What’s Up Friartown!? @UndercoverFriar has become a part of Friarblog and will be providing recruiting updates and analysis in columns posted to Friarblog intermittently. I intend to provide Friarblog readers with in depth recruiting information and analysis. Hope you enjoy! Go Friars!
2014 Recruiting: Tracking the “Friar Five”
Since Coach Ed Cooley’s arrival at Providence College, the excitement regarding recruiting has risen to a level never before seen in Friartown. From Ladontae Henton shortly after his hire to a top ten class in Kris Dunn, Ricardo Ledo, and Josh Fortune to this year’s recruiting class of Brandon Austin and Rajay Bullock in addition to transfers Carson Desrosiers and Tyler Harris, Ed Cooley has certainly left an impression on the world of recruiting. With that being said, avid followers of Friar basketball recruiting have looked forward to the 2014 recruiting class as where Ed Cooley could leave an even bigger mark. Given the inroads Coach Cooley made early on with 2014 recruits and the number of available scholarships (five), the 2014 recruiting class had the makings of a great one from the start.
By now most Friar fans know the potential “Friar Five” consists of 2014 recruits F Jalen Lindsey, G Jared Terrell, G Kaleb Joseph, C Paschal Chukwu, and F Abdul-Malik Abu. Coach Cooley along with associate head coach Andre Lafleur and assistant coach Bob Simon have been hard at work on the recruiting trail for a long time for each of these prospects. Each of these recruits is a consensus top 100 player nationally and has had many other schools hard after him as well. Friar fans have anxiously been waiting for lists to be trimmed and interviews to be recorded mentioning Providence as a likely destination for any of these recruits. Any combination of these five prospects would make for a great recruiting class, but the “Friar Five” or anything remotely close to it would be an incredible statement for the state of Providence College basketball and it could very well happen. Let’s take an in depth look at the recruitment of each of these players and where it stands in regards to lists and decision timelines. While four of these 2014 prospects are still deep into their recruitment, one prospect has made a decision and decided to take his talents to Friartown, forward Jalen Lindsey.
Jalen Lindsey 6’7” F Franklin, TN (CPA, Huntington Prep)
ESPN #32 Rivals #48 Scout #65 247 Sports #54
Lindsey is a small forward who broke onto the scene in 8th grade by starting on the varsity team. Known for his freakish athletic ability, Lindsey was able to use his size and athleticism to dominate both ends of the floor early on in his high school career primarily underneath the basket. However, he has developed into a player whose athleticism is just one strength he brings to the table. Jalen is a consistent shooter from anywhere on the floor and has a great ability to attack off the dribble in the half court set and out in transition. On the other side, his size and athleticism give him all the tools to be a huge asset on the defensive end. Lindsey continues to improve as a wing player and will be a favorite in Friartown for years to come.
On July 15th, Jalen Lindsey became the first 2014 recruit to verbally commit to the Friars and showed that hard work and relentlessness out on the recruiting trail can translate into success. Ed Cooley identified Lindsey as a high priority target in the 2014 recruiting class and despite his location in Tennessee, was relentless in his recruitment. After identifying and watching Lindsey on the AAU circuit in the summer following his sophomore year, Cooley made him a priority recruit and even promised him that he would be in Tennessee on the first day of the September contact period despite it being his birthday. Cooley delivered on his promise that day and he and Bob Simon continued to recruit Jalen throughout the year including watching Jalen lead his CPA team to a state championship. Lindsey was interviewed many times regarding his recruitment and never forgot to mention the school working the hardest, Providence. After a year of building a relationship with Jalen, Coach Cooley had an in-home visit with Jalen and his family. Several weeks later, following a mission trip to Africa, Lindsey made Friartown’s night July 15th and committed to the Friars, passing on offers from Florida, Tennessee, Ohio State, Memphis, Louisville, and Vanderbilt among others. Lindsey will play his senior high school season for Huntington Prep, the same school that produced consensus 2014 NBA Draft #1 pick Andrew Wiggins, in order to play against an improved level of competition and improve his game.
Jared Terrell 6’3” G Weymouth, MA (Brewster Academy)
ESPN #76 Rivals #62 Scout #71 247 Sports #51
Terrell is a powerful combo guard who has made a name for himself with his strong build and aggressive style of play. Nicknamed the “combination lock,” Jared Terrell has a reputation for locking down defenders using his size and strength to do so. On the offensive end, Terrell is constantly improving his play as a point guard to be able to transition to the position at the next level. Currently, he is at his best attacking the rim in the half court and in transition with an ability to finish easily through contact. As Terrell continues to improve the consistency of his perimeter shot and develop his point guard skills, he will become a more complete player who possesses tremendous potential.
Ed Cooley has recruited Terrell for years now dating back to his days as a class of 2013 prospect at Weymouth HS to a class of 2014 prospect at New Hampton School and now Brewster Academy. Providence was one of the first schools to show interest in Terrell and has been a mainstay in his recruitment ever since by following him at each school he has attended and in the AAU circuit where Terrell played with Expressions Elite, the former team of Ricardo Ledo. Terrell recently narrowed down his list to ten schools, which includes Providence, Florida, Miami, URI, Xavier, UCLA, OK State, Cincinnati, UCONN, and St. John’s. Last summer, Ed Cooley and the Providence staff did not miss one Expressions Elite game and led to Expressions’ Ty Boswell to state that the Providence staff is outworking the rest for Terrell and his teammate Abdul-Malik Abu, which brings us to another topic of discussion. Jared Terrell and Abdul-Malik Abu have discussed playing together in college and have six schools in common in their final 10 list, Providence being one of them. A few commitments that could affect the decision of Jared Terrell include the commitment of guards James Palmer and Adonys Henriquez to Miami and the potential commitment of guard Troy Holston, who has narrowed to USF and Miami, the commitment of Edmond Sumner to Xavier, and the commitments of guards Brandone Francis and Chris Chiozza to Florida. Terrell visited URI last week and will visit Providence this weekend with teammate Abdul-Malik Abu, which will not be their first time on campus. Look for Providence to be in it until the end for Jared Terrell.
Kaleb Joseph 6’3” G Nashua, NH (Cushing Academy)
ESPN #51 Rivals #56 Scout #67 247 Sports #32
Kaleb Joseph is a versatile point guard who can do a little bit of everything on the court. He has a great feel for the game at the point guard position and possesses a solid handle that allows for him to survey the floor while staying under control. He is capable of attacking defenders off the dribble and finishing through contact as well as pulling up for jumpers. Joseph possesses long arms, quickness, and superior athleticism, which allows for him to be disruptive on the defensive end. After watching one game of Joseph’s, one can see the immense potential he possesses as an underrated point guard in his class.
Joseph has been on the Providence radar for a while now and Ed Cooley and his staff have made that clear to Kaleb. Providence has visited Cushing Academy countless times to watch Joseph and has followed his AAU team, Mass Rivals, the former team of Carson Desrosiers, persistently on the Adidas circuit. The Providence staff has built a great relationship with Joseph, who has visited Providence unofficially a number of times including for the Mal Brown scrimmage last summer and for pickup games this summer. Countless high major programs that see his limitless potential have heavily recruited Joseph. However, Joseph recently cut his list following the AAU season to three schools, Providence, Syracuse, and West Virginia. Kaleb Joseph has been quoted as saying Syracuse was his dream school when he was younger, but has to see if that is the right fit for him. In a recent ESPN article by Adam Finkelstein, Joseph stated that Syracuse’s history producing NBA guards such as Michael Carter-Williams and Dion Waiters is a positive for the school. On the Providence side, Joseph stated the graduation of Bryce Cotton and available minutes as a freshman could play a role in his decision. Joseph also has friends from Providence including Kris Dunn and Ricardo Ledo. Joseph, who recently played at Adidas Nations in Las Vegas, is rumored to potentially be visiting Saturday along with Jared Terrell and Abdul-Malik Abu. While Joseph has narrowed his list to three, by all accounts it appears to be a two horse race between Providence and Syracuse and Ed Cooley and staff will be pushing until the finish.
Paschal Chukwu 7’2” C Westport, CT (Fairfield Prep)
ESPN #58 Rivals #66 Scout #49 247 Sports #65
Paschal Chukwu is one of the most underrated centers in the 2014 class. Standing over seven feet, Chukwu is an imposing physical presence in the paint who dominates defensively blocking and altering shots. Although he is somewhat thin physically, Chukwu has great footwork for a big man and rebounds effectively using his height and length. While he is fairly new to the game, his offensive game is a work in progress, but is rapidly improving. You can’t teach size and as he continues to improve his offensive game and add weight, the sky is the limit for this skyscraper. With that being said, Paschal would give the Friars their first true defensive presence in the paint since Friar great Marcus Douthit.
Paschal Chukwu definitely has the quietest recruitment of the “Friar Five” and that is by design. Chukwu came to America from Nigeria a few years ago and attends Fairfield Prep while staying with a host family. He has tried to keep his recruitment quiet with a focus on academics and improving his game. However, Providence, along with Xavier and Connecticut, reached out to Chukwu very early in his recruitment. A relationship was built between Chukwu and Providence, which put Providence in good position once Chukwu began to blow up last summer while playing with CBC, the same AAU club that produced Kris Dunn. Chukwu has visited Providence a number of times unofficially including for the Providence Elite Camp last summer, a couple home games this past season, and for pick up games this summer. Although Chukwu doesn’t pay much attention to his recruitment right now, he continues to mention Providence, Connecticut, and St. Joseph’s when asked. Chukwu is rumored to potentially be unofficially visiting Providence on Saturday. While there continues to be little buzz regarding his recruitment, Providence is certainly in great shape to land the big man who will most likely make a decision closer to the early signing period.
Abdul-Malik Abu 6’8” PF Boston, MA (Kimball Union Academy)
ESPN #44 Rivals #50 Scout #51 247 Sports #73
Abdul-Malik Abu is a versatile power forward known for his athleticism in the paint and a never-ending motor. Abu is a strong power forward who can rebound in traffic, finish around the rim through contact, and dunk everything in sight. However, he has continued to improve his skillset to become more of a face up four man by improving his outside shot and ball handling. Abu is a high-energy player who puts forth maximum effort at all times on the court on both the offensive and defensive ends even during Ramadan in which his religiously called for him to fast during daylight.
Abdul-Malik Abu has been a target of Coach Cooley’s for a long time and that has been no secret. Providence and specifically Ed Cooley have recruited Abu relentlessly whether it be attending every Expressions Elite game the past two summers or travelling to Kimball Union Academy to watch Abu during the year. So many schools have recruited Abdul-Malik Abu that he stopped listing them in interviews so he would not forget any. While Abu listed Providence as the school recruiting him the hardest last summer and during the school year and said this would play a role in his decision. However, recently he has said that all of the schools recruiting him are coming at him hard. Abu has recently cut his ever-growing list down to ten, which includes Providence, Kentucky (no offer), Miami, St. John’s, UCONN, UCLA, Iowa State, Florida, Kansas State, and NC State. Additionally, Louisville recently offered him, but it is unclear whether they will jump onto his list. Once again, six of the schools he lists are in common with his friend and teammate Jared Terrell. Abu and Terrell continue to mention the possibility of a package deal, but are not bound to it. Both players visited Providence unofficially last summer where they came away impressed with the realness of Coach Cooley. Abu also visited Providence for a game this past year and received much attention from Friar fans. Abu and Terrell will visit Providence unofficially again this Saturday. One commitment that could have an impact on Abu’s decision is the potential commitment of Leron Black to Florida. Look for Providence to be in it at the end for Abdul-Malik Abu, but there will be strong competition for him particularly from our neighbors at UCONN.
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