David Duke’s commitment to the Providence Friars is a huge one. The Friars scored Duke, a Top 50 player in the class of 2018 on Friday night. He chose PC over the Virginia Tech Hokies, the other finalist for the Cushing Academy (MA) combo guard. The Villanova Wildcats were also in the mix for Duke for quite some time.
This has huge implications written all over it; not just in the immediate future, but in the longterm as well. Here’s what Duke’s commitment means for Providence.
The Friars have one of their best classes since the new millennium
247Sports has been tracking recruiting since the year 2000. Providence’s score has gotten over 60 three times since then. 2018 is now one of those years. With Duke, the Friars’ score of 60.22 puts them at the top of the Big East right now. It also props them up all the way to eighth in the country after sitting 26th.
This is, in no simpler terms, a HUGE deal. The Friars’ last two big-time classes were in 2012 and 2014. Those each finished 20th by the time the cycle was over in each year. It stands to reason that Providence’s class could be substantial enough to finish in the Top 10 or 15 in the country by the time things wrap up.
There’s still time to add on even more if the Friars felt obligated to. There is one spot left in 2018, per Verbal Commits. Should they do that, we would certainly be looking at their best class ever. Even if they don’t, it’s still possible that that’s true even before they take the floor.
The Friars backcourt looks lethal
Right now, Providence’s backcourt looks pretty impressive. There’s Kyron Cartwright, Isaiah Jackson and Drew Edwards. Plus sophomore Maliek White, who figures to be a solid piece off the bench. Don’t forget about Makai Ashton-Langford either. Ashton-Langford, a former UConn commit, is a Top 40 player in the class of 2017. He will likely succeed Cartwright at the position after Kyron graduates.
Think about all those players, sans Cartwright. Now think about them with Duke and fellow Top 50 player A.J. Reeves. Exciting, no? With Ashton-Langford, Duke and Reeves, Providence has three players ranked within the Top 50 of their respective recruiting classes. And each will be bringing something different to the table. PC’s backcourt in 2018 and beyond is not to be messed with right now.
If you’re not paying attention to the Friars, now’s the time to do so
Big East fans can probably skip this part. All of them, without a doubt, recognize the job that Cooley has done over the past six years. The Friars are on a run of prominence that they’ve never achieved before. They’ve appeared in four consecutive NCAA Tournaments. Prior to this stretch, the longest run they made was three on two different occasions. They have yet to finish lower than sixth in the Big East standings, and it’s not looking likely that that’s going to change any time soon.
If anything, the Friars may annually challenge for one of the top spots in the conference now. The surplus of talent they’re getting in this 2018 class will set them up very nicely to contend for the Big East regular season championship. It’s not going to be easy of course. But the fact is that their talent is likely going to pay dividends for them.
That means they’re probably about to stretch that NCAA Tournament streak as well. So the rest of the nation will have to deal with the Friars, too. They’ve been a bit up-and-down when it comes to tourney success on this run. But, as we’ve learned, the tournament chews you up and spits you out. Luckily, with what they have available to them, Providence may get better seeds leading to better draws, which will ultimately set them up for more success.
Friartown will continue to be a haven for a winner this year. David Duke’s commitment to the Friars figures to make that a constant heading into the latter part of the 2010s and into the 2020s, too.