Kevin McSports

Portal Kombat ends with a flurry for the Friars

Portal Kombat ends with a flurry for the Friars

PC grabs high-scoring guard Wesley Cardet, Jr., in what should be final portal addition


It’s been just a bit over five weeks since the transfer portal opened and became flooded with eager basketball players looking for new locations to chase their hoop dreams. The same period sparked waves of howls of protest and pain from college coaches from across the country.

Well, who knows how pleasant this exercise has been for Providence College’s Kim English and his staff but the portal isn’t even closed and it appears the Friars have completed the overhaul of their roster. Six players have departed from the 2023-24 rosters via graduation, transfer and Devin Carter’s jump to the NBA. Six players are now slated to take their spots.

The latest moves are set to lock things in, with one hurdle to clear. First the Friars plucked 6-8 shooter Jabri Abdur-Rahim out of the portal after a few solid seasons as a steady contributor for the Georgia Bulldogs. Then, after a weekend visit alongside Abdur-Rahim, high-scoring guard Wesley Cardet, Jr., committed to PC and English on April 21.

Cardet is a 6-foot-6 guard who starred at Chicago State for the last two seasons playing for his uncle, coach Gerald Gillion. While committing to Providence, Cardet also says he’s weighing his NBA Draft stock after averaging 18.7 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 34 percent from the 3-point line.

“I’m definitely still fully committed to the NBA Draft. Right now that’s what I’m working towards and that’s what I’m focused on,” Cardet said.

Cardet, like many college players, will look to work out for NBA scouts and receive feedback on his pro stock but right now he is not seen as a likely draftee. He is not included on The Athletic’s Big Board, for example.

That is why his move to Providence should be seen as basically a sure thing. Playing for a Chicago State team that was the country’s only Independent, the 205-pound guard was bottled up by many defenses but also sprung free for some big nights against elite competition over the last two seasons. In January of 2023, the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., native torched Stanford for 31 points on 9-of-12 shooting, three 3-pointers and 10-of-10 free throws. This past season he led CSU to its first-ever Top 25 win after scoring30 points on 13-of-21 shooting against Northwestern.

“I feel like I’m one of the best two-way guards in the country,” Cardet told the Field of 68 after picking Providence. “I feel like people just see my offense a lot but I really take pride in my defense as well. I feel like I’m a great two-way guard, one of the best in the country.”

Cardet says he heard from many schools in the last week but connected with English and after visiting Providence and meeting his new teammates, he decided to commit.

“As I built a relationship with Coach English, he showed me how he planned to develop me and help me learn to win on a higher level,” Cardet said. “I feel like we shared a vision with how he sees me in the future. So I’m going to rock with Coach English. He showed me that he’s going to push me to be the best player I can be and that’s all I need.”

Cardet said he did match up with English in a friendly game of one-on-one. He also took pride in beating his future coach, “he learned very fast, I think the first game was 3-0 and the next was 3-1.”

Here are some clips of Cardet in action:

Cardet was a consensus Top 100 player coming out of West Oaks Academy in Orlando. He finished 78th in the 2021 rankings by 247Sports, a few spots ahead of Devin Carter. Cardet signed with Samford to play for his uncle, then-head coach Gerald Gillion. When Gillion bounced to Chicago State in 2022-23, his nephew followed him.

With Cardet and Georgia transfer Abdur-Rahim, English adds some badly needed veteran scorers to his team. Those two combine with Miami point guard Bensley Joseph and Saint Joe’s 7-footer Christ Essandoko in Providence’s transfer portal haul. They’ll augment the addition of 7-foot-2 Anton Bonke and two freshmen, Ryan Mela and Oswin Erhunmwunse. The 6-9 Oswin is currently still pegged as a Class of 2025 recruit but after wrapping up his commitment to play for the Boston Amateur Basketball Club on the Adidas circuit.



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