Friar Basketball

Noah Horchler’s Usage at North Florida

Noah Horchler

By now, most Friar fans are at least familiar with Noah Horchler — the versatile 6’8 forward who transferred to Providence from North Florida last spring. After sitting out last year, Horchler has one year of eligibility remaining. He is expected to be a very big part of Ed Cooley’s plans if we are fortunate enough to have a 2020-21 season.

Horchler’s numbers were impressive at UNF. During his first year playing there he averaged 11.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, and shot 55% from the field and 34.8% from 3-point range. A year later, his scoring and rebounding figures spiked to 16.0 and 9.3 in the 2018-19 season.

The competition in the Big East will, admittedly, be a step up, but Horchler did damage against UNF’s toughest non-conference opponents. Perhaps his most notable game came when he put up 19 points and 12 boards when matching up with Dayton’s Obi Toppin — last season’s national player of the year. Horchler frequently took Toppin to the post and shot 7-11 from the field in a 78-70 loss in the Cancun Challenge.

Highlights from that game, as well as his 16 point, 10 rebound effort against Florida, and a 13 point night at Florida State can be seen here:

Horchler also finished with 10 points and 10 boards at Penn State, nine points and 10 rebounds at Minnesota, and 10 points and seven rebounds at Auburn.

All told, Horchler shot 59% from the field against those six opponents during the 2018-19 season, a figure that jumps to 67% when removing a 4-13 night against Minnesota.

So, yes, the numbers are great, but how will Cooley and staff incorporate Horchler into the lineup? Is he a face-up big man? Is he more of a traditional back to the basket player?

The answer is a little bit of both.

The majority of Horchler’s possessions came in the post. His 161 post up possessions last year made up 35.5% of his total possessions. Those 161 post up opportunities were the 61st most in the entire country two years ago. That total was a big jump from the year prior when he saw 79 post opportunities (21.6% of Horchler’s possessions that year).

His efficiency dipped some with additional post touches, going from .924 points per possession to .857 the following season. To add perspective, in his first year at UNF he was in the 74th percentile in points per possession out of the post (a very good number) and the 59th percentile of D1 players in the ensuing season.

Horchler was extremely efficient as both a roll man in pick and roll situations and when cleaning the offensive glass in 2018-19. He finished in the 95th percentile in his first season, and 86th percentile in year two when shooting off of offensive rebound opportunities. As a roll man he was in the 94th percentile and 86th percentile nationally.

North Florida also used Horchler as a jump shooter. He was very effective out of spot up situations (which can include taking a spot up jump shot, or spotting up, drawing, then driving past defenders) in his two seasons at UNF, finishing in the 63rd and 68th percentiles nationally. Horchler had 60 spot up opportunities during his first year at North Florida and 54 the following season.

There isn’t much to quibble with in regards to his offensive game. He ranked in the 77th percentile nationally in points per possession when taking jump shots, and he finished in the 73rd percentile on catch and shoot opportunities.

When Providence first signed Horchler he seemed suited to play a role similar to that of Emmitt Holt in his first year at Providence — mixing post up opportunities, with dives to the rim off pick and rolls, and serving as both a face up jump shooter from mid-range and beyond the arc. A deeper look at the numbers shows a player capable of fulfilling those needs.

With the departure of defensive stalwart Kalif Young, Providence’s interior will look different, but the hope is that the versatility of Horchler, combined with the force of Nate Watson will give Providence one of the better big men duos in the league next year.

Horchler’s offensive output at UNF is certainly promising.

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