Busting Brackets

Big East Basketball: St. John's, Villanova rise in updated 2024-25 WTE power rankings

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament   - National Championship
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - National Championship / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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6. Providence Friars

It wasn’t a big surprise when it happened but the Friars’ best player Devin Carter entered the NBA Draft after a breakout junior campaign. He’s now projected to be a potential top-20 draft pick, recently landing an invite to attend the Green Room on draft night. The other main roster departures include starting big man Josh Oduro guard Davonte Gaines, and freshman Garwey Dual.

Jayden Pierre (9.5 ppg and 3.2 apg) will be the full-time PG next season, joined by Miami transfer guard, Bensley Joseph, who averaged 9.6 ppg and 3.4 apg in his first season as a starter. The two big transfers to the team are guards Jabri Abdur-Rahim (12.2 ppg at Georgia), as well as Wesley Cardet Jr., who produced 18.7 ppg and 2.6 apg at Chicago State. If the 6’6 guard and former top-100 prospect can translate his production to the Big East level, he could be the ideal replacement for Carter.

The big hope for Providence is that star forward Bryce Hopkins will be 100% to start next season after suffering a season-ending injury last year. He averaged 15.5 ppg and 8.6 rpg and if ready to go, will be a contender for Big East Player of the Year. Another 6’7 forward coming back from injury is Justyn Fernandez, who followed Coach Kim English from George Mason and missed all of last season with a knee injury.

Add 7’0 center transfer Christ Essandoko inside and there’s a good amount of talent both inside and out. There do remain some injury questions with this cast but this group is flying under the radar this offseason.