The Providence College Men’s Basketball team won its first Big East title in 20 years on March 15 with a 65-58 win over Doug McDermott’s Creighton Blue Jays.
With gained experience and encountered success on their newly updated résumés, there’s no reason to think that the Friars don’t have a legitimate shot of repeating as Big East champions again next season. Ed Cooley’s squad will return eight players from this season’s roster, five of whom have played legitimate minutes at this level and have been difference makers. Add to that one of the best incoming recruiting classes that we’ve seen around here in a long time, maybe ever, and that should equal a recipe for success.
With the recent signing of left-handed point guard Kyron Cartwright out of Compton High School in California, Cooley has added another contributor to an already impressive incoming freshmen class. A freshmen class that will include 7’1” center Paschal Chukwu (#61, ESPN100), who was recently selected for the Jordan Brand Classic Regional Game to be played next Friday at the Barclays Center, 6’7” Huntington Prep small forward Jalen Lindsey (#84, ESPN100), and 6’8”, 225-pound combo forward Ben Bentil.
ESPN has Cooley’s incoming class ranked 24th in the nation, while Rivals.com ranks Providence 22nd (without Cartwright), and Scout.com 21st.
Any way that you slice it, even though Providence will be without Bryce Cotton, the Friars should have a much deeper team than the six-man rotation that was continuously rolled out this season. Cooley will even have the luxury of having options for a starting lineup, something that he didn’t have this season.
Projected starters in bold (at least to start season)