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Recruiting size, Ed Cooley has Providence moving in the right direction

We continue our recruit and return series with Providence, whose season ended Wednesday with a 75-71 loss to USC in the First Four in Dayton. Here is a look at what the 2017-18 season could hold:

Possible 2017-18 starting five:

G: Kyron Cartwright

G: Alpha Diallo

F: Jalen Lindsey

F: Rodney Bullock

F: Emmitt Holt

Who is lost: Ed Cooley brings back every notable player next season. The lone player departing from the roster is walk-on Casey Woodring, who saw seven regular-season minutes.

Who is added: One area Providence really struggled this past season was on the interior; the Friars simply had no size. That should change in 2017-18, as two centers are entering the program. Four-star Nate Watson is someone who should make an immediate impact and could push for a starting job right off the bat. He’s very good in the low post and can rebound effectively. Watson will bring a different dimension to the Providence attack. Three-star Virginia native Dajour Dickens is 6-foot-10 and has plenty of upside. He’s athletic and runs the floor but is raw on the offensive end.

What it means for next season: The Friars overachieved this past season, finishing with six straight wins to end the regular season and earn an NCAA tournament bid. It was one of Cooley’s best coaching jobs in his career. Next year, the expectations will be higher. Providence has all five starters back, including four double-figure scorers. Rodney Bullock is a tough matchup for most teams in the league, and he earned all-Big East honors as a result. With more size up front, he should have to shoulder less of the load. Jalen Lindsey and Emmitt Holt are two more returnees in the frontcourt. All three starters up front can score at the rim or make shots from the perimeter. Kyron Cartwright leads the backcourt contingent after finishing in the top five nationally in assists. Alpha Diallo had some impressive moments as a freshman and could be poised for a big season in 2017-18. Former George Mason transfer Isaiah Jackson brings size to the wing.

Trending: Up. Cooley has now led Providence to the NCAA tournament in four straight seasons -- and shown that the post-Kris Dunn era isn’t the end of relevance for the Friars. With all five starters back, it will be five straight years, and next year should be even better.