After two seasons with the Providence Friars, Sophomore Greg Gantt has announced that he had decided to enter the transfer portal and move on from Providence College. By the way, entering the transfer portal is such a freaking cool way to announce that you are transferring colleges these days.
Gantt, arrived at PC as a Top 60 four-star recruit who committed to Ed Cooley and the Friars after the staff recruited him beginning all the way back in the summer of 2017. His personal connection and relationship with Cooley was one of the main reasons that the athletic wing chose the Friars over some other high major schools. Gantt even passed up scheduled visits with Florida and Texas to announce his commitment at the time. Since the Friars were so heavily involved with Gantt, I actually ended up writing quite a few blogs about him during his recuritment.
His career started out in the most unexpectedly tragic way with the passing of his mother in November 2019, right as his Freshman basketball season was getting underway. After taking a few games away from the team to grieve such a terrible loss, Gantt returned to the Friars for the remained of the season. Even with a veteran team, Gantt was able to earn himself some minutes out of the gate but seemed to fall in and out of favor with his playing time fluctuating throughout the season. Just look at his minutes totals from the beginning of conference play that year: 7, 5, 6, 12, 29, 28, 23, 9, 12.
With Alpha Diallo, Kalif Young, & Emmitt Holt all graduating after that year, it was expected that Gantt would take a step forward and fill the minutes and void left behind by the departing frontcourt players. He had shown flashes of very good play during his Freshman season and looked like he definitely belonged at the collegiate level already.
Despite averaging 9 more minutes a game (12.5 mpg to 21.4 mpg) during his second year with the Friars, Gantt’s numbers across the board stayed relatively stagnant. Not only that, but his shooting percentages unexpectedly took a step back, going from 43.1% to 40.5% from the field and dropping significantly from three-point range to the tune of 30.0% to 22.9%. Compound the regression in shooting from distance with doubling up his attempts per game from 0.7 to 1.3 and things just didn’t break right with the increased role in the offense for him.
Gantt started 7 Games and played in all 26 this past season but saw his spot on the floor taken over by a surging Noah Horchler. Horchler’s rebounding prowess and ability to hit threes down the stretch of the season were clearly evident and main factors for his increased role. Over the final 9 games, the North Florida transfer averaged 11.3 ppg & 8.7 rpg while hitting 43.9% of his threes (18-41), cementing his role in the lineup. With Ed Croswell still on the team, Jimmy Nichols & Jyare Davis projected to return to the line-up next season, and incoming Freshman Rafael Castro and Legend Geeter on their way to Friartown to be added to the mix, the frountcourt appears to be crowded going into next season. That doesn’t even take into account that Nate Watson and/or Noah Horchler could potentially return to school given the COVID-19 eligibility exception for next season.
From all accounts, Gantt is a really good kid with a great head on his shoulders. He was the valedictorian of his High School class at Trinity Christian High in Fayetteville, North Carolina and has shown that he values character in the people he trusts which should also help him with his upcoming decision on where to continue his education and basketball career.
I still believe in Gantt’s talent as a player and hope the change in scenery and most likely a change in offensive scheme can highlight the things that he does best as an all-around player. He does a little bit of everything and I think could flourish more in an up-tempo and free-flowing offense like Alabama who he had listed in his final 9 schools prior to committing to Providence. That switch has done wonders for Jahvon Quinerly and could make a positive impact with Gantt as well, in my opinion.
Nothing but best wishes for Greg in the future. I’ll certainly be keeping up with him wherever he ends up. Once a Friar, Always a Friar.