The search for more frontcourt help marches on for Kim English and the Providence Friars. It came out earlier today that 6’9 Kentucky forward Lance Ware is on a visit to Providence College. A reserve big for the Wildcats in his three years at Lexington, Ware is hoping for a fresh start after being relegated to spot minutes off the bench. Providence fans are hoping to strike gold again with the Kentucky to Providence pipeline.
Lance Ware Player Profile
Ware has averaged only 9 minutes of playing time in his three years under Calipari. Ironically, the most amount of playing time was in 2020-2021 as a true freshman with 12 minutes a game. Ware has played at a minimum 21 games/season with him playing 28 games and starting 6 games this past year.
Ware will have two years of eligibility wherever he decides to play next.
Lance Ware Recruiting Profile
I’m a broken record: Always bet on talent. While Ware hasn’t produced significantly at the college level, he still has time to rewrite his story on the collegiate front. Ware played at Camden High, which is one of the top high school programs in the Northeast right now. Getting in good graces with the Camden staff is not a bad thing at all.
Ware was ranked 44th overall in his recruiting class, good for a 4 star and the 3rd best player from The Garden State. Ware was ranked as the 5th best power forward in his class.
Lance Ware Friar Roster Fit
We’ve long talked at The Crier how the last frontcourt spot is likely for somebody willing to accept a rotational player/reserve role in 2023-2024 with the opportunity to play heavy minutes in 2024-2025. Ware fits this to a tee. Even with a reserve role, he’d likely get the most minutes of his career to date. I’d guesstimate you could pencil him in for 12-20 minutes in 2023-2024 and then anywhere from 15-30 minutes in 2024-2025 depending on his roster fit and development.
Right now, the starting frontcourt seems locked up with Hopkins at the 4 and Oduro at the 5. It is why The Crier and I have always welcomed the possibility of Ike and Somto with open arms, but struggled to see a seamless fit without any bruised egos. Both of those guys probably want 20-30 minutes a game, and the roster is too talented to absolutely guarantee that. Thus, it takes a unique player to come in and accept this role. It is why somebody like Clemence likely chose elsewhere where he could be guaranteed a starting spot and heavy minutes.
After this year, Castro and Ware would be in the pole position to entrench themselves as the starting frontcourt. Neither at this point have shown the ability to hit the deep shot, but both possess length and athleticism for the frontcourt. They are actually similar players, with me giving the slight nod to Ware on development.
Lance Ware – Player Characteristics
Ware got lost in the churn of Kentucky basketball, but he strikes me as a high caliber individual willing to hustle, make the gritty plays, and put the team before himself. There’s a bit of Minaya to him in the way he plays, and that’s high praise.
He gobbled up rebounds at a productive rate when given minutes at Kentucky. I think if Kentucky never brought in Oscar Tschiebwe we are looking at Ware as a 12 and 7 player and not a guy looking to find a new home in the transfer portal.
Ware is strictly a post player without a diversified offensive skill set at this point in his career, and that’s okay. Ware showed the ability to hit a fadeaway post jumper at the prep level, but he didn’t get to showcase that at Lexington. He knows his role on offense and defense and fills it admirably. He’s the type that could blossom into a 10-12 point and 6-7 rebound player if given the opportunity.
Ware also shows a rare ability to be an adept post passer. When facing zone defenses, he would often flash to the high post, get the entry pass, and find a cutting player for an easy score. He also can dribble baseline, beat his man, and dish to another player cutting. Bigs don’t often possess his passing ability, and I think that is a testament to his athleticism and skill set.
I’d envision Ware competing with Castro for the first man off the bench frontcourt spot this upcoming year. If he can spell Oduro and provide quality minutes, this potential transfer add is a win. You need somebody to hold down the fort and make sure the “dam doesn’t break” when the starter takes the bench. Clifton Moore did an admirable job of that last year when Croswell had foul trouble (Kentucky tourney game not withstanding). Ware could absolutely replicate these efforts.
Sometimes, a player going to a blue blood isn’t the best thing for him and his career. By all accounts, Ware was a blue chip recruit, a consensus Top 50 player. At Kentucky, that means he was likely only the 9th or 10th ranked player on scholarship. Kentucky can sometimes eat it’s own where if you don’t make an immediate impact as a freshman, you are pushed into the shadows for the next crop of Burger Boys coming into town. There’s a weird stigma around Kentucky that you are already a failure if you aren’t an immediate contributor as a freshman. That seems to have been what happened with Ware at Kentucky.
Ware would be a great fit with Providence. He can run the open court with ease for a 6’9 man, which is what Providence is going to want to do all season. He’s great in the pick and roll game and can finish above the rim with ease in the paint. Defensively, his length and jumping ability make him a rim protector, even if he doesn’t have the ideal size at the 5.
English needs to do everything he can to not let Ware leave Friartown without committing. I firmly believe Ware will find his footing this year and then have an All-Conference type season in 2024-2025. He’s an extremely talented player that was buried in the depth chart at Kentucky and needs a chance elsewhere to blossom into the player everybody thought he’d be coming out of high school. Sound familiar?
Crier Recruiting Articles
Crier Recruiting Corner – Patrick Ngonba II – https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/05/06/crier-recruiting-corner-introducing-2024-center-patrick-ngonba-ii/#more-6900
Crier Recruiting Corner – Guard Daquan Davis –https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/05/06/24-recruiting-spotlight-daquan-davis/#more-6898
2025 Recruiting Primer, Version 1.0 – https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/04/30/2025-providence-college-high-school-recruiting-primer-version-1-0/
Crier Recruiting Corner: 2024 Big Man Somto Cyril: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/04/24/crier-recruiting-corner-introducing-2024-big-man-somto-cyril/
2024 Recruiting Primer, Version 4.0:https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/03/27/providence-college-basketball-recruiting-class-of-2024/
Transfer Portal Primer, Version 3.0: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/03/28/tracking-the-transfers-pc-targets-in-the-2023-portal-providence-crier-transfer-portal-primer/
Garwey Dual Commitment Article: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2022/09/01/deep-dive-analysis-of-2023-providence-commit-garwey-dual/
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: 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/
Crier Recruiting Corner: Kany Tchanda: https://theprovidencecrier.com/2022/12/29/crier-recruiting-corner-introducing-kany-tchanda/