Providence’s first defensive stopper left for the NBA Draft.
Justin Minaya will bypass a possible additional year of COVID-19 coverage offered by the NCAA and begin his professional career. The veteran wing released a statement on their personal Instagram page @jusminaya late Wednesday afternoon confirming the news.
“I had the best time of my life playing at Providence and will always cherish those times,” Minaya wrote in part. “It was an honor to be part of the first team to win a Big East regular season championship in school history. Words cannot express how grateful I am to be part of the Friar family.
Minaya was a fifth-year player who transferred from South Carolina after the 2020-21 season. The 6-foot-7 southpaw quickly settled in with the Brothers thanks to his versatility guarding opposing wings and forwards. Minaya also emerged as an improving 3-point shooter throughout the season, burying what was a slow 6-for-27 start from deep.
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Minaya averaged 6.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and started the last 23 games for Providence, which finished 27-6 overall and finished 14-3 in conference play. The Friars reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in 25 years before finally falling to national champion Kansas. Minaya had five rebounds, four assists and locked up Jayhawks scorer Ochai Agbaji in a 66-61 loss.
“To the fans, thank you so much for hugging me,” Minaya wrote. “It’s been the most fun year of basketball I’ve played.”
Matteus Case enters NCAA transfer portal
Minaya makes four starters leaving Providence after his historic season. Nate Watson, Noah Horchler and Al Durham have all exhausted their eligibility. Verbal Commits reported earlier on Wednesday that reserve guard Matteus Case has entered the transfer portal, making it five total starts for the Brotherhood to date.
Case appeared in just four games with Providence, playing a total of six minutes. He only spoke twice after November, including for the last minute of a 79-51 blowout by Richmond in the NCAA Tournament.
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Case is a 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman from Ontario. He was added late to the roster as a transfer from Penn–Case never really suited the Quakers after the Ivy League scuttled their 2020-21 campaign. He clamored for offers from Canisius, Drake, and Florida Atlantic, among others, outside of prep school before enrolling in Philadelphia.
“We appreciate his time at Providence College,” Brothers coach Ed Cooley said in a statement on Twitter. “We wish Matteus every success in his academic and athletic endeavours.”
For next year’s team
The Brotherhood could fire up to four experienced guards entering the 2022-23 campaign. Jared Bynum was the league’s Sixth Man of the Year while Alyn Breed and Brycen Goodine came off the bench in lesser roles. The next key decision will come from AJ Reeves, who may opt to exercise a blanket COVID-19 waiver and play a fifth varsity season.
Providence’s recruiting class is also focused on guarding, with Jayden Pierre and Quante Berry providing backcourt reinforcements. The Brothers are looking to turn their on-court success and a host of coaching accolades for Cooley into a quick roster reset for next season. Cooley was named Naismith College Coach of the Year and Providence played the second weekend of March Madness for the first time in 25 years.
“I think the visibility really helps,” Cooley said Sunday. “We will see how this affects recruitment. But I think it just pays off with the excitement around our college. Our students, our fan base – I think everyone is excited to see where we can take this in a year.
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“Obviously it will be very difficult to repeat but, at the same time, the opportunity presents itself. We will have a chance. We will see how this pays off as we begin this recruitment and continue to grow our program. »
Minaya and Case’s departure would give the Brethren three open scholarships, allowing them to broaden their scope in seeking immediate help. Providence is said to be among the schools to contact South Carolina transfer Devin Carter, a four-star shooter and Miami Top-100 prospect who prepared for Brewster Academy. Carter is the son of former NBA guard Anthony Carter and claimed offers from VCU, Richmond, Georgia Tech, DePaul and California before committing to the Gamecocks for a single season.