No one in Friartown wants to come to terms with the fact that superstar PG Kris Dunn is in his final season, but such is the reality and the coaching staff is well aware that in order to maintain Providence College on the national scene a replacement needs to be found.
Late last night, from Richmond, Virginia hope may have been found in an electric 6’2″ Guard, Maliek White. According to ESPN’s Recruiting Nation, White had 5 additional offers to various Division I schools such as Pitt, UMass, Old Dominion, Georgia Tech, and Cincinnati. Many of his videos on Youtube will show a similar play-style to that of Dunn, making White a likely candidate for an impact player as early as next year. White will be walking into an extremely competitive Providence team seeing as there are 2 other guards in So. Kyron Cartwright and Fr. Drew Edwards, this will put Friars Coach Ed Cooley in a difficult predicament, seeing as each guard plays a different style. Cartwright showed last year his exceptional passing and ability to handle the ball, while struggling to make shots from the field. Edwards was known in high school for his shooting accuracy more than his passing. Only time will tell what style the Friars choose to pursue after Dunn is inevitably drafted, whether they will put their trust in Cartwright, Edwards, or even new-signee Maliek White.
In respect to Guards, few teams have the depth the Friars do, but the real struggle will be in the paint. After losing big man Paschal Chukwu (7’2″) to Syracuse, and Carson Desrosiers (7’0″) to the Finnish Basketball League, the Friars are left with Ben Bentil (6’9″) and Quadree Smith (6’8″) to be the big men. In the always competitive and gritty Big East, having a big body in the post is almost a requirement in order to come out on top. This creates many match-up nightmares for the Friar’s defense, especially in games against Georgetown, with Bradley Hayes (7’0″) and Jessie Govan (6’10”), and Xavier, who has 4 players at 6’10”.
The Friars seem to have some serious odds against them, but hey, its a long season and anything can happen in College Basketball.
Kieran Burns ’18
All stats from ESPN.com