Friar recruiting news has been slow to come by in the 2021 class, with the only news seemingly being negative (coming in second place for recruits, for instance). With that said, we are consistently seeing the Friars in the final grouping of multiple player’s college lists. This past week was no different, as the Friars were listed as finalists for three recruits: Forward Kuluel Mading, 3/4 Hybrid Legend Geeter, and Forward Bryce Hopkins.
(Note that Providence made Final 3 for Darius Johnson, article below)
Below, I list out the final schools for each recruit and opine on where I think the Friars stand in each recruitment.
Final 9 (in no order): Providence, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Oregon, Iowa State, Texas, Cal
This is a really strange list of final 9 schools. If you recall, Hopkins was once a Louisville commit, but decomitted from the Cardinals.
The Friars held a Zoom meeting with Hopkins almost instantly after Bryce opened up his recruitment (https://theprovidencecrier.com/2020/08/12/louisville-decommit-bryce-hopkins-to-meet-with-cooley-coach-cal/#more-2501). With that said, I think the leaders in the clubhouse are Kentucky and Illinois. Kentucky is a leader for obvious reasons, and Illinois is the hometown school.
I don’t feel all that great about this recruitment, but I’ve certainly been wrong before. Kudos to the Friars for swimming in the deep end with this recruitment and going up against some blue bloods. It would be a huge recruiting win to get Hopkins.
Final 5 (in no order): Western Michigan, Providence, Missouri, Georgetown, Duquesne
The Friars have to love where they stand with this recruitment. The main competition here appears to be Missouri. Providence has been in on this recruitment early, being one of the first high major offers, and their loyalty is paying off. I was weary about UM and MSU jumping into the fold. An offer from either program would likely catapult them into the pole position or co-leaders, but that has yet to happen. That can still transpire, but as of today, I think the Friars are contending with Mizzou to land his services.
If I’m Cooley, I just point to the career of Michigan native LaDontae Henton and say “this could be you – come aboard”. They play almost an identical position of being a smaller 4 guard, physical 3 guard, and Cooley can map out how a Michigan native came East to New England and had an incredibly successful career.
Final 8 (in no order): Providence, VCU, Clemson, UNC-Greensboro, East Carolina, Tulsa, North Carolina Central, Howard
Mading has been on the Friar’s radar for quite some time. I like where the Friars stand. The main competition is likely VCU and Clemson, but Providence has been consistently named as one of the schools recruiting him the hardest. I’m honesty surprised Mading came out with such an exhaustive final list, as I thought his recruitment was closer to being finalized than the lengthy list indicates. Regardless of how many schools are still vying for his commitment, I think the Friars have to feel really, really good about where they stand. It wouldn’t shock me if Mading is the first commitment of the 2021 class.
At the very least, it is positive to see the Friars make so many final grouping for recruits, and it is just a matter of time for the first commitment. We are in a great position with so many high caliber players, and being named in the final grouping for 3 recruits in one week exemplifies that.