Ed Cooley and staff clearly liked what they saw on the basketball roster of prep school SoCal Academy. Providence landed their third commitment since the summer from this prep power with Donovan Santoro committing to the Friars today. Santoro, a Class of 2023 wing, fills a need where there aren’t many players on the current roster who fill the 2/3 spot.
Donovan Santoro’s recruitment somewhat came out of nowhere and blew up overnight with the Friars acting quickly to secure a commitment. It was actually on an episode of the Providence Crier Podcast where it was first reported of PC’s interest. Just a week after our chat with SoCal Academy coach Julius Von Hanzlik, Providence offered the late riser. He then would visit PC a week later, culminating with a commitment today beating out the likes of Creighton, Ole Miss, Arizona St, Washington and Washington St. So what is PC getting in Donovan Santoro?
Dubbed by his coach as a “national sleeper”, Santoro is a 6-8 wing originally from Texas. Julius van Hanzlik described Santoro as “6-8/6-9, he can play 2-4, can guard 2-4 and can really shoot it”. Ed Cooley has always put an emphasis on players who can be versatile and that is what the Friars appear to be getting with Santoro. Basketball is transitioning into a positionless game, where you can interchange pieces all throughout the court. Santoro offers that on the offensive and defensive end.
He has a nice feel on offense and shows pretty good bounce as well. Santoro is not ranked by most recruiting services, yet, so we do wonder if it will take him time to develop in college. Regardless, this is a great addition by PC because we’ll take length and shooting any day. Additionally, playing on SoCal Academy will get him ready for college ball Day 1, as that program pumps out high level D-1 players regularly.
The Friars have built themselves quite a nice recruiting class for 2023 with three additions all from the same program. Ed Cooley is putting a lot of faith in SoCal Academy but why wouldn’t he? The SoCal Rams finished ranked 14th in the nation last year and seem to be in for another strong season with the talent on their roster. Cooley and staff really deserve a ton of credit for building the relationship with the program and their players this summer and landing three guys that can be major contributors in the coming years.
When all is said and done, we expect the 3 man class of Dual, Fielder, and Santoro to be a unanimous Top 20 nationally ranked class. Dual and Fielder will both be cemented in the Top 100 as 4 stars, in our opinion, while Santoro will be a 3 star. As of this writing, that would put PC’s class in the 15-20 range.
While Fielder and Dual seem to be immediate impact players, Santoro is your more traditional high school recruit that may need 2-3 years to develop before he makes a substantial impact for the Friars. That is quite alright. Cooley likes staying old and having a starting 3 man in Santoro as a junior or senior fits right into that playbook.