Friar Basketball

Season in Review: Noah Horchler

Horchler BET Providence College Athletics

In an otherwise disappointing season for Providence, the emergence of Noah Horchler (and his subsequent announcement in late March that he would be returning to PC next season) provided a lift for the Friars.

After averaging 24 minutes per game through the first three contests of the season, Horchler was a bit player until a February resurgence that saw him average 11.3 points and 7.5 rebounds, while shooting 44% from 3-point land over the final nine games of the season.

It took most of the season, and an injury to Jimmy Nichols, for Horchler to find consistent minutes, but he never looked back by February, playing over 30 minutes in eight of Providence’s final nine games.

Perhaps it shouldn’t have been a surprise to see how long it took Horchler to finding his footing. Horchler last played during the 2018-19 season at the University of North Florida, where he averaged over 16 points and nine rebounds a game while shooting nearly 54% from the field. A majority of his shot attempts came out of post-up situations (he had 161 post up opportunities his final year at UNF).

The problem for Horchler? The Friars already had their go-to post option in Nate Watson.

That forced Horchler to play a dramatically different offensive role for Providence last season. The 161 post up opportunities at UNF turned into just 13 for the Friars. He took 125 shots from the field out of the post at UNF, as opposed to only ten for Providence this past season.

As a result, Horchler’s field goal percentage dipped from 54% in his career at UNF to 40% at Providence in 2021. Outsiders will look at Horchler’s numbers on the season (6.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 40% from the field) and likely underestimate his potential impact next season. However, it’s possible that Horchler is both Providence’s best returning rebounder and three point shooter.

His 41.9% from deep was a team high, and he projects as a 7-8 rebound a night big next season.

Horchler was very effective as both a roll man and a pick and pop option out of the pick and roll. Synergy Sports ranked him in the 70th percentile nationally as a roll man, and in the 75th percentile in the pick and pop.

He shot 44.7% in catch and shoot opportunities, and was an outstanding 14-29 on guarded jump shots (1.379 points per possession/81st percentile nationally).

He also flashed surprising athleticism.

Ed Cooley would love to see Horchler become more effective inside the arc next season. Horchler drew just 29 fouls last season (comparatively, Jared Bynum drew 29, Alyn Breen 30 last season) and he had just three and-1s. Horchler really struggled to score around the basket, shooting 17-47 in non-post up opportunities. He shot 6-22 off of cuts and 9-21 when shooting after offensive rebounds.

Horchler was a much better player in the friendly confines of Alumni Hall a season ago. He shot 45.7% from the field and 51.3% from three at home, versus 28.6%/26.1% on the road. Horchler averaged 9.6 points and 7.1 boards in Providence, and 3.3 points and 4.0 rebounds in away games.

Horchler’s defense also turned a corner as the season wore on. He really struggled defensively in November, but by February he flashed the ability to protect the rim some (which included a four block performance at DePaul).

With the departure of David Duke, Providence will likely lean heavily on the veteran duo of Horchler and Watson in 2021-22. Watson will be a 1st Team All Big East selection in the preseason, and if Horchler can give Providence something within the vicinity of the 11 points and seven boards he averaged over the final month of the season the Friars will be a handful at the four and five spots.

Providence will certainly look different next year without Duke and transfers Greg Gantt, Jimmy Nichols, Kris Monroe, and Jyare Davis, but they won’t be young. Horchler and Watson are in their graduate seasons, as is Indiana transfer Al Durham. AJ Reeves will be in his fourth year with the program. Jared Bynum and Ed Croswell will both be entering their fourth year of college basketball. And while Brycen Goodine has yet to see big minutes in his first two college seasons, next season will be his third year of high major hoops.

Horchler now has a year of Big East experience under his belt, and a solidified role heading into the season. Providence will need him to play with consistency if they are to surprise next year.


Noah Horchler’s final nine games of 2021:

10 points/8 rebounds vs. Seton Hall

19 points/8rebounds vs. St. John’s

9 points/10 rebounds vs. UConn

6 points/11 rebounds at DePaul

9 points/5 rebounds at UConn

20 points/9 rebounds vs. Xavier

2 points/7 rebounds at St. John’s

10 points/13 rebounds vs. Villanova

17 points/7 rebounds vs. DePaul (BET