#52 Providence Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Providence Friars
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #52
Conference Rank: #5 Big East
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Providence had a very disappointing 2020-2021 season. They were never really able to put together a nice run of games. They finished 13-13 and that was their worst winning percentage since 2011-2012 when Coach Ed Cooley took over the program. The Friars can write off that season and look ahead to 2021-2022 where they should be much more competitive.
2020-21 Record: 13-13, 9-10
2020-21 Postseason: None
Coach: Ed Cooley
Coach Record: 194-135 at Providence, 286-204 overall
Key Departed Players:
David Duke, Guard, 16.8 ppg
Jimmy Nichols Jr, Forward, 6.1 ppg
Greg Gantt, Forward, 4.0 ppg
Kris Monroe, Forward, 1.1 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Nate Watson, Senior, Center, 16.9 ppg
A.J. Reeves, Senior, Guard, 9.6 ppg
Noah Horchler, Senior, Forward, 6.7 ppg
Jared Bynum, Junior, Guard, 5.8 ppg
Alyn Breed, Sophomore, Guard, 5.0 ppg
Ed Croswell, Senior, Forward, 2.3 ppg
Brycen Goodine, Junior, Guard, 1.6 ppg
Key New Players:
Matteus Case, Freshman, Guard
Rafael Castro, Freshman, Forward
Al Durham, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Indiana
Luke Fonts, Freshman, Guard
Legend Geeter, Freshman, Forward
Justin Minaya, Senior, Forward, Transfer from South Carolina
Kieran O’Haire, Freshman, Forward
David Duke and his 16.8 points per game are gone, but overall, this is a much deeper team. The frontcourt will again revolve around seniors Nate Watson and Noah Horchler. Watson, a 6-10 center, led Providence with 16.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks. Horchler added 6.7 points and 5.7 rebounds and connected on 41.9 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. A.J. Reeves is the main shooter returning. He was inconsistent at times last season, but Reeves has proven in the past that he can be much more efficient shooting the ball from long range. Jared Bynum will step into the starting point guard role after dishing out 3.6 assists per game off the bench last season. Alyn Breed earned 13 starts as a freshman and averaged 5.0 points and 2.1 rebounds. A couple of experienced transfers will add experience and options on the wing. Al Durham started 97 games during his four years at Indiana, culminating with an 11.3, 3.1 rebound and 2.6 assists season in 2020-2021. Justin Minaya, a 6-6 small forward, may not be a volume scorer, but he is efficient inside the paint and tallied 6.3 rebounds with South Carolina last season. It would be ideal if the Friars can rely on their bench a little more this season. If that happens, Providence should be right in the middle of the Big East pecking order and that could be good enough to keep them in the NCAA Tournament conversation.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.8 (205th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.7 (160, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.0 (227, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.6 (180, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.3 (270, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.0 (256, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.0 (204, 7)
Rebound Margin: -0.7 (204, 8)
Assists Per Game: 13.5 (147, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.8 (72, 6)
Madness 2021 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#127 Rafael Castro