Greetings, Friar fans. I hope everybody has fun 4th plans. Hopefully, you will be reading this in a backyard or at the beach relaxing and enjoying some time off.
2021 Empire Classic Announcement
The 2021 Empire Classic tournament was announced, and it has a loaded quartet of teams – Gonzaga, Providence, Louisville, and Oklahoma State. It is hard enough to project how teams will do this season, let alone 2021, but it is pretty much a certainty that Louisville and Gonzaga will be top 20 programs. Oklahoma State will almost certainly lose potential #1 NBA pick Cade Cunningham, but always seem to have talent on the roster. It’ll be interesting to see how the NCAA punishment effects them moving forward.
The biggest takeaway for Providence fans has to be the potential match-up with Chris Mack and Louisville. It is no surprise that Louisville has been a thorn in the side of Providence this past month, landing two commits over us (Pettiford Jr. and Wiznitzer). I know all Providence fans would love to see The Friars win this one and stick it to Louisville for their recruiting victories over us.
The tournament will be held in Madison Square Garden, aka “The Dunk South”. With the assumption attending games returns to normal, all of our games in this tournament will have the feel of a home game. Advantage = Friars.
New Offers: Legend Geeter and Darius Johnson
Providence recently offered 6’7 combo forward Legend Geeter of Michigan. An undersized 3/4 from Michigan with interest from the Friars? Where have we heard this story before?! Sign him up before Michigan and Michigan State try to get involved. If he could have half the career that Dog Henton had, that’d be considered a success. Henton was the epitome of a Cooley player and will always be remembered in the fondest way by Friar fans.
Providence dished out a new point guard offer in the class of 2021 to Darius Johnson, a 3 star point guard hailing from Virginia. I’m not entirely sure what to make of this offer. Does this mean we are trending away from Bensley Joseph? I’ll continue to monitor this recruitment and the overall effects.
PC Expressing Interest in Sean Durugordon
Sean Durugordon is somebody I mentioned in my article of 2021 recruits I want to see Providence begin to recruit (https://theprovidencecrier.com/2020/06/23/2021-recruits-id-like-to-see-providence-go-after/#more-2209). It appears they are doing so now, and an offer may be on the way. in short order. I’m hopeful Cooley pulls the trigger on an offer, as he’d be a great fit to the program.
His recruitment continues to explode, as he received this past week an offer from Auburn. It will be interesting to see if Providence is too late to the party with this recruitment. Regardless, it is nice to see them pursue Durugordon. I’ve made mention many times Durugordon would be a great commitment in his own right, but when you think about how should help with Bensley Joseph’s recruitment, this is a no brained. It could also potentially set us up with a pipeline moving forward at Putnam Science Academy. PSA is becoming a school that produces a plethora of D1 players annually so it is obviously an astute approach by Cooley and staff.
Alex Karaban, Top 2022 Target, Discusses Recruitment
Alex Karaban, a consensus top 100 2022 recruit from New Hampshire, discussed his recruitment and said that PC is one of the 4 hardest schools recruiting him. Providence was his first high major offer. It’d be nice to see Cooley land a “Plan A” recruit in the 2022 cycle and also be rewarded for being one of the first to jump on board with an offer. Karaban hails from New England, so we also have geographic footprint going for us.
Eric Van Der Heijden Releases Top 10, PC Included
Evan Van Der Heijden released a top 10 for his recruitment, and Providence was included. I’m not too optimistic about this recruitment, as I can see him choosing a Maryland, Texas, or Iowa. Also, to the surprise of nobody, Louisville is in the Top 10 as well.
What in the world did we do to Chris Mack?
Casey Simmons of Mass Rivals Commits to Northwestern
Mass Rivals product Casey Simmons committed to Northwestern, and I’m noticing a unique pipeline being built between Mass Rivals and the Northwestern program. They landed Boo Buie (great name) a few recruiting cycles ago. He averaged a shade over 10 points per game as a sophomore. Collins has a strong 2021 class, and Simmons will likely be a multi- year starter.