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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

July 16th, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball



Providence Friars

Overall Rank: #118

Conference Rank: #15 Big East


2005-06: 12-15, 5-11, 13th (t)

2005-06 postseason: none


The post Ryan Gomes era continues at Providence, and it will be referred to as that until somebody can come along and provide a few years of success for the Friars.  With only one impact player heading out, it is reasonable to assume that Providence will improve.  Yet, that one loss is a big one, and there still isn’t much experience around this year.


Who’s Out: Guard Donnie McGrath is a huge loss.  McGrath averaged a team high 15.1 points per game as a senior and tacked on 2.7 assists.  There is some youth in the backcourt with starting experience to help ease the pain.  Sophomores Sharaud Curry and Weyinmi Efejuku should pick up the slack.  Little used guard Timothy Englert has also run out of eligibility.


Who’s In: Point guard Jamal Barney is the most highly touted recruit of the bunch, and the squad could use a point guard.  Barney can fill up the stat sheet and will see quite a few minutes off the bench, at first.  The backcourt finds more depth with the addition of shooting guard Brian McKenzie.  The 6-3 Brooklyn native has a nice stroke from outside and is a solid defender.  Big man Ray Hall is strong and, at the least, provides a big 6-11, 260 pound body to put under the basket.  The Colorado product will be a ways down the depth chart as a freshman, but should be a contributor in the years to come.


Who to Watch: Nobody was a more pleasant surprise for Providence last season than Geoff McDermott.  As a freshman, the 6-7 wing averaged 8.9 points and 9.0 rebounds.  Another season like that and the Friars might start to forget about Gomes.  McDermott, who received some Division I offers to play quarterback, won’t shy away from contact.  He still lists his favorite sports moment as winning a state championship in football.  That may change if Providence can keep the group of youngsters around campus for a couple more years.


Final Projection: They say that a player improves the most between their freshmen and sophomore years.  If that holds true for Providence, things might not be so bad for Coach Tim Welsh and the Friar faithful.  The questions are on the perimeter and Curry, Efejuku and McDermott are all aiming for improved sophomore campaigns…not that they all didn’t perform well as freshmen.  Watch for Curry to have the biggest increase in numbers, as he takes over the long range shooting from the departed McGrath.  Randall Hanke has proven to be a scoring threat under the basket and the depth up front won’t be an issue with Herbert Hill, Charles Burch and Jonathan Kale.  The possibilities are there for a surprise season, but it’s still hard to expect much from a 5-11 team that lost their best player.


Projected Post-season Tournament: none


Projected Starting Five:

Sharaud Curry, Sophomore, Guard, 11.9 points per game

Weyinmi Efejuku, Sophomore, Guard, 7.8 points per game

Geoff McDermott, Sophomore, Guard, 8.9 points per game

Herbert Hill, Senior, Forward, 9.0 points per game

Randall Henke, Junior, Center, 13.0 points per game

119 Murray State » Complete List » 117 Sam Houston St

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