Providence is turning into Guard U these days. Bryce Cotton was a blur on the court and a wizard with the ball, and led Providence to a Big East title and an NCAA Tournament appearance. Last season, Kris Dunn took up the mantle and earned Big East Co-Player of the Year honors and kept the Friars dancing, marking the first time since 1990 that Providence has made back-to-back NCAA Tournaments. Next in line for the throne could be Ricky Council, who is part of a nice little recruiting class that Ed Cooley put together.
Before even examining Council's actual skill, his size alone makes him an intriguing player. At 6-foot-4 he compares favorably to Dunn and it gives him a leg up (no pun intended, wait, scratch that, pun intended) in the sea of great Big East guards.
But enough about his height, Council isn't just a tall dude, he's one with talent to burn. He spent five years in high school and prep school working on his game, as he decided to attend Moravian Prep in Hickory, North Carolina after feeling lukewarm about his offers following four years at his local public high school.
Council was named a three-star recruit by both 247Sports and ESPN following his half a decade preparing for the college level. He received interest from Maryland, Marquette and Tulsa, among others, before settling on Providence.
At Moravian, Council was a scoring machine. Don't believe me. What if told you he banged out 53 points against The Robinson School (NJ) back in November? I thought so. Cooley and his troops need any and all scoring options they can find. LaDontate Henton and his 19.7 points per game are now trying to make it in the professional ranks overseas. Aside from Dunn (15.6 ppg), Henton was the only other player to average in double figures last season. With only two real scoring pillars, Providence scored 69.7 points per game, which ranked 111th nationally. While it is unclear how much Council will play as a freshman, Council will certainly be called on to put the ball in the basket when he hits the floor.
He should also provide more than just bulk scoring, as he exhibited an efficient style of play with the ability to shoot from long distance at Moravian. As coach Jeremy Ellis told Evan Daniels from Scout.com, Council shot 45 percent from 3-point range last year. Providence was ice cold from beyond the arc throughout the 2014-15 campaign, shooting 31.3% as a team from such a distance. Council should help rectify that shortcoming.
And now, the moment you've all been waiting for -- it's time for video highlights!