Hometown: Savannah, New York
Previous Schools: Niagara, Detroit Mercy
Class: Junior — could have up to 3 years of eligibility left if he utilizes a medical redshirt
Noah Waterman Player Preview
BYU finished 110th in the nation in three-point shooting last year — which was in the top third of the country — but it was a drop from previous years. In Mark Pope’s first year BYU was the best three-point shooting team in the nation and in his second season BYU was in the top 50.
BYU prioritized adding shooters this offseason, and Detroit Mercy transfer Noah Waterman will be one of those keys to improve BYU’s outside shooting.
Waterman has been in college for three seasons. He started his career at Niagara, where he played in 8 games before a nagging ankle injury shut him down for the rest of the season. He entered the transfer portal after his freshman year and went to Detroit Mercy, where he spent the last two seasons.
Waterman played in only 15 games during the COVID shortened 2020-2021. He initially was forced to sit out the beginning of the season until the NCAA gave a blanket transfer waiver allowing him to begin playing in December. Waterman averaged 12 points and 4.5 boards that season on 53% shooting from three (he averaged just under 5 attempts a game) and 56% from the field. His three-point shooting percentage was 3rd nationally, according to KenPom.
Noah slowed down some this last season and missed some games due to COVID, but averaged 8 points on 38% shooting from deep. In two seasons at Detroit Mercy he averaged 10 points and 4.2 boards on 44% shooting from three. 169 out his 243 field goal attempts (69%) were threes, so Noah does a lot of his damage at the three-point line.
We know Noah can shoot the ball, but I want to see how his defense holds up. He doesn’t need to be an elite defender by any means, but if he can guard big men in the post occasionally and use his length to keep perimeter players blowing by him consistently, then that is more than enough to compensate for what he can do on the offensive end.
Season Expectations: Starter/Main Rotation Player
BYU’s lack of shooting in the front court last year hurt the offensive spacing and allowed teams to crowd Alex Barcello and other BYU guards on dribble handoffs. With the threat of Noah Waterman on the outside, BYU’s offense should be more open and provide better looks for everyone. Having Fouss/Atiki on the inside and four legitimate shooters on the perimeter will give Mark Pope a lot more options for his offense.
I want to see Noah average 8+ points a game and 5+ boards while holding his own on the defensive end. He has the ability to be one of the truly elite shooters in college basketball, and doing it at 6-foot-11 at the four spot will add new wrinkles to the BYU offense. If he becomes a liability on defense, then his value takes a hit and Mark Pope may need to go with more Gideon George or Jaxson Robinson at the 4 spot. Based on what I’ve heard, however, I think Noah can hold up well enough defensively so he can stay on the court to open up BYU’s offense.
There’s a reason schools like Clemson, Mississippi State and other P6 schools went after Noah — it’s because he can shoot the living daylights out of the ball at 6-foot-11.