Providence and Ed Cooley landed a “big” commitment last week from 2014 C Paschal Chukwu, which marks the second commitment in the 2014 class as Chukwu joins F Jalen Lindsey. Providence was long rumored to be in good position with Chukwu, but it eased any concerns of Friartown when he announced his pledge to Providence and Coach Cooley on Twitter last week. Chukwu will bring a strong defensive presence to the Friars from the minute he steps on campus, but has great potential to become an elite center as long as he continues to improve his offensive game and fills out his frame. While Ed Cooley and the Providence staff are off to a tremendous start to the 2014 recruiting class, they are certainly not done.
It feels like the recruitments of Abdul-Malik Abu, who is down to PC, UConn, NC State, and Florida, and Jared Terrell, who is down to PC, URI, OK State, and Cincinnati have lasted forever, but they will come to an end this Saturday when the Expressions Elite tandem announce their college choices at a joint press conference at the Reggie Lewis Center. The buzz surrounding the recruitment of each player has literally been all over the place and it appears nobody will know for sure of where each player is leaning until Saturday. It seems that the only school that can be eliminated for either player with any degree of certainty is Cincinnati for Jared Terrell considering he has not visited the campus. Additionally, 2014 G Joe Thomasson has decommitted form OK State, which could be an indicator of Terrell being heavily recruited to OK State. With that being said, Jared Terrell is on an official visit to Rhode Island Tuesday and Wednesday while Abdul-Malik Abu is reportedly at Florida after stating just Monday that that he would not take any more visits prior to the decision on Saturday. Friar fans will be on edge until their decisions become public on Saturday.
Moving outside of the recruitment of Abu and Terrell, the recruitment of Ben Bentil, a consensus top 100 player, could begin to heat up very soon. If the Friars are not able to land a commitment from Abdul-Malik Abu, it would certainly make Ben Bentil a very important recruit to fill the power forward spot that will be vacated by Kadeem Batts. Bentil will take visits in September to Georgetown, Miami, and Providence and plans to make a decision following these visits. Recent buzz coming from Georgetown insiders is that Georgetown is in a great position to land 2014 F Paul White and could receive a commitment on his visit September 13th. If that is the case, look for Georgetown to round out their class by pushing for 2014 C Elbert Robinson. This would theoretically leave Providence and Miami as the leaders for a Ben Bentil commitment. Stay tuned for movement in Bentil’s recruitment and his visit to Providence.
Under the radar 2014 F/C Jacquil Taylor has returned to the court and is beginning to set up visits to schools with a target decision timeline of the early signing period in November. According to his father, Providence is still involved in the recruitment of Jacquil and a visit is being set up, but Taylor has already visited Providence having attended a game last season. Taylor has also scheduled a visit to Purdue and has interest from North Carolina A&T, Miami, Pittsburgh, St. Joe’s, George Mason, VCU, and Marquette.