Friar Basketball

2019-20 Providence College Roster

#0 Nate Watson (junior): A 6’10, 250 pound center out of Portsmouth, VA, Watson is expected to be one of the best interior scorers in the Big East in his junior season. Watson averaged over 11 points and five rebounds per game as a sophomore, shooting 59% from the floor. He scored a season high 21 points on four occasions last season, all coming in conference play. Watson should push for All Big East honors in 2020.

A knee injury will keep him shelved for at least part of November. His return to full strength will be essential for the 2019-20 Friars.

#1 Greg Gantt (freshman): A top 60 national recruit out of North Carolina powerhouse Trinity Christian School, Gantt comes to Providence with the reputation as an athletic defender and all-around talent. He’s a 6’7, 195 pound freshman who could force his way into the rotation, despite a deep roster on the wing. He’s known as a terrific competitor and good passer. Gantt missed the end of his senior year due to thumb surgery, and will likely miss time early due to an achilles injury.

#2 Kris Monroe (sophomore): Friar associate head coach Jeff Battle recruited the 6’8, 220 pound sophomore out of North Carolina because he believed Monroe fit Cooley’s system well. The hope in Providence is that he develops into a versatile performer who can guard multiple positions and add much-needed punch from beyond the 3-point line. Monroe played sparingly as a freshman and has struggled to find the mark from deep in exhibition play as a sophomore.

#3 David Duke (sophomore): Friartown rejoiced when Duke choose Providence over Virginia Tech in September of his senior year at Cushing Academy. A Providence native, Duke went from a relatively unknown prospect to a top 50 member of the class of 2018 thanks to breaking out after transferring to Cushing in his junior year of high school. The 6’5 Duke was recruited to PC as a versatile, athletic point guard, but may spend more time off the ball with the addition of Massachusetts transfer Luwane Pipkins. Duke averaged over seven points per game as a freshman, but struggled shooting the ball (38% from the field, sub-30% from 3).

#4 Maliek White (senior): The 6’2 White brings versatility and experience to Providence’s backcourt. The senior out of Virginia has shown flashes of being an above average Big East guard, but consistency has alluded him. He was never better than in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Big East Tournament, when he went for 19 points (8-11 from the field), five assists, three rebounds, and three steals against Butler. It will be interesting to see what role he plays in a backcourt made more crowded with the addition of Pipkins. White can play both guard positions.

#5 Jimmy Nichols (sophomore): Brimming with potential, the 6’8 forward from South Carolina has the endless limbs and athletic ability to be an impact player on the defensive end. Gaining strength and finding some semblance of offensive consistency will be critical in his second year with the program. Nichols was a starter for much of the first half of his freshman year, but saw his minutes dwindle once conference play began. For a Friar team lacking elite rim protection, Nichols is potentially a difference-maker for the 2019-20 squad.

#10 AJ Reeves (sophomore): Reeves was terrific for the first nine games of his freshman season before a foot injury derailed the rest of his campaign. The Massachusetts Player of the Year coming out of high school in 2018 was also a top 50 recruit. He wasted little time making an impact, shattering PC’s freshman debut scoring mark with 29 points (7-9 from 3) against Siena. He followed that up with 19 more the next time out against Wichita State and added 20 against Iona, 15 vs. URI, and 24 (including a last second, game-tying 3) at Boston College. Friar fans aren’t the only ones taking note of his upside, as Reeves has appeared in more than one 2020 NBA mock draft. He’ll have to improve defensively and find more consistent offense to make that happen.

#11 Alpha Diallo (senior): Diallo was a 2nd Team All Big East selection during his junior year, and returns to PC for his senior season aiming to reach the NCAA tournament for the third time. Diallo broke out during his sophomore year, particularly in the postseason when he had 21 points, seven rebounds, and four assists against Texas A&M in the NCAA tournament after three terrific Big East Tournament games (19/9 vs. Creighton, 17/6 vs. Xavier, 22/10 vs. Villanova). The 6’7 wing plays bigger than his height, finishing first in the Big East in double doubles last year and second in rebounding (8.1). Taking his game to the next level will require cutting down on turnovers (2.7 per game) and fine-tuning his shot (67% FT, 33% 3-pointers). With 1155 career points, Diallo could very realistically end up with over 1700 for his career, which would put him in the top 10 all-time at Providence.

#12 Luwane Pipkins (senior): Ed Cooley struck gold on the transfer market in the spring of 2019, signing the immediately-eligible Pipkins. Pipkins spent the previous four years of his career at UMass, where he was at his best in the 2017-18 season (21 points per game, 43% from 3). He was hampered with a hamstring injury and played for a dysfunctional Massachusetts group last year, when his 3-point shooting dropped to 28%. Pipkins torched Providence the past three seasons, scoring 76 points in those contests, including wins the past two years for UMass. He scored 44 points against LaSalle in 2018 and hung 36 on Harvard. Pipkins is short (perhaps around 5’8), but he brings Chicago toughness. PC was among the worst teams in the country in screen and roll scoring from its guards and got little out of isolation. The explosive Pipkins should help. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to being more of a distributor on a deep Providence team. Pipkins fired away at will in Amherst.

#13 Kalif Young (senior): Young will graduate a solid four year contributor. While not a stat stuffer (3.8 points, 4.0 rebounds in 16 minutes last year), Young is a steady interior presence who can body interior scorers, clog the paint, and rebound some in traffic. The lefty runs the floor well, but did not seem to beat his man up the floor as consistently last year as he did earlier in his career. Young and Watson provide Cooley with a balanced, experienced combination at the 5. Young is a senior.

#14 Noah Horchler (transfer sitting out): Horchler will sit out this season after transferring in from North Florida in the spring of 2019. He’s a 6’8 power forward with inside/out scoring ability — perhaps similar to teammate Emmitt Holt prior to Holt’s surgery. He’s proven to be productive at the college level, averaging over 16 points and nine rebounds a night, while shooting 55% from the field and 35% from 3. With Young and Holt set to graduate in 2020, Horchler’s experience will be welcomed in the ’20-21 season.

#15 Emmitt Holt (senior): What a journey it has been for Holt, who started his career at Indiana before transferring to Indian Hills Community College in Iowa, and then coming to Providence. Holt immediately became a fan favorite, and a productive big man, for the 2016-17 Friars. Providence had just lost Ben Bentil early to the NBA Draft, and Holt was a key reason why the ’16-17 Friars reached the NCAA tournament. He averaged over 12 points and five rebounds a night, while shooting over 50% from the field and 34% from long range. Holt proved to be a crafty interior scorer, who is also capable of stretching defenses with his outside shot. His story has been well documented since. Abdominal surgery not only cost him the past two seasons on the floor, but threatened his life. He played in a few games early in 2018-19 before being shut down. He was granted another year of eligibility and hopes to make an impact this season. Holt will likely play a big role early while Nate Watson sits with a knee injury.

#21 Jared Bynum (transfer sitting out): Bynum became the third player to transfer to Providence in the spring of 2019 when he committed to PC in April. Bynum was very productive last year as a freshman at St. Joe’s, averaging over 11 points and four assists in over 36 minutes a night. He will sit out the upcoming season, but has three years of eligibility remaining.

#22 Tommy Dempsey (freshman): A freshman walk-on out of Binghamton, NY, Dempsey is a 6’2 guard known for his outside shot.

#24 Andrew Fonts (junior): Fonts is a 6’2 junior from Portsmouth, RI who enters his third year in a program as a walk-on. He averaged over 27 points per game in high school and played for a strong AAU program in the Middlesex Magic.