#58 Providence Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Providence Friars
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #58
Conference Rank: #7 Big East
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Providence reached five straight NCAA Tournaments before last season when they had to settle for a trip to the NIT. With five starters back, Providence will hope to get back to the NCAA Tournament this year, but the Big East is pretty tough and the Friars will have to be more consistent if they are going to move further up the conference pecking order.
2018-19 Record: 18-16, 7-11
2018-19 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Ed Cooley
Coach Record: 162-110 at Providence, 254-179 overall
Key Departed Players:
Isaiah Jackson, Guard, 9.6 ppg
Makal Ashton-Langford, Guard, 3.6 ppg
Drew Edwards, Guard, 3.2 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Alpha Diallo, Senior, Guard, 16.0 ppg
Nate Watson, Junior, Center, 11.7 ppg
A.J. Reeves, Sophomore, Guard, 10.4 ppg
David Duke, Sophomore, Guard, 7.1 ppg
Maliek White, Senior, Guard, 6.7 ppg
Kalif Young, Senior, Forward, 3.8 ppg
Jimmy Nichols Jr, Sophomore, Forward, 2.8 ppg
Kris Monroe, Sophomore, Forward, 1.1 ppg
Key New Players:
Tommy Dempsey, Freshman, Guard
Greg Gantt, Freshman, Forward
Luwane Pipkins, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from UMass
Jared Bynum, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from St. Joseph’s, not eligible
Noah Horchler, Senior, Forward, Transfer from North Florida, not eligible
Alpha Diallo and Nate Watson will again lead the way. Diallo, a 6-7 senior guard, averaged 16.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.6 steals last year. Diallo can do it all and if he is a little more consistent with his outside shot, Diallo will be even more difficult to contain. Watson, a 6-10 center, added 11.7 points and 5.2 rebounds. A.J. Reeves, David Duke and Maliek White are also back after starting last season. Reeves was the most prolific and consistent three-point shooter last year, connecting on 38.1 percent of his 118 attempts from long range. Duke and White are capable shooters, but neither was consistent last year. As a team, the Friars hit just 32.6 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc and that number will need to improve. Luwane Pipkins may not answer all of the outside shooting questions, but he led Umass with 16.0 points and 5.2 assists last year. The graduate transfer will allow the versatile Diallo to spend more time off the ball and give Providence another very experienced ball handler. The frontcourt depth should be in good hands with Kalif Young and Jimmy Nichols returning. Nichols only averaged 2.7 points and 2.3 rebounds as a freshman and he has the potential to step into a much larger role. Providence has the talent to return to the NCAA Tournament, but they will need more consistency from some of the younger players.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.4 (210th in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.8 (135, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.3 (281, 10)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.3 (145, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.6 (285, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.6 (266, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.1 (231, 8)
Rebound Margin: 1.4 (134, 6)
Assists Per Game: 14.4 (87, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.1 (190, 5)

Madness 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#57 Greg Gantt