Former Schools: Louisville (2021-22), Florida (2018-21)
New School: Providence
Years Remaining: One
Recruiting Ranking: 80th
2021-22 Stats: 9.6 ppg/2.3 rpg/1.0 apg/26.1 mpg; 35.8%/34.2%/71.4%
They say the third time is the charm. Ed Cooley is hoping that’s true with Noah Locke.
Cooley recruited Locke out of McDonogh High School in Maryland. The consensus four-star, top 100 prospect picked Florida. After three years with the Gators, Locke entered the transfer portal. Cooley reached out, but Locke ended up picking Louisville. After a tumultuous season there, Locke entered the portal once again looking for a home for his extra season. This time, it didn’t take long for him to select Cooley and the Providence Friars.
Through four seasons, Locke has been remarkably consistent. He averaged 14.8, 14.3, 14.7, and 14.7 points per 40 minutes in each season. His playing time has never dipped below 25 minutes per game and never gotten as high as 30. And he’s always hit more than two 3s a game on around six attempts.
What’s His Game?
Noah Locke is a pure shooter. His career 3-point attempts (737) outnumber his 2-pointers (360) by more than 2-to-1. Locke has hit at least three 3-pointers in 50 of his 124 games.
Locke finds his shot in many different ways. He’s comfortable catching and shooting on the run, either in transition or off cuts in the half court. Louisville routinely drew up plays for him, usually involving multiple screeners, as a core part of the offense. At Florida, Locke found success waiting for the ball to find him at the wing or in the corner. He likely made an impact on Cooley in 2019 when he hit three 3-pointers from the left side against the Friars.
Locke (0, 10) is a career 38.7% 3P shooter, and he shot better than 40% his last 2 years at Florida.— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) June 21, 2022
He hit 3/4 from deep against the Friars in 2019 in the blowout that became a turning point.
Locke can hit shots standing still or on the run. He's a great schemed 3P guy. pic.twitter.com/G4dBaaqBKV
Despite being an excellent shooter, Locke is hit-or-miss as a shot-creator. He doesn’t have great size, and his release point is low. He is savvy enough to read screens and defenders to create space, though.
This shot doesn't fall, but I still like the shot creation.— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) June 21, 2022
Locke has 737 career 3-point attempts to 360 2-point attempts. He's not afraid to let it fly. pic.twitter.com/TivhhH3p4t
He’s not the type of guard that you can post-up or that will drive into the paint - he hit just 6 of 21 attempts at the rim last season. Locke exists as an outside threat, with his gravity pulling defenders and helping to space the floor. Defenses can’t leave him alone, so his cuts draw attention that can open up teammates.
Locke draws defenders as a shooter. He sprints to the corner in transition and draws A.J. Griffin away from the basket, opening the lane for a teammate here.— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) June 21, 2022
He's not a guy defenses can afford to leave open. pic.twitter.com/b4i81MRKA7
He’s on the court to shoot the ball. Locke was held to just one made 3-pointer or less in eleven games last year. In those games, he was held scoreless (three times) more often than he hit 10 points (twice). He totaled just 21 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals.
Fortunately, Locke also doesn’t make many mistakes. He has just 96 career turnovers, less than A.J. Reeves’s 123 over the past four years. Locke has also never fouled out of a game in college. Even in games where his shots aren’t falling, Locke won’t be a negative that drags his teammates down.
Defensively, Locke is solid. He lacks the size to be a truly great defender, but he’ll play hard and rarely miss an assignment. If Locke is your best defender, your unit is in trouble. If he’s your worst, you’re doing pretty well.
After forcing Jeremy Roach to kick out on the game's first possession, Locke forced Duke to burn an early TO a minute later with this great press.— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) June 21, 2022
Quick feet, good attitude, and engagement is a recipe for solid defense. pic.twitter.com/LiF1AM7SF2
What’s His Role?
At this point in his career, Locke seems to be a known commodity. With the Friars losing the 3-point shooting of Noah Horchler and A.J. Reeves, Locke should provide a stable presence as the primary shooter in the offense. Ed Cooley can count on Locke starting and playing significant minutes.
Depending on how Cooley views Alyn Breed and Devin Carter, Locke should start at either the two or the three. Either way, he’ll likely see many of the schemed 3-pointers Reeves has gotten in recent years. He’ll benefit from the spacing created by Carter and Jared Bynum as slashing guards, and playing with an efficient big man like Ed Croswell should help, too. Locke should see plenty of open looks from the corner and wing when the Friars kick out of the paint.
Locke also provides a veteran presence. He instantly became the most experienced Friar when he stepped foot on campus with nearly 3,400 career minutes. With Providence losing all five starters, having a consistent and battle-tested shooter in the backcourt should help the team through the speedbumps of roster turnover.