Friar Basketball

It’s Official: Batts to Return to Providence

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Kadeem Batts, Providence’s Honorable Mention All Big East forward, announced via Twitter today that he is returning to Providence for his fifth season:

Get ready for an exciting year #FriarNation I’m officially coming back to finish my college career strong!!! Prov City is back… Love ya’ll

A redshirt junior this past season, Batts was named the Big East’s Most Improved Player after averaging 14.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

Batts was dominant at times this season, scoring over 20 points on nine occasions in more than doubling his scoring output from his sophomore season. It went under the radar, but Batts played much of the season with a banged up shoulder, fighting through it during much of his breakout year.

The return of Batts is critical

The return of Batts is critical

He should benefit from not only renewed health, but a revamped frontcourt around him in 2013-14, as the Friars will add length and skill in 6’9 Tyler Harris, a North Carolina State transfer with range beyond the three point arc, and 7’0 Wake Forest transfer Carson Desrosiers. Both Desrosiers and Harris were top 75 players in their respective recruiting classes and bring skill sets that should help alleviate some of the interior burden Batts faced throughout much of the past season.

Harris is a long, lean, versatile scoring forward who may see significant minutes at small forward next season, while the presence of Desrosiers will allow Batts to log more minutes at power forward after spending the past season at center. Desrosiers should give Ed Cooley the shot blocking presence he lacked the past two seasons, while Harris is an underrated scorer who could be a critical piece of the offense next year.

With the Big East’s leading returning rebounder in LaDontae Henton, the improving Lee Goldsbrough and a shot blocking option in Brice Kofane, the Friars have the makings of a solid front court.

Batts will be the key to it all, and his return was essential to the Friars fortunes in 2013-14.  This is big, big news for Providence.

Need a refresher on Batts’ 2012-13 season? We ranked his top five games and included accompanying video last month.

Here’s an interview Craig had with him after a 27 point, 10 rebound effort against Seton Hall at the Dunk.

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