Providence’s season ended a week ago today. That doesn’t mean the Friar coaching staff is sitting back and resting. Providence has two committed players coming to campus for the 2017-18 season in big men Dajour Dickens and Nate Watson. Dickens has been committed since February 2016 and Watson pledged to Cooley in September but don’t be surprised if Providence adds a player in April, May or even June.
That potential new Friar could range from a high school senior (e.g. Greg Elliott), a junior college transfer (like Emmitt Holt a year ago), a graduate transfer or even a player that would have to sit-out a season (e.g. Isaiah Jackson) before being eligible to compete at Providence. Today I put out my annual College Basketball Free Agents page. You can find it in the menu bar on every page of pcbb1917.com. There are already more than 25 names on that list with plenty more to come once ESPN comes out with their updated list of transfers.
Providence has never landed a graduate transfer, though Ed Cooley has certainly tried. Friar fans in tune with the recruiting scene will remember names like Antoine Mason and Andre Washington. Providence’s Big East counterparts have taken advantage of the rule passed in 2006 with Butler, Georgetown, Marquette and Xavier all benefiting this season from the services of one year free agents with Bachelor’s degrees.
The coaching carousel is also in full swing and that means players will be getting out of their National Letters of Intent and re-opening their recruitments. Providence last landed a player from this category of recruits when Kyron Cartwright opted to re-open his recruitment following Loyola Marymount’s decision to fire their coach, Max Good.
The Sweet 16 gets underway Thursday. Providence hasn’t been involved in this round of the NCAA Tournament in 20 years. With all key players from last season expected to return the expectations are already “Sweet 16 or bust” among many Friar fans. Cooley and his staff will keep their eyes peeled and ears to the ground for any additional talent that can help their program make a fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Recruiting never stops.
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