How One Offseason Has Laid the Groundwork for a Final Four Run

Everybody has heard the slight murmurs in the background:

“This was a fluke season by Providence”

“Flash in the pan”

“Everybody is gone. I hope Friar fans enjoyed this lucky run”

Let everybody enjoy making these comments. With what Ed Cooley did this past season and into the offseason, the trajectory of this program has been completely altered. Providence is about to enter into a level of consistency and performance we have not yet seen under Ed Cooley, and I cannot wait.

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Bryce Hopkins Transfers to Providence – Analyzing the Impact

Former Top 50 4 Star recruit Bryce Hopkins from Chicago decided to depart the Kentucky Wildcats and transfer to Providence College. Like Locke and Floyd Jr., Hopkins considered Providence out of high school, but ultimately enrolled elsewhere. After playing spot minutes on a loaded Kentucky squad this past year, the big bodied 3/undersized 4 will now be donning the Black and White.

Below, we analyze the impact of Hopkins enrolling at Providence and what it means for the immediate and long term.

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Third Time is the Charm – Friars Land Their Shooter in Noah Locke

This one was a pleasant Friday surprise. We’ve heard and written a lot about Devin Carter (https://theprovidencecrier.com/2022/04/12/introducing-friar-fans-to-devin-carter-potential-transfer/#more-4900) and Bryce Hopkins (https://theprovidencecrier.com/2022/04/13/portal-spotlight-bryce-hopkins/#more-4909), but the talk was relatively quiet around Locke. Make no mistake, however. With Reeves and Horchler leaving, the Friars desperately needed deep ball shooters. Insert Locke.

Below, we break down Locke’s college career to date, what he brings to the Friars, and what comes next on the transfer portal front.

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Introducing Friar Fans to Devin Carter- Portal Spotlight

Frank Martin may be the gift that keeps on giving for Friar fans. He introduced us to cult hero and defensive stalwart Justin Minaya for one memorable year. Now, history is trending towards repeating itself with South Carolina freshman guard Devin Carter visiting Providence this upcoming weekend after putting PC in his Final 6.

Below, we break down Carter’s game and what he would bring to future Friar squads.

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Providence College Basketball Recruiting – Class of 2024

With the 2022 class all but wrapped up and Coach Cooley setting his sights on landing a nationally ranked Class of 2023 recruiting class and high level transfer class, we thought it’d be a good idea to inform folks of who Providence is targeting in the Class of 2024. While many years away, the recruiting landscape is making it difficult to land top tier classes unless you start recruiting kids at an early age. The list below will by no means be as robust as the list of offers and interest for the Class of 2023, but it helps ascertain who Cooley and staff are prioritizing.

One common theme I’ve noticed with these early offers is that the majority of them are “local” offers that understand the appeal of Providence and the Big East. I’ve been calling for this pivot to a recruiting strategy, so I’m pleased to see this transpire. I’m sure as more AAU tape comes out, Battle will extend some offers to North Carolina prep players, but I’d prefer the early offers come from areas where playing in the Big East is a big deal.

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Revisiting Our Bold Predictions: Hit and Misses from Preseason Predictions

In November of 2021, The Crier and I decided to make a few bold predictions on the season ahead (https://theprovidencecrier.com/2021/11/05/hot-takes-bold-predictions-ahead-of-the-2021-2022-season/). While we were certainly bullish on the Friars relative to national perception, I don’t think either of us could have predicted the season that just transpired. It’s fun to look back and see where our preseason expectations landed relative to how the season unfolded.

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Friars Book Ticket to Sweet 16 – Providence Dominates Richmond 79-51 to Advance to Second Weekend

The narrative around the Providence team all season has been about how their performance defies metrics, insinuating a sense of luck. The underlying message here from the national media is that this luck would run out come tournament time. Well, there was nothing lucky about this game. Providence led from start to finish. The game was never in doubt, and these Friars continue to make the analytically minded folks look quite foolish.

Below, we detail what Providence did to limit the Richmond Spiders, along with some themes to carry over heading into the game against Kansas.

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Providence – Richmond Preview: Friars Look to Advance to Sweet 16

Providence took down the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on Thursday (https://theprovidencecrier.com/2022/03/17/survive-and-advance-providence-friars-beat-south-dakota-state-jackrabbits-66-57-in-1st-round-of-ncaa-tournament/) and are facing off Saturday at 6:10 PM EST against the A-10’s Richmond Spiders. The Spiders upset the Iowa Hawkeyes in the first round, matching the 12 seed Spiders against the 4 seed Friars.

We give an overview of this Richmond squad and what the Friars need to do to emerge victorious and head to Chicago for the Sweet 16.

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Survive and Advance: Providence Friars beat South Dakota State Jackrabbits 66-57 in 1st Round of NCAA Tournament

The 4 seed Providence Friars seemed to be the trendy pick to be upset in the first round against the Summit League champion South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Instead, the Providence Friars did what they have done all season by mucking up the game, slowing down the pace, and frustrating the Jackrabbits enough to hold them off.

We break down the game below, detailing how the Friars were able to advance to the Round of 32.

Continue reading “Survive and Advance: Providence Friars beat South Dakota State Jackrabbits 66-57 in 1st Round of NCAA Tournament”