The hopes of Providence’s version of the “Fab Five” created by Michigan years ago took a hit over the weekend as 2014 point guard Kaleb Joseph committed to Syracuse while on an official visit, choosing the former Big East school over Providence and West Virginia. Joseph had previously stated that Syracuse has been his dream school since he was a child and he must have become comfortable with the threat of limited playing time behind freshman point guard Tyler Ennis, who Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said is “as good as any point guard we’ve brought in here.”
While the proposed “Friar Five” is no longer a reality and there is increasing anxiety amongst Friartown that this recruiting class may not turn out as successful as once hoped, let’s remember that Ed Cooley has already secured a commitment from a consensus top 50 player nationally in Jalen Lindsey. In addition to Lindsey, Providence is in good position with several other recruits to turn the 2014 recruiting class into yet another successful one. Let’s take a look at some of the remaining targets of Providence in the class of 2014 and update the current state of their recruitment.
Abdul-Malik Abu 6’8” PF Boston, MA (Kimball Union Academy)
Most Friar fans are familiar with Abdul-Malik Abu who was documented in our previous piece “Tracking the ‘Friar Five’.” Abu has since visited Providence unofficially along with his friend and teammate Jared Terrell who is also considering Providence. Abu certainly appeared to have a strong relationship with Ed Cooley who coached him in individual drills as well as during a scrimmage. Following his unofficial visit to Providence Saturday, Abu unofficially visited NC State, who is rumored to lead for in-state PF Gary Clark on Sunday, and cancelled his visit to UConn in order to visit Florida unofficially on Wednesday (Abu returned to Boston in between the two visits). Abu has reportedly rescheduled his visit to UConn for this Saturday, August 24th. UConn was recently named a finalist by 2014 PF Paul White, but he is not expected to visit until after Abu’s announcement. While reports have come from sources at every school indicating they are the frontrunners for Abu, only one thing is clear, nobody has any idea except for the young man from Boston. Abdul-Malik Abu will announce his college decision on September 7th at a joint press conference in Boston with teammate and friend Jared Terrell.
Jared Terrell 6’3” G Weymouth, MA (Brewster Academy)
Jared Terrell was also documented in our last segment, “Tracking the ‘Friar Five’.” Terrell visited Providence last weekend along with teammate and friend Abdul-Malik Abu and could become part of a potential package deal with him for the Friars. Terrell had visited URI a few weeks ago and will visit unofficially there again on Thursday, August 22nd. Terrell has not scheduled visits to the remaining two schools in his final four, Cincinnati and Oklahoma State, who recently landed a commitment from 2014 JUCO guard Joe Thomasson. By all accounts, it appears to be down to URI and Providence for Terrell’s services. Much speculation has had Terrell’s interest in URI strengthened by available playing time early. However, with the commitment of Kaleb Joseph to Syracuse, more minutes could be available at Providence than he would have previously thought especially with the graduation of Bryce Cotton. Jared Terrell will announce his college decision at a joint press conference in Boston with teammate and friend Abdul-Malik Abu on September 7th.
Paschal Chukwu 7’2” C Westport, CT (Fairfield Prep)
Paschal Chukwu was also documented in our last segment, “Tracking the ‘Friar Five’.” Providence remains in good position to land the 7’2” center from Fairfield Prep. Over the weekend, Chukwu was rumored to be visiting Boston College, but cancelled the visit for an undisclosed reason. Chukwu’s recruitment remains quiet so there is no guarantee for any school at this point, but look for Providence, UConn, and St. Joe’s to be in it until the end. It appears Chukwu’s decision could come later rather than sooner, but good things come to those who wait as they say.
Ben Bentil 6’8” PF Middletown, DE (St. Andrew’s (DE))
Ben Bentil, a consensus top 100 player nationally, is known for his athleticism, power, and relentlessness on the court. Bentil has recently stated that he will visit Miami, Georgetown, and Providence before making his decision. He has previously visited Temple and Georgetown unofficially. Bentil will visit Miami on September 12th, but has yet to determine dates for his Providence and Georgetown visits. Ben Bentil has stated previously that he is looking for a school that is good academically as he boasts a 3.4 GPA and that this will be important when making his decision. Ben plans to study business management. Reports have circulated that Ben Bentil may be Georgetown’s to lose, but the Hoyas have one scholarship remaining and are also finalists for PF Paul White, who was said to be down to Georgetown and Arizona, who just landed a commitment from PF Craig Victor. Look for a mid to late September decision for Bentil following the three visits.
Jacquil Taylor 6’9” PF/C Cambridge, MA (Beaver Country Day)
Jacquil Taylor may have one of the most interesting recruitments of any 2014 recruit by the end of it. Taylor plays for Expressions Elite on the AAU circuit, the same team that produced Ricardo Ledo, Abdul-Malik Abu, and Jared Terrell. Taylor was injured during last basketball season when he sustained a Lisfranc fracture of his foot while playing for Beaver Country Day. Taylor had surgery and has had a long road to recovery, just now getting on the court after a long rehabilitation process. Prior to his injury, Taylor was being recruited by Providence, VCU, Maryland, North Carolina A&T, and UMass among others. Taylor has visited Providence unofficially including attending a Friars game. It appears that the Friars have maintained contact with Taylor as they visited him at Beaver Country Day in April. Taylor has also visited North Carolina A&T unofficially, the school where his brother Maurice will be a freshman this season. With tremendous upside and loads of potential, whatever school is able to land Jacquil Taylor could be getting a steal in the 2014 class.
D’Angelo Allen 6’7” F Dallas, TX (Justin F. Kimball HS)
D’Angelo Allen, a top 100 player nationally according to ESPN, is an extremely athletic player known for his high-flying ability in the open court. Allen lists offers from several schools including Texas Tech, Providence, North Texas, and Georgetown, among others. Allen stated earlier in the summer that Providence and Texas Tech were the schools recruiting him the hardest and that he would like to take all five official visits before making a decision. Allen also has stated that his dream school is Baylor, but they have not offered him.
Courtesy: Ballislife South
Kelan Martin 6’6” F Louisville, KY (Ballard HS)
Kelan Martin, a top 100 forward according to ESPN, is an undersized power-forward who can mix it up down low, but also has the skills to step out on the perimeter. Martin appears to have a similar game to Providence’s own Ladontae Henton. Martin added several scholarship offers following a strong AAU season with Indiana Elite. Kelan Martin currently holds offers from Butler, Xavier, Providence, St. Louis, and Texas Tech among others. Providence was Martin’s first high major offer.
Marlon Jones 6’8” PF Chicago, IL (Orr Academy HS)
Marlon Jones is a very athletic power forward who excels in transition and can knock down the mid range jumper. He is a very good shot blocker on the defensive end. Jones has stated that he would like to visit Missouri, Providence, and Baylor in the fall. Providence was one of the first high majors to offer Jones and has been on him for a while thanks to assistant coach Bob Simon.
Courtesy: Illinois HS Hoops Stars