As the buzz continues to grow surrounding Providence College, the school hosted its Late Night Madness last Friday, which not only served to increase both optimism regarding the future of the program, but also provided yet another avenue for improving the Providence College name in the eyes of recruits. With the event being hosted by television personality Nick Cannon and the energy that the slim Ed Cooley created at the event, it is not a surprise that countless recruits flocked to be a part of the festivities that saw freshman Brandon Austin stun the crowd with a 360 between the legs dunk to win the dunk contest. 2014 commits Ben Bentil, Jalen Lindsey, and Paschal Chukwu were all in attendance while countless underclassmen were also present including 2015 recruits Donovan Mitchell, Ryan Fazekas, and Jarred Reuter, 2016 recruits Tyrone Malone and Tyree Weston and 2017 recruits Jermaine Samuels, Tomas Murphy, and Kimani Lawrence among several others. Ed Cooley and his staff continue to attract talent to Providence College events and build relationships with the areas top talent very early in their high school careers.
One recruit, 2015 G Donovan Mitchell, was very positive regarding his experience at Late Night Madness and his overall recruitment with Providence. Ed Cooley and Providence will certainly continue to pursue the talented Brewster guard, but will soon have stiff competition as Mitchell shows his talent during the prep season. Mitchell has stated a desire to play for a school with a great fan base that will provide him with a great education in addition to immediate playing time. Providence could certainly be a great fit for Mitchell. In addition to the positivity from Mitchell and other underclassmen regarding the event, all three 2014 commitments were very positive regarding the night and the program in general. It is certainly refreshing to see the immense amount of excitement that Ed Cooley has built regarding the program shown even from recruits who are a year away from playing for the school.
Although significant buzz was generated both during and shortly after the event from several recruits, but the largest recruiting news was made by 2015 F Ryan Fazekas, who verbally committed to the Friars on Tuesday. According to Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal, Fazekas’ trip to Late Night Madness was his birthday present from his parents and quickly told them of his college intentions following his return. Ryan Fazekas is known as a knockdown shooter who stands at 6’8” giving him the ability to get his shot off over most defenders. His long-range ability has drawn comparisons to players such as Michigan’s Nik Stauskas and former Purdue forward Robbie Hummel at that stage of their high school career. Additionally, Fazekas is only a junior and is said to still be growing and adding weight to his frame. If he continues to grow and build his body, Fazekas could turn into a prototypical stretch four man.
Prior to committing to the Friars, Fazekas was receiving interest from high major programs such as Butler, Michigan, Purdue, Xavier, Boston College, Valparaiso, Northwestern, and several other Big Ten schools. Although Fazekas plays AAU ball with the Chicago-based Mean Streets, he missed a portion of last summer due to injury, which had an impact on his rating by the major scouting services. While Scout currently rates Fazekas as a three star prospect and ESPN has him as a four star prospect, it would not be surprising to see Fazekas improve on that rating and find himself in the top 100 of his class by graduation with continued consistency from long range and improvement in other areas. With the departure of Bryce Cotton following the upcoming season, Ryan Fazekas could prove to help secure the future of the program in terms of three point shooting. This could certainly prove to be a case of Providence securing the commitment from a recruit prior to him “blowing up” on the national scene. Below is a mixtape of Ryan Fazekas that highlights his high upside.