Eli DeLaurier Reclassifies and Joins Friars for Upcoming Season

Well…that was quick. Less than 24 hours after learning that Mississippi State transfer big man Will McNair Jr. was leaving PC (https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/09/05/will-mcnair-jr-re-enters-transfer-portal/), Kim English and staff have potentially found a frontcourt replacement. Eli DeLaurier of Overtime Elite announced today that he will be reclassifying to the class of 2023 and joining the Friars roster for the upcoming season. DeLaurier’s decision was broken by Joe Tipton of On3.

DeLaurier is a 6-10 forward who hails from Charlottesville, VA. He’s a hybrid big man with the ability to score in the post and stretch out from 3. He is a really nice fit for what Kim English is expecting from his frontcourt. He plays with a high motor and seems to get after it on the offensive glass. Prior to committing to PC he was garnering interest from Mississippi State, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M, and West Virginia.

Eli is ranked 114 in the class of 2024 per 247sports prior to making the move to reclassify. He is seen as someone who has a frame ready to compete in high D1 hoops but may need to add on some muscle and strength. It remains to be seen what his production will be as a true freshman, but given his skill set he could be a diamond in the rough for Kim English.

Does DeLaurier fill in the role that Will McNair was going to fulfill this season? It’s tough to say. Regardless, Kim English and staff were able to identify someone they can bring in right away and has potential to be a starter down the road. That’s a win in my book.

BOC Take: I’m a big advocate in adding talent. This checks that box. DeLaurier is a Top 125 recruit and was pursued by many quality programs. This, in isolation, is a heck of a recruiting win and further cements PC within the Overtime Elite program (Daquan Davis playing there as well).

With all that said, I look at this more for a potential Oduro replacement in 2024-2025 and beyond than a McNair immediate replacement. I personally don’t expect much from DeLaurier this year besides maybe 5 or so minutes depending on foul trouble with Oduro and Castro. He isn’t Big East ready even if he stayed in the 2024 class. DeLaurier is a project that needs time to develop and build up his frame to match the Big East physicality.

In my opinion, Providence still needs to find a true 5 and big body for the frontcourt for this upcoming year. I’m extremely bullish on the Friars this upcoming season. My one consistent concern with the team this year even when McNair Jr. was on the roster was the ability to combat the size in the Big East with Kalkbrenner, Clingan, Soriano, etc. I saw McNair as a one year stop-gap to compete against the trees of the Big East. With McNair gone (and a scholarship still available), Providence absolutely needs to land another big that isn’t a stretch big, but is a big by traditional standards.

DeLaurier can be an upperclassmen contributor in the frontcourt and adds more weapons for a wide open Kim English offense. I don’t think it is fair to compare DeLaurier to a McNair Jr. replacement, as I’d much rather have 4 years of DeLaurier than one year of McNair Jr. With the timing, most are making that comp, but I think this is more about building a frontcourt foundation beyond this year.

Friar Recruiting Articles

Ryan Mela Commits to Providence – https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/08/01/friars-add-3-star-wing-ryan-mela-to-2024-recruiting-class/

Daquan Davis Commits to Providence – https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/06/24/the-flag-has-been-planted-2024-dmv-pg-daquan-davis-commits-to-providence-coach-kim-english/

2025 Recruiting Primer, Version 2.0 – https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/04/30/2025-providence-college-high-school-recruiting-primer-version-1-0/

Crier Recruiting Corner – Del Jones – https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/06/03/crier-recruiting-corner-del-jones/

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

2024 Recruiting Primer, Version 6.0:https://theprovidencecrier.com/2023/03/27/providence-college-basketball-recruiting-class-of-2024/

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/

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