Bobby Pettiford Jr. is a Top-100, 4-star point guard hailing from North Carolina. He is ranked as a Top-15 point guard nationally by 247Sports and has decided he will commit to his future college on 6/10.
The Friars are battling a slew of schools to attain his pledge, but this appears to be a two way battle at the top for Pettiford Jr. between Louisville & PC.
I was surprised to see him make a decision this early, as it wouldn’t shock me to see him get some other big time offers after his senior season, but he may be ready to decide and end the whole recruiting process.
1. What would the Friars be getting in Pettiford Jr.?
Pettiford Jr. is an attacking point guard who seemingly can get to the rim at will. He also appears to be quite an athlete, with a lot of his highlights showing him playing above the rim.
Cooley looks for a tenacity and toughness with his point guards, and Pettiford Jr. seems to have that coveted junkyard dog mentality.
I’d like to see some more highlights of his passing and shooting, but from what I’ve watched, he has a tight handle and seems to be “the guy” on his team.
All of Cooley’s best point guards (Dunn, Cotton, Cartwright) played with a chip on their shoulder, and Pettiford screams out to me as being this exact type of player.
2. How does Pettiford Jr. fit with the existing Friars roster?
There is a need on the present roster for the Friars to have a back-up PG for the presumed starting point guard Jared Bynum, the St. Joes transfer. Bynum has 3 years of eligibility remaining and it would serve Pettiford well to learn under Bynum for 2 years before getting the keys.
Kyron Cartwright often mentioned how much being an understudy to Kris Dunn as an underclassmen helped him as a junior and senior, and I can see that exact scenario playing out here.
The Friars have Bryce Goodine and Allyn Breed on the roster, but they seem to be more of a combo guard in the mold of David Duke than a true point guard.
Bottom line is Pettiford would walk into this program certain to get 10-18 minutes a game, which is a nice place to be as a true freshman.
3. Who is the main competition to land Pettiford Jr.?
The Fighting Chris Mack’s of Louisville. The majority of the Crystal Balls have predicted Louisville, so it appears the Friars are running second in this race.
Louisville is a top tier program, so it’s no surprise Pettiford Jr. is highly considering them. I am surprised that recruits would commit to them right now, honestly, as we await further clarity from NCAA. With the ruling handed down to Oklahoma State, it may be prudent to wait before choosing to sign with Louisville.
With all that said, Louisville is a consensus Top-15 program nationally. You absolutely can not fault a kid for picking them, regardless of the NCAA implications looming over the program. Additionally, he’d get the chance to play in the ACC and play more games close to home.
The attitude towards Pettiford Jr is quite different between fan bases, with Louisville fans having a feeling of indifference about Pettiford Jr., while Friar fans are ecstatic about the opportunity to land him. I think the sentiment around Pettiford Jr. is changing with Louisville after he got the bump on 247 to a 4-star, but it is clear he appears to be more wanted in Friartown than in Louisville.
4. What would be the impact of landing Pettiford Jr. to the Providence recruiting class?
It cannot be said enough how huge this commitment would be for the Friars for several reasons.
For one, the kid is a massive talent. He is criminally under ranked on Rivals, and it wouldn’t shock me to see him be a consensus top 75 recruit by the time the final rankings are in place. There were many North Carolina fans in the know that wanted Ole Roy to offer this kid, so I think that speaks volumes to the talent level of Pettiford Jr.
Cooley would have the first piece of the 2021 recruiting class, and it would be great to have that first commit be a highly ranked point guard.
Another component to a potential Pettiford Jr. commit would be the effect on other North Carolina recruits PC is recruiting. The PC coaching staff is targeting a handful of North Carolina recruits and landing Pettiford may push those other kids like a Lucas Taylor and Kuluel Mading to join their friend in committing to the Friars.
5. So where does Pettiford Jr. commit to?
To quote Donovan Mitchell’s mom, “It’s not first come, first serve”.
While Providence has been recruiting Pettiford longer and has seemingly made him more of a priority, I think the idea of playing in the ACC for a Top-15 program wins out. He does hail from ACC country, so I’m sure this is a big pull for him.
With all that said, I don’t think this is as much of a lock to Louisville as the national pundits have made it out to be. Never discount Cooley in a recruiting battle, and I think Pettiford knows he is wanted in Providence.
Oh, one other thing – From my recollection Donovan Mitchell’s mother Nicole once tweeted (possibly in jest) that Mitchell chose UL because they paid more. However after advanced digging into her twitter, it has either since been deleted or she actually didn’t. I can swear she did though! Can you say dropping the bag?
In conclusion, 6/10 will be a day a lot of Friar fans will be updating their social media platforms to see where Pettiford Jr. commits. Wherever he chooses to go, I anticipate him having a highly productive 4 year college career and being a starting point guard for a minimum of 2 of those years.
If the Friars do land him, it is a great first piece to a potential Top-25 national recruiting class for Coach Ed Cooley and the Providence Friars.