharpshooting 2 guard. Locke was a revelation this past year. Not only was he an assassin from deep, but he showed a complete game as a scorer at all three levels.
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 English says no. Providence has always lacked quality perimeter shooters, and Kim English is looking to fix that.
Justyn Fernandez is a great start, as he will be able to put his fingerprints on the Friar program for 3 years. I still feel they need one or two more shooters if they truly want to run a Kim English 4 out offense.
Player Tracker – Big Men
Josh Oduro – George Mason -16 points, 8 Rebounds – 6’9 235 – Committed to Providence 3/27/12– Josh Oduro was set to be one of the most sought after grad transfers on the market. Instead of fielding offers from other schools he quickly made the decision to join Kim English at Providence. Oduro is a 2x 1st team All-A10 selection and is an absolute bucket around the rim. Josh has a litany of post moves and is one of the more skilled post players in the nation. Expect Oduro to be the Friars starting 5 man this season.
Graham Ike– Wyoming- 6-9 255 lb Center- Ike is a big bodied center who scores a ton in the paint and a really good rebounder. Ike tore his right ACL in high school and then last year missed the entire season last year with a right leg injury. In the 2021-2022 season Ike averaged 19.5 ppg and 9.6 rpg. Unfortunately Ike doesn’t provide a ton of rim protection. Devin Carter is certainly making his pitch, as he is friends with Ike, and the center will be visiting Friartown.
Update: Ike is visiting Friartown 4/14-4/16.
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.
Update: Committed to UMASS. Good landing spot for Cohen.
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 English is looking for, but his jumping around of schools gives me pause on if he’d be a cultural fit. UPDATE- Fardaws Aimaq committed to Cal
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.
After the NCAA Tournament, he may forego his extra year of college and go professional. He’s that good. If he somehow returns, I anticipate all of the blue bloods to target him. UPDATE: Evbuomwan decided to pursue professional career.
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. It seemed like the Friars were involved but that was prior to the coaching change.
Eddie Lampkin Jr. – 6’11 263 Center – 2 Years Remaining – The Crier would have loved to add Eddie Lampkin this portal cycle. 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. The problem is our former coach had a zoom with him, in likelihood pitching him to Georgetown. Poor etiquette from Cooley. UPDATE: Eddie Lampkin committed to Colorado
Kadin Shedrick – UVA 5man, 6’11 230 lbs – Two Years Remaining – The spring big man from North Carolina is entering the transfer portal. Shedrick’s stats don’t pop out, but he is the type of rim running big man that English is looking for. He also is exceptional at protecting the rim. He is a pogo stick, and I think a change in scenery and style of play would be great for him. PC has yet to express interest, but I’d love this addition.
Update: Shedrick has released his final 5, and PC isn’t in the mix.
Keegan Records – Colgate 6’10 250lb – One Year Remaining – The South Kingston native may be looking to return home. He averaged 13 and 6 last year at Colgate, which was a dominant team in its own right. PC and URI have expressed interest already. I see him filling the role of Clifton Moore as the first big off the bench.
Jason Jitoboh – Florida transfer – 6’11 big man with one year remaining – The big man (and I mean BIG at 300lbs) has overcome a few injuries and has one year of eligibility remaining. In his last year at Florida, he averaged 11 minutes and 3 points. This may be this year’s version of the Clifton Moore signing. Georgetown and Tennessee State also in the mix. Update: Jason Jitoboh committed to Tennessee St
Ugonna Onyenso – Kentucky Big – 3 Years Remaining – 7 footer – I love this potential addition for whomever lands him. You look at his freshman year stats and wonder what happened (2.5 points and 2.6 rebounds). However, remember he was stuck behind arguably the best frontcourt player in the nation in Oscar Tshiebwe. PC doesn’t have a player like him on the roster. Even if PC has a shot to land Graham Ike, you need to make a call and see if Onyenso is interested. He likely saw Hopkins at Providence this year and thinks that production could be replicated. A frontcourt of Oduro, Ike, Onyenso, and Castro would be arguably the best frontcourt in the nation.
Update: There are rumors that Onyenso is leaning towards returning to Kentucky
Justyn Fernandez– George Mason- 3-years eligibility- Update: Fernandez Committed to Providence 3/26 If you have followed along with the Friars recruiting the past few years, Justyn Fernandez should ring a bell. Fernandez was offered by the Friars, yet the 2022 4-star recruit picked George Mason over the likes of PC, Tenn, NC State, and Florida. Now he’s picking the Friars this time around, following Kim English to PC. Fernandez showed some promise last year including outings against UMass and George Washington, scoring 18 and 15 points respectively. In those two games he went 8/11 from three. It’s hard to see what his role will be early at PC but he can be an impact player in the years to come. I envision Floyd Jr. and Fernandez to be the starting 2 and 3 in 2024 and beyond. That’s a good core to have.
Darren Buchanan Jr. – Virginia Tech Wing – 4 Years Remaining – English lost out on this recruitment while at George Mason. Buchanan Jr. has entered the transfer portal after redshirting this past year. Surprise, surprise. Buchanan is another DC product.
Jaden House – High Point 6’3 Guard – 2 Years Remaining – Update: House committed to URI 3/31 House is a scoring guard that averaged 17 a game. I’m a bit hesitant on this one, as he seems to be a one trick pony scoring, only averaging 2 assists and 4 rebounds. He also only shoots 30% from dep. We’ll see how serious the interest is.
Ronald Polite III – 6’2 Guard – Two Years Remaining – If we hear any indication that PC is pursuing Polite, you can unfortunately assume one (or both) of Pierre and Breed are transferring. Polite averaged 11 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds last year. He was 36% from deep last year, but 30% in his career. More to come on this one. Update: Ronald Polite III is returning to George Mason
Jordan Wright – 6’6 Wing – One Year Remaining – Get old and stay old. The Mike Brey strategy. English seems to be adopting the same mantra. Wright averaged 10 and 5 last year. The year prior was a seemingly more productive year where he averaged 12 and with 35% from deep. This could be a nice rotation add, with Wright bringing maturity and leadership to the PC Friars.
Update: Wright is returning home to LSU.
Keyshawn Hall – UNLV Wing – 3 Years Remaining – Not sure about this one, as I’m not exactly an avid UNLV follower. Hall didn’t start in the 18 games he played and averaged 5 points. However, the teams courting him seem to indicate the stats don’t tell the full story.
Ace Baldwin Jr- VCU, 6-1 point guard- Ace Baldwin is probably the best overall guard in the portal and one of the best in the country. He was second in the A10 in assists (5.8 apg), averages 12.7 ppg, and a solid three point shooter (41% in 22, 34% in 23). On top of that he’s a disrupter on defense averaging 2.2 steals per game. Baldwin entered the portal when head coach Mike Rhoades left for Penn St, so I’d imagine the Nittany Lions will be a serious player here. Baldwin is from Baltimore, like head coach Kim English. So it would be a situation worth monitoring for the Friars. Update: Ace Baldwin Jr committed to Penn St
Keyon Menifield- Washington, 6-1 guard, 3 years eligibility- This is more of a want for the Crier than a actual connection to PC but Menifield would be a great add. The freshman averaged 10 ppg, 3.1 apg and shot 33% from three. He’s a lightning quick guard with the ball in his hands and does a great job penetrating and kicking out to open shooters. Update: Keyon Menifield committed to Arkansas
Taran Armstrong- Cal Baptist, 6-6 guard- Kim English says him and staff are going to recruit the world right? Armstrong is originally from Australia and is an intriguing prospect. He has really good size from the lead guard position, has the ability to attack the basket and is an excellent distributor. After two productive seasons at Cal Baptist look for Armstrong to have plenty of suitors.
Aaron Estrada – Hofstra wing – One Year Remaining – Estrada is quite the journeyman. This will be his fourth school in his collegiate career, where he also played at Oregon, St. Peter’s, and Hofstra. Estrada averaged 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists on 48% shooting and 37% from deep. The list for this one will be long.
Davonte “Ticket” Gaines – George Mason – One Year Remaining – Another George Mason transfer portal candidate, PC jumped at the chance to add a veteran 3 and D wing to the room. Gaines averaged 7 points and rebounds.
Update: Committed to PC
Noah Fernandes – UMASS PG/CG – One Year Remaining – PC is in the mix here, and, at this point, you just have to assume a Frank Martin disciple will produce incredibly at PC. For that reason alone, I’d sign up for this transfer. Fernandes, in limited play this year, averaged 13 points and 4 assists, but was 45% from 3. The year prior is probably more indicative of his true stat line with 15 points, 5 assists, and 36% from 3.
Josh Nickelberry – LaSalle Transfer Guard – One Year Remaining – Nickelberry averaged 11 points last year, but what probably jumps out to English is his 40% mark from deep. We’ll see how aggressively PC gets involved.
Le’Tre Darthard – Utah Valley Guard – One Year Remaining – Darthard averaged 14, 4, and 2 with 36% from deep. I have only casually heard PC involved, so we’ll see if they also get more serious here. He was All WAC, but importantly All WAC defensive team.