In case you missed the biggest news from the Big East on Sunday, Providence landed 2018 four-star A.J. Reeves. Reeves’ commitment gives the Friars their first player in their 2018 class, instantly catapulting them to the No. 2 spot in the Big East recruiting rankings behind Villanova with plenty of time to go to catch the ‘Cats.
If you’ve been following the last few months, this is simply becoming pretty ordinary in Friartown. Head coach Ed Cooley has done a terrific job in recruiting and will boast one of his best recruiting classes since arriving in 2011.
Per 247Sports, the class’ rating of 0.9537 is the best since 2012, which was a class that featured future NBA player Ricky Ledo, former two-time Big East Player of the Year and 2016 NBA lottery pick Kris Dunn and Josh Fortune as well. The class also ranks 22nd in the country, the highest mark for a Cooley class since 2014 when a group featuring Kyron Cartwright, Jalen Lindsey, Paschal Chukwu and Ben Bentil finished 20th in the country.
Not too shabby, is it?
The trio of Makai Ashton-Langford, Nate Watson and Dajour Dickens all share something in common: All three are four-star recruits. In his past two classes (not counting 2018), Cooley has managed to pluck five four-star players. Ashton-Langford, Watson and Dickens are joined by Maliek White and Alpha Diallo, who both had tangible impacts as role players on the 2016-17 Friars en route to their trip to the NCAA First Four this past year.
With Reeves’ commitment, Cooley now has picked up six four-star players in the last three recruiting classes, with possibly more on the way. From 2011-2015, Cooley had eight players who were at least four-stars, though three of them (Chukwu, Alex Owens and Brandon Austin) did not fulfill their eligibilities with the Friars the whole way. He’s gotten a lot out of the three-stars he’s picked, namely Cartwright and Rodney Bullock and Kalif Young last year, too. But there shouldn’t be any denial that the recruiting is getting better in Friartown with Cooley at the helm the past three years.
It’s certainly important to keep up with the Joneses in this era of Big East hoops. Xavier, Creighton and Butler have done nothing but compete at a high level and recruit at a high level since joining the fold and Seton Hall and St. John’s continue to trend in the right direction while Villanova continues their reign at the top.
The Friars, though, look good on their own and are ready to continue to compete at a high level even after Cartwright, Lindsey and Bullock’s looming departures. That’s all thanks to Cooley, who is transforming this roster into a damn good one that can only get better from here. They’ll likely turn their attention now to another four-star in combo guard David Duke, a Cushing Academy hooper whose Crystal Ball would certainly indicate that the Friars could be in his future.
In this era of Providence basketball, which is certainly one of the best in the program’s history, the future looks awfully bright thanks to dynamo recruiting efforts, as evident by the news that went across the wire on Sunday.