Class of 2014
Ed Cooley and his staff have done very well in the Class of 2014 so far.
The incoming freshman class currently includes three Top 100 recruits and an early spring three-star addition according to 247sports.com's composite ratings. Jalen Lindsey was the first to commit to the Providence Friars in July 2013. The Nashville native spent his senior season at Huntington Prep. Next came Connecticut big man, by way of Nigeria, Paschal Chukwu. The 7-foot-1 center is the most highly rated player in this class for the Friars. After Abdul Malik-Abu chose the North Carolina State Wolfpack, Cooley quickly rebounded by scooping up St. Andrew's (DE) big man, Ben Bentil.
With Kris Dunn re-injuring his surgically repaired shoulder in the first exhibition game in early November, it became increasingly clear that the Friars needed some depth at the point guard position. Shortly after the season was over for Providence, an Andre LaFleur connection brought a Compton, California point guard to Providence for an official visit. Kyron Cartwright had been committed to Max Goode at Loyola Marymount. After he was fired, Cartwright was looking for a new destination. After visiting campus in early April, Cartwright gave his commitment to Ed Cooley and the Friars. That's where the Class of 2014 stands right now for Providence.
Despite a successful haul so far, Ed Cooley has made it clear that he wanted to bring in two guards this offseason in addition to Kyron Cartwright. That need has become greater since the departure of rising junior Josh Fortune last month. To date, Providence has swung and missed on all opportunities since Cartwright. Those swings and misses have been detailed here. There seem to be a couple of names still being bounced around: Armel Potter and Ricky Council. Potter is a former Florida Atlantic commit who is an undersized scoring guard from Marietta, Georgia. Council has better size for the Big East at 6-foot-4 and is regarded by some as one of the most undervalued recruits in the state of North Carolina. I would expect to see one or both of these players set up visits to Providence in the coming weeks.
Class of 2015
Top Priority Recruit:
Donovan Mitchell - SG - Brewster Academy (NH) - Mitchell is the player that Ed Cooley and his staff have made their top priority for 2015. They have been on him the longest of any of the high majors currently recruiting him. While the competition is stiff and continues to get stiffer with new offers from the likes of Indiana, Cooley and his staff will likely be fixtures at Brewster Academy again this season and I would expect there will always be at least one coach at all of his July live period events. His plan was to commit in September but he has recently backed off that timeframe after some new offers have come in.
Four Names to Watch:
Steve Enoch - PF/C - Norwalk HS (CT) - Steve Enoch is THE breakout player this spring and summer. His stock has risen from being unranked by any recruiting service to being 61st in the class nationally by Scout.com's latest release of their Top 100 on June 5th and 54th by Rivals.com's release from June 27th. During the April live period he was in Pittsburgh for the Hoop Group Jam Fest where assistant coach Brian Blaney watched him play. He has since attended the Pangos All-American Camp in California and the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, Virginia. He could not play at the NBPA Camp due to injury but still attended and took in the instruction. Enoch visited Providence on June 28th.
Alex Illikainen - PF - Brewster Academy (NH) - Illikainen announced his intention to transfer to Brewster Academy for his senior season on June 17th. He, much like Enoch, also attended the NBPA Top 100 Camp. His Howard Pulley team qualified for the Nike EYBL Playoffs so he will get plenty of exposure during the upcoming July live recruiting periods. He told GopherHole.com's Chris Monter that he is "probably going to narrow it [his list] down after Peach Jam, kind of in that August period and then figure out visits and that kind of stuff." His game is fundamental and he is not going to wow with athleticism but he just knows how to play basketball and is a very good passer for a big man. He plans to visit Providence soon.
Terance Mann - SG - Tilton Academy (NH) - Mann was supposed to visit Providence on June 30th but he had to re-schedule to August 1st due to traveling home from the Kevin Durant Skills Academy where he attended camp with current Providence forward, Tyler Harris. Mann runs with the BABC on the AAU circuit which may scare off some Friar fans who remember the Chris Driscoll fiasco, but Cooley has enough relationships in AAU circles that he will eventually get a BABC to Providence and Mann would be a great start. He is ranked 78th by ESPN.com's most recent national ranking from June 3rd and 88th by Rivals.com's recent ranking.
Justin Robinson - PG - St. James (MD) - Robinson is a southpaw point guard from Maryland that has been in regular contact with the Providence staff and has told me that he plans to visit Providence probably in August. He runs with Boo Williams on the AAU circuit and is looking forward to the Nike EYBL Playoffs after playing through an injured ankle and wrist during the EYBL regular season. He most recently visited Maryland with his parents and was told he is their top priority guard recruit so the competition is fierce. He is ranked 84th in the class by Scout.com.
Class of 2016
Four Names to Watch:
Braxton Blackwell - SF - Christ Presbyterian Academy (TN) - Blackwell is a former teammate of Providence freshman Jalen Lindsey, and tags along with the Atlanta Celtics on the AAU circuit. Remember that team name because Providence is recruiting four of their five starters. Blackwell is a fluid wing player that can do it all, and is a Top 30-level recruit nationally and will be very tough to get to the Northeast.
Josh Langford - SG - Madison Academy (AL) - Langford is also a member of the Atlanta Celtics and is also a top flight recruit. He has battled some injury issues over the last year or so but appears healthy now. He has been lighting up the Adidas Gauntlet.
Kobi Simmons - PG - St. Francis (GA) - The third member of the Atlanta Celtics to appear on this list, Simmons is a 6-foot-4 lead guard who has drawn heavy interest from the likes of Kentucky and Duke, so Cooley will really have to work hard to keep his attention. He was a player that got a call from Providence on June 15th.
Miles Bridges - SF - Huntington Prep (WV) - Bridges played at Huntington Prep with Jalen Lindsey last season and there is a bit of a Michigan connection with LaDontae Henton. Bridges has been one of the best players on the Nike EYBL circuit this season. He plays for The Family and has hit a number of clutch shots for them, including a game winner at the buzzer. Bridges has said Providence is one of the schools he wants to visit.
Class of 2017
Four Names to Watch:
Tomas Murphy - PF - Northfield Mount Hermon (MA)
Kimani Lawrence - SF - Cushing Academy (MA)
Jermaine Samuels - SF - Rivers School (MA)
Jordan Tucker - SF - White Plains HS (NY)
Ed Cooley has already begun to build relationships with a lot of talented players from the classes of 2015, 2016 and even 2017 but he is still doing work for the class of 2014. Coaches always say that recruiting never ends and it's clearly true. Cooley hopes to bring in another guard for the short term but the future looks bright for Providence on the recruiting trail.