This will be a weekly segment that will compliment more of the deep-dive articles published throughout the week. It will sum up various recruiting updates, team news and notes, and essentially anything relevant to the Providence Friar basketball team. Topics in bold below.
Casey Simmons Releases Top 7, PC not included: I’ve made my stance pretty clear on the Crier podcast and in various articles published that I’d like the staff to reemphasize recruiting of the Northeast, New England specifically, while not making so much of a heavy push in the mid-Atlantic.
Casey is a Top 150 Mass Rivals player so it is a bit perplexing to see us not involved in his Top 7. This could be because we weren’t heavily recruiting him, like we are his teammate Gianni Thompson, but it is my belief that we should always be involved with high D1 players coming from this AAU program. We’ll see where Simmons decides to go, as he has a mix of high academic and basketball schools in his Final 7.
Louisville Cleans Up on the Recruiting Trail…Again: Much to the chagrin of Friar fans, Louisville won another recruiting battle over us, landing big man Gabe Wiznitzer. I listed Gabe as a fit in the 2021 class (https://theprovidencecrier.com/2020/06/15/building-the-providence-2021-recruiting-class/#more-2121), but was not at all confident in this, as I thought he’d continue to attain multiple high major offers and go to the school with the biggest name (rather than a school like PC who had been recruiting him longer).
If he chose Louisville in the 2021 class, it still stings, but to add insult to injury, he committed and reclassified to the 2020 class. This is something he didn’t want to do with Providence, so to see him do this with Louisville and decide to redshirt was a double punch to the gut (considering he likely would have played 10-15 minutes at the back-up 5 spot). Just not a great story all around.
I think all Friar fans will admit we badly need a win on a recruiting trail for one of our “Plan A” type recruits. I’ll always love Cooley for taking on these elite programs, and it is just a matter of time before we start winning these recruiting battles again.
Updated 247 Rankings: 247 updated their rankings, and one of our key targets made a meteoric rise into the Top 150.
Gianni Thompson rose EIGHTY-TWO spots to land at 148 nationally. Mass Rivals always seems to have a player each year who has that gradual ascent up the rankings, and it appears Gianni will be that player this year.
Other Notable Players:
Bensley Joseph – 136 overall – I’ve made my stance on him quite clear. Would be an amazing fit in Friartown. https://theprovidencecrier.com/2020/06/10/whos-next-targeting-the-next-pg-recruit-for-providence/#more-2107
Kuluel Mading – 118 overall – Agile big man playing in North Carolina. With Wiznitzer to LVille, I think Cooley will begin to target Ayomide and Mading heavily
Eric Van Der Heijden – 73 overall – We haven’t heard much about him, but any time you can find a 6’9 guy with his athleticism and shooting ability, you take him. Another North Carolina product.
Offers from Other Schools: PC Recruits
Lucas Taylor – Offered this past week by Clemson and Miami. Don’t have a great feeling about this recruitment, but would love to be wrong. It is only a matter of time before one of the big time ACC programs offers.
Sean Durugordon – PC hasn’t been involved with him, but I listed him as a player I’d like to see PC begin to recruit (https://theprovidencecrier.com/2020/06/23/2021-recruits-id-like-to-see-providence-go-after/#more-2209). He just received an offer from Arizona State.