Friar Basketball

Friars Class of 2021 Coming Into Focus?

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As Ed Cooley said this summer, typically Providence has most of its recruiting done for the rising senior class by this point, but commitments have been slower to come by in 2020. That could change very soon for the class of 2021.

Reidsville, NC point guard Breon Pass cut his list to four on Sunday afternoon, with the Friars included among a group that includes North Carolina State, Georgia Tech, and East Carolina. Pass has been covered here fairly extensively. Pass has high upside due to having just turned 17, and previously splitting his focus between the basketball court and the football field (where he was a D1 wide receiver prospect). He announced his decision to pursue only basketball at the college level in June.

Pass did it all for Reidsville in 2019-20, averaging 21.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 3.2 steals on 54% shooting from the field and 44% from deep. He is a career 48% 3-point shooter. Reidsville finished 26-3 last year. His biggest game came in a 50 point, 11 rebound, six assist effort versus Salisbury.

Providence is in an interesting spot at point guard. Jared Bynum is expected to step into the starting lineup after transferring in from St. Joe’s, and has three years of eligibility ahead of him. If Pass comes to Providence, Bynum will have two years of eligibility remaining. Beyond Bynum, there is a need to add a point guard, as current freshman Alyn Breed is more of a scoring combo guard at this stage. Cooley played two point guards together when he had Kris Dunn and Kyron Cartwright for two years, but Dunn was a big 6’3 guard, while Pass and Bynum are both under 6’2.

The Friars are also in the final six for forward Rafael Castro out of Dover, NJ. A lean, 6’10, Castro averaged over 20 points and 16 rebounds last season, while blocking nearly five shots a game. He was featured on back in May as one of the better under-the-radar prospects in the class of 2021. Rivals does have him ranked around 130 nationally, so he’s not a true sleeper.

Rivals’ Corey Evans wrote of Castro, “Right from the start, the length that Castro possesses stands out. However, he is not just a lanky big man that can block a shot every now and again but rather an uberly-versatile forward that is tremendously coordinated in which he exchanges ends of the floor like someone six inches shorter, has great lateral abilities in moving side to side, and quick feet in getting to balls before others around the basket.

A tremendously talented defender that reminds me some of Jaxson Hayes, Castro does have to get much stronger and work on his low post game and left hand around the basket. He scores more times than not at the goal and has good touch and innate toughness in finishing through contact. Better yet, he is a tremendous lob threat, works the dunker’s spot well along the baseline and seems to flourish as a rim runner whenever the speed of the game picks up.”

His top six includes PC, Dayton, Miami, VCU, George Mason, and Seton Hall.

Another North Carolina native, Kuluel Mading, has Providence in his shortened list, along with Clemson, Tulsa, North Carolina Central, VCU, East Carolina, Howard, and North Carolina Greensboro. Mading carries a very lean frame, but gets off of his feet quickly and has a good jumper for a big man.

The Friars are in need of big men to fill out the roster, as both Nate Watson and Noah Horchler graduate this spring. It’s hard to imagine PC would take both Mading and Castro, however, due to how similarly they project.

Lastly, Providence is listed among the final five schools of Michigan senior Legend Geeter. PC, Georgetown, Missouri, Western Michigan, and Duquesne make up his final five. Geeter projects to be a classic Cooley wing — physical, a bit of a do-it-all passing/rebounding type whose toughness is a trademark of his game. Georgetown was in early on Geeter.

Geeter’s highlights are reminiscent of Alpha Diallo.

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