A season ago Providence ranked 294th nationally in 3-point percentage at 31.3% from beyond the arc, according to Kenpom.com. The Friars best 3-point shooter, by percentage, was 7-footer Carson Desrosiers who went 6/15 on the season for 40% and graduated in May. After that the best shooter was Kris Dunn at 35.1%. While Dunn showed an improved shooting game last season -- especially as the season wore on -- Ed Cooley needs to get players on the court with Dunn to help spread the floor. Dunn will already be asked to do almost everything this upcoming season. What Providence really needs is some shooters. Jalen Lindsey had some excellent games shooting the basketball last season but was far too inconsistent in his first year in college. Cooley may turn to another first-year college player to be an answer from 3-point range.
"Fazekas is a high level shot-maker who specializes in his ability to stretch opposing defenses well beyond the three-point arc." Yup. That sounds like it might help. That's from Ryan Fazekas' ESPN.com scouting report. That is exactly the skill-set Cooley will look to utilize with the undersized lineup and increased tempo Providence is expected to display in the 2015-16 season -- likely Dunn's final year in a Providence uniform. The 6'8 Fazekas was the first player in the class of 2015 to commit to Cooley and Providence. He attended the Friars' Late Night Madness festivities in October 2013 -- the trip was a birthday present from his parents -- and committed a few days later. "The coaches out there made me feel at home, and I just felt it was the right spot," he told Dakota Crawford of News-Sentinel.com in June 2014. "Once I got there, I just had that feeling."
Fazekas played at Marquette Catholic in Michigan City, IN for head coach Donovan Garletts. Despite playing in the lowest level -- Class A -- Garletts routinely scheduled tougher opponents from higher levels of Indiana basketball. That was to help prepare the team for the state playoffs and it paid dividends in Fazekas' junior year when Marquette Catholic won the Class A state championship -- the first state championship in the school's history. Fazekas scored 34 points in that 70-66 victory over Barr-Reeve. He also stroked a record 7 3-pointers in the win.
Fazekas got Marquette Catholic back to the state finals against Barr-Reeve for a chance to repeat but it wasn't meant to be.
Fazekas' most college-ready skill is his shooting. He does need to gain weight and add muscle -- something he has already begun to do by working with a personal trainer in the offseason during high school. Dunn will have the ball in his hands for the majority of each offensive possession for Providence this season and having shooters like Fazekas and fellow freshman Ricky Council -- profiled expertly by our own Phil Neuffer -- will go a long way towards opening up the floor for Dunn to do maximum damage to defenses.