On the August 30th episode of the Providence Crier Podcast BOC & The Crier drafted PC’s roster for our player preview series. We take a look at each player and what fans may expect this upcoming season.
Corey Floyd Jr. has bided his time in college for two years. The wait is over, and it is time for Corey Floyd Jr. to be a key cog in the Providence rotation. An insertion into the starting line-up is not out of the question, and I wouldn’t fault the fans for presuming he’d be the starting 2 or 3 alongside Devin Carter.
At the Providence Crier, I’d argue we have pegged CFJr. as the guy most ready to make the proverbial “leap” from role player to prominent contributor for the Friars. Pierre may have something to say about that, but Floyd Jr. is likely the odds-on favorite for me.
Let us not forget that last year should have been technically Corey Floyd Jr.’s first year in college. Coming out of the New Jersey powerhouse Roselle Catholic basketball program, Floyd Jr. decided to enroll at UConn a year early in 2021-2022. *Sidebar: I’m not an advocate for enrolling a year early unless the player is a no questions asked lottery pick and spending another year in high school is a waste of time and talent. For 95% of players, enrolling early is often an error.*
Regardless, Floyd Jr. left high school a year early as a consensus blue chip recruit and redshirted at Connecticut. The year spent in a collegiate strength and conditioning program likely did wonders for Corey, but I bet a year of playing prep ball at Roselle against a national schedule where he was THE guy at RC likely would have benefited him more than redshirting in Storrs. Floyd Jr. then decided to transfer out of Connecticut after his redshirt year and landed with Providence. So, thank you Danny Hurley for convincing Floyd Jr. to enroll a year early. Friar fans appreciate it.
Corey Floyd Jr.’s redshirt freshman year at Providence was up and down, mainly due to the variance in minutes he received. When given time to play, Floyd Jr., on average, produced. There were consistent calls for Cooley to play him more because he seemed to do the right things on the court more often than not. Did he make first year mistakes? Sure, but you live with those youthful errors when a player is competing hard and giving it all. Floyd Jr. always did those things.
What I love most about Floyd Jr. are two things: his physicality and willingness to play HARD on both ends.
There is a saying in football that certain players are “first off the bus” type guys. Floyd Jr. is that. He is a Big East combo guard disguised as an Alabama linebacker. He clearly takes the weight room seriously and that translates to his game. Providence is lucky to have him for another three years, and he is going to be the type of rugged veteran guard that outmuscles his opposition and can score in the paint at will due to his strength and build. I fear for the freshman 2 guard that has to guard a senior Corey Floyd Jr. for 40 minutes. Good luck with that.
When you describe a player as physical and tough, there’s a slight negative connotation that often goes along with that: the player isn’t a superb athlete and can’t score from the perimeter. It’s often said that the physical and tough player is described as such because they can’t beat you from outside the paint. That isn’t the case with Floyd Jr.
I was continually surprised by the shooting stroke of his, as he was a 41.9% shooter from deep. The 3 ball against UConn at home was a fond memory from last year. He has a rainbow arc of a shot, and it is alarmingly consistent. I, quite frankly, wasn’t expecting Floyd Jr. to have that in his arsenal quite yet. I thought that would be a part of his game that would gradually get there. I was mistaken, and it’s already here. With English now the head coach, I can see his 31 three point attempts from last year tripling to 100.
Floyd Jr.’s athleticism jumps off the page too. Think back to the alley-oop against Kentucky. Not many players can elevate like he did and finish in transition like that. We have a plus athlete in Floyd Jr., and I think we’ll see more highlights like that as we get out and run more under Kim English. Providence this year is as athletic as they’ve ever been since I started following them.
The other thing that made me such an advocate for Floyd Jr. was how hard he played on both the offensive and defensive end. Whenever he received extended minutes, he was in the shirt of his opposition. There are too many times where bench players get inserted into the rotation and don’t seize the opportunity. Floyd Jr. made winning players last year. Think back to his insertion into the rotation against Connecticut in the Big East tournament. It is no surprise that the tides turned when he started playing. The steal and finish over Andre Jackson was notable (along with the refs inexplicably not calling a foul despite Jackson mugging him on the finish at the rim). He makes winning, positive plays.
Therein lies the frustration with how Floyd Jr. was deployed last year. There were too many positives last year for him to be relegated to spot minutes, and I think a new head coach will do wonders for him.
Without seeing extended practices, I’d argue the best 5 man line-up for the Friars is Pierre, Floyd Jr., Carter, Hopkins, Oduro. If English decides to go bigger/longer and swap Gaines for Floyd Jr., so be it. Floyd Jr. should be averaging 20 minutes a game next year regardless of if he starts or not.
Along with Pierre, Floyd Jr. brings an energy to the game whenever he steps onto the court. It will be nice to have players like Pierre and Floyd Jr. in the backcourt whose enthusiasm and love of the game is both visible and infectious. Floyd Jr. will be a defensive upgrade in the backcourt over Noah Locke as well.
My stat expectations for Floyd Jr. are for him to land around 10-12 points a game. If he can show to be a strong rebounder from the 2/3 spot, he will command playing time because our frontcourt is so thin, and Providence will have to rely on the guards helping out on the glass.
Pierre and Floyd Jr.’s emergence alongside the veteran Oduro and PC stars Carter and Hopkins means that English will have one of the most explosive offenses in the Big East. Floyd Jr. will also combine with Carter and Dual to be a nightmare for the opposing backcourt as well.
Suffice to say, we’re bullish on Corey over here at The Providence Crier, and expectations for the redshirt sophomore should be sky high. Floyd Jr.’s time is now.
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