PROVIDENCE – Per KenPom.com, the newest member of the Providence College basketball program ranked third in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage this past season.
“It’s all instincts, honestly. You’ve got to position yourself in order to go get the ball over the top,” said Ed Croswell when reached Sunday night. “You’ve just got to want it more than the other person.”
PC was one of 17 schools to express interest in Croswell after he deciding to leave La Salle University with two years of eligibility remaining. A forward who’s listed at 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds, Croswell averaged 3.65 offensive rebounds this past season and should help to stabilize the Friars’ frontcourt either next season or the 2021-22 campaign – depending on whether the NCAA waives the sit-one-year requirement for transfers.
“I’m looking forward to coming in and making myself better and continue to get experience,” said Croswell.
In two years with the Explorers, Croswell’s knack to crash the boards helped him post 15 games of 10-plus rebounds. His 7.6 rebounds per game this past season led La Salle while his scoring production jumped from 4.6 ppg as a freshman to 10.4 ppg in 26 games (25 starts) during his sophomore season at the Atlantic 10 school.
Croswell elected to leave the La Salle program with three games remaining in the regular season. At the time, the Explorers were languishing near the bottom of the A-10 standings before winning two of their final three games to finish at 6-12 in league play.
Asked if his decision to move on from La Salle with games still on the ledger was done before the transfer market could be fully established, Croswell said. “It was a family decision to get myself ready for what was coming next.”
With the coronavirus pandemic creating a brave new world in terms of college basketball teams not being able to bring prospects to campus for visits, the power of the spoken word over the phone carries extra significance.
“It’s definitely different as far as limiting your recruitment. Not knowing when you’re going to be able to get up to the schools … it makes it much more important in terms of trusting what the coaches are telling you,” said Croswell. “You’ve got to go with the school that wants you the most and Providence was that.”
Croswell said the Friars wasted little time in making him a priority once he was granted his release by the Explorers. The Philadelphia native was the recipient of a few late-night text messages and phone calls that coach Ed Cooley would fire off after Providence games. The exchanges with Cooley stayed with Croswell as he continued to hear from potential suitors
“Coach Cooley on the phone, I was really surprised the way he seemed down to earth and I respect that. He really cares and is someone who’s very relatable,” said Croswell, who posted seven double-doubles last season. “He’s a coach who knows how players think right now. I could relate to him more than any other coach who recruited me.”
Croswell becomes the second offseason addition to Cooley’s roster after PC picked up a commitment from Syracuse transfer Brycen Goodine last week. If both are allowed to compete right away, they will join a list of returnees that includes Nate Watson, Noah Horchler, David Duke, A.J. Reeves, Kris Monroe, Jimmy Nichols, Jared Bynum and Greg Gantt.
Providence will also welcome two incoming freshman in guard Alyn Breed and forward Jyare Davis. Breed signed his National Letter of Intent last fall while Davis is slated to sign next month.
Follow Brendan McGair on Twitter @BWMcGair03
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