Friars Strike Gold in the Backcourt

Providence College completed it's early period recruiting efforts with three signees, and the program appears to have solved it's needs at guard for the foreseeable future. Friar Insider will break down recruitment of the three guards, along with coaches' comments for each.

What we'll do is take a look at each player, and check out what he brings to the team, what he's accomplished in his high school career, who was recruiting him besides Providence, and who did most of the legwork to get that player here. It should be noted that all of the recruiting assistants play a part in each player's recruitment, but there is always a primary contact.

Here then, in alphabetical order, are PC's three fall signees…

JAMAL BARNEY

WHAT HE DID:
Jamal Barney is a 6'3, 185 pound combo guard. He hails from Southwestern High School in Baltimore, MD, and played his way into some high major offers while playing for the Cecil Kirk AAU team. In one tournament this summer, Barney twice scored more than 30 points... more than half his team's points in each game. Before going to the NBPA Camp in June, Barney was a known entity in Baltimore, having earned first team Baltimore All-Metro status. Jamal opened a lot of eyes at the camp with his passing and scoring ability. Barney averaged 24.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game in leading the Sabers to a 22-4 record and a No. 6 ranking in The Baltimore Sun's final boys basketball poll.

WHO BROUGHT HIM HERE:
Bill Courtney

WHY HE'S HERE:
Barney brings a scorer's mentality to the game. He can fill it up from way outside, as well as take it to the rim. Barney will be looked to for his flat-out scoring ability.

WHO HE PICKED PC OVER:
Barney ultimately picked the Friars over URI, but he was also being pursued by Georgetown, Miami, Illinois, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, George Mason and Towson.

COACHES' COMMENTS:
"He's a terrific scorer. He's really an old school type player in that he isn't just a point or a shooting guard… he's just a guard. He can score, he can pass, he can go get a rebound. The thing we really like is that he just keeps getting better and better. He's so focused on becoming a better player. He's a tremendous athlete who does some eye popping things, and he just has a knack for putting the ball in the hole."

COREY LOWE

WHAT HE DID:
Lowe, who some say was the best player in Massachusetts this past season, is a true point guard who can shoot the lights out from the perimeter. Corey has flown under the radar because of the notoriety received by teammate, Anthony Gurley... But Corey averaged 19 points and five assists per game, teaming with Gurley to lead Newton North to its first state title. Lowe, also a football player, will add toughness to the Friars. The 6-2, 175 guard can flat out run a team.... and that may be the biggest strength that he will bring to this program. Lowe won numerous Massachusetts All-State mentions and is probably the best guard in the Bay State this season. He's been very underrated by the recruiting services because he battled some injuries over the summer and didn't play much AAU ball, but his coaches feel that if Gurley is a Top 50-60 player, then Lowe is definitely a Top 100 talent. Lowe has a 3.3 gpa. A clutch player, Lowe finished with 24 points, including 14 in the final 10 minutes, in a 74-65 victory over Springfield Commerce in the state title game.

WHO BROUGHT HIM HERE:
Tim Welsh

WHY HE'S HERE:
Corey Lowe was recruited to help beef up the point guard position for the Friars, and along with Sharaud Curry and Weyinmi Efejuku, this should be a PC strength over the next several years. His outside shooting from the point guard position is an added plus.

WHO HE PICKED PC OVER:
Lowe chose Providence over Boston College, Stanford, DePaul, NC State, Syracuse, Northeastern, Boston University, Virginia and Binghamton, verballing to the Friars back in April.

COACHES' COMMENTS:
"Corey is as good a fit as you'll ever have at Providence. He's a tough kid and a great competitor. He really wants to win… all you have to do is take a look at what he's accomplished in football to know how tough and competitive he is. He's a true point guard and can also shoot the ball really well. He's just very strong physically, and like all of our players, comes from a winning background."

BRIAN McKENZIE

WHAT HE DID:
A 6-3 1/2, 180 pound shooting guard from Xaverian High in Brooklyn, NY, McKenzie caught the eye of the Friar staff while the staff recruited teammate Saiquon Stone. A solid outside shooter, McKenzie also defends with passion... Averaged 9.7 ppg last year as Levance Fields and Saiquon Stone were the senior leaders on a loaded Xaverian squad. Brian really emerged over the second half of the season for Xaverian, but this year, a lot more responsibility will fall on his shoulders, and he'll get a chance to shine. McKenzie visited PC the weekend of October 22 and verballed less than a week later. An excellent student, academics played a big part in his decision making. He played for Team Odom over the summer and was considered one of the top shooters in New York City.

WHO BROUGHT HIM HERE:
Steve DeMeo

WHY HE'S HERE:
McKenzie is an outstanding three point shooter, and will help provide the Friars with additional shooting help. He's also an intense defender who can be used to lock down other team's offensive threats.

WHO HE PICKED PC OVER:
McKenzie chose PC over George Washington and Seton Hall, and also looked at URI, Columbia and Boston University.

COACHES' COMMENTS:
"Brian is a terrific shooter and one of the best pure shooters around. A lot of people don't realize that he's only played basketball for four years, so we feel that he's got a lot of potential for continued improvement. He's got good size for the guard position and is a very good defender. He's working on getting better as a passer. He played with very good seniors last year, but this year he'll be asked to do a lot more ball handling and passing."

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