GREAT FALLS — The Providence men’s basketball team has proven tough to beat so far this season, and while having one of the best players in the country helps, the Argos have elevated their play behind a trio of guys who weren’t on the floor last year.
Transfers Davien Harris-Williams and Marcus Stephens, as well as the newly eligible Cap Uzan, who sat out last year due to an NAIA transfer-related ruling, have bolstered the Argos to a Frontier Conference-leading 8-1 record.
All three can score in bunches, meaning opposing defenses can't zero in on All-American forward Zaccheus Darko-Kelly. Stephens and Uzan have each had 22-point performances, and Harris-Williams scored 31 once. Even though Darko-Kelly is still the clear leader of the team, the Argos are winning games where he scores as few as nine points.
"They've fit in well to our team, and they've adapted quickly," head coach Steve Keller said. "And these two right here, they don't know what's a good or bad shot, they just take it when they think they're open. And I kind of like that actually."
"These two" would be Harris-Williams and Stephens, who are new to the university this season as juniors. Harris-Williams transferred from Peninsula College in Washington and Stephens came from Sheridan Community College in Wyoming.
In what is likely the strangest season of their careers, the Tacoma, Washington natives bonded with each other and the team quickly.
"Usually early on in the year you have those team dinners, those team bondings. We were kind of thrown into the gym and like, hey, my name's Damien. Nice to meet you," Harris-Williams said. "Me and Marcus are from the same hometown. So us playing on the same team, you know, it's like a dream come true to play with your bro."
And as much as UP is glad to have them, they’re having a good time playing in Great Falls too. They just hope the postseason pans out to see how far they can go.
"It's been really fun. We have a lot of unselfish guys, a lot of talented guys. And we all get along real well, on and off the floor," Stephens said. "Just because you have talent doesn't mean you will be good. And so us being unselfish and playing well together goes hand in hand with us winning."
The Argos will host Montana Tech (9-7, 9-5) for a pair of games on Feb. 5 and 6.