#pcbb Weekly Recruiting Update 5/16/14

Another weekend of competition where coaches cannot observe but that hasn’t stopped them from offering a lot of players. You’ll see below the guys that PC has offered lately. Nike EYBL continues action for the 2nd weekend in a row with Session #3 in Hampton, VA on route to the Peach Jam in mid-July. The Adidas Gauntlet picks up where it left off in the April live period with session #2 in Indianapolis this weekend. PC is heavily involved with many elite players that are playing in both the Nike EYBL and the Adidas Gauntlet. Those two AAU circuits are widely considered to be the two best in terms of talent and organization. Here are all of the events this weekend courtesy of CBS Sports’ Jeff Borzello:

May 16-18

May 17-18

  • Other big news from last weekend is that the Friars never got Larry Austin on campus due to a death in his family. He then committed to Chris Mack and Xavier on Saturday so that’s another 2014 guard off the Friars Big Board.

  • 2014 SG Jared Terrell was rumored to be down to BC and URI and Pittsburgh apparently tried to get involved earlier this week but it appears Terrell really did want to stay close to home and this is a very good pickup for Danny Hurley and the Rams who will have a very talented but young backcourt next season when they come to the Dunk for the annual rivalry game with PC.

  • Naadir Tharpe’s recruitment has been quiet since announcing he was transferring from Kansas. Many believe that Providence may not be interested because of the lewd photo of Tharpe and a topless woman that was posted to Twitter in March along with the fact that there is no guarantee he is granted immediate eligibility but PC is still looking for another guard.

  • Big news about Braxton Blackwell this week:

  • The Friars have now offered 4 of the 5 starters for the Atlanta Celtics AAU team (already offered Braxton Blackwell and Joshua Langford):

  • 2015 SG Malik Beasley has seen his recruitment take off this spring and he visited Georgia last weekend. He currently has offers from Alabama, Auburn, California, Charleston, Cincinnati, East Carolina, George Mason, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, Kansas St, Louisiana Tech, Providence, Rice, Seton Hall, SMU, St. John’s, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UAB, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech. His 247Sports composite national ranking is 123rd but 247Sports ranking is 31 so it’s likely he will be in the top 100 soon with his impressive play so far this spring. Rivals Dan McDonald said Beasley is “one of the biggest risers of the travel season…Coming off a great junior season where he averaged 22 points and eight rebounds in leading his team to a state championship, Beasley continued his strong play in the opening session of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) by averaging 16.7 points per game.” Beasley told McDonald “I’m going to cut my list down to 10 schools after a couple more weeks of the Nike EYBL, and hopefully I’ll have a top five at some point in July. I’ll probably commit sometime before basketball season starts.” Beasley’s high school coach told BigEastCoastBias.com what he sees as a good fit for Providence because “he can make a good impact and fits their style because the guards get a lot of play… Like Marshon Brooks.” Here is his ESPN Scouting Report:

Strengths:
Beasley is a long athletic true shooting guard. He is an explosive finisher on the break. Scores with quick first step slashes and floaters in between defenders, mid range rhythm pull ups and high arcing threes off the catch when he comes off screens or spots up waiting shot ready for the kickout pass. Beasley can defend both guard positions and is alert in the passing lanes away from the ball.

Weaknesses:
Beasley will need to continue to add strength, hone his ball handling skills and continue to work on his jumper from behind the arc off the dribble. We would also like to see Beasley rebound more from the guard position and be more vocal at times especially when he is asked to help at the point guard position.

Bottom Line:
Beasley is a talented shooting guard that is a high major athlete and scorer. He can make plays on the offensive end and is an multiple position defender with great upside.

  • 2015 SF Kaiser Gates has a 247Sports composite national ranking of 107 but 247Sports and Rivals both have him in their top 100’s at the moment. He is AAU teammates with PC targets Braxton Blackwell and Joshua Langford. He has offers from Auburn, Cincinnati, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Houston, Mississippi St, Missouri, Providence, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech. Here is his ESPN Scouting Report:

Strengths:
Gates is a very long and athletic forward the runs the floor extremely well. He is an above the rim shooter and an excellent mid range shooter but also can hit the open 3 when his feet are set. Gates has a great touch in and around the lane off the catch and with turn shots. He has a nice offensive feel and he displays that with his ability to move without the ball and read penetration in order to get to open areas to get his shot off. He long and wiry length allows him to shoot over smaller defenders and late closeouts with ease.

Weaknesses:
Gates will need to add strength and work on making scoring plays off the dribble. He also could be more productive on the boards in which he is very capable.

Bottom Line:
Gates is a long and lean forward that is an excellent mid range shooter and athletic finisher. He must continue to add to and build his game but he has very good shooting skill and tremendous upside.

  • 2016 PG Kobi Simmons is also teammates with Blackwell and Langford and his 247Sports composite national ranking is 23rd. He is a legit stud. 6’5 true point guards don’t come around very often so his services will be in high demand. He is involved in the USA Basketball program so maybe Cooley will get a chance to coach him at some point in the future. He has offers from Auburn, Cincinnati, Georgia, Houston, Mississippi St, Providence and Wake Forest with interest from Alabama, Baylor, Duke, George Mason, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw St, Kentucky, Miami (FL), Missouri, Ohio St, Texas, Vanderbilt and Xavier. Here is his ESPN Scouting Report:

Strengths:
Simmons is a long and lean point guard with excellent skills and matching feel for the game. Simmons can rebound and advance pass or push the pace off the dribble on the break and finish with his length and athletic ability. He has a good handle and passes with his head and eyes up as he attacks looking to make a play for his teammates of call his own number to score. Simmons can hit the open 3, pull up and has a floater that he executes with touch and body control.

Weaknesses:
Simmons should have adding strength at the top of his to do list and work to be a consistent performer.

Bottom Line:
Simmons is a true point with length, skills, and feel for the game. He can get others involved and score as much as needed and in a variety of ways. Simmons has the makings to be a special player with continue hard work and development. Off the charts upside.

Ed Cooley has recruited perhaps the Big East’s best incoming frontcourt, led by ESPN 100 center Paschal Chukwu. The 7-1 big man is going to be a work in progress offensively for a season or two, but he’ll be an immediate game-changer on the defensive end next season. Fellow ESPN 100 prospect Jalen Lindsey is an athletic and versatile combo forward, and Ben Bentil provides a nice complement with his powerful body, ability to rebound in high volume and some inside-out offensive tools. Former Loyola Marymount pledge Kyron Cartwright gives the Friars a left-handed ball handler in the backcourt, but don’t be surprised if Cooley pulls out one more 11th-hour commitment in the backcourt before everything is said and done.

For the third year in a row Providence has a top 100 prospect in their recruiting class. This time they actually have three. Chukwu will help on the interior by way of rebounding, Lindsey is an athletic wing, while Bentil is a 6-8 PF that is active & can make jumpers off the catch.

  • The recruiting site, VerbalCommits.com, has announced a new feature which is pretty cool. It calculates an average recruit star rating by conference so you can see the average talent level within a specific conceference. The Big East comes in 2nd with an average star rating of 3.162 while the ACC was tops with 3.292. For those fans interested in comparing the Big East with the A10, the A10 had an average star rating of 2.485. Cue the people saying recruiting rankings don’t matter.
  • For a preview of the Under Armour Invitational in Houston, TX this weekend by Scout.com, click here. Two notable PC targets playing are Donovan Mitchell and Dupree McBrayer.
  • For a preview of the EYBL Session #3 in Hampton, VA this weekend by Scout.com, click here. Notable PC targets playing are Cheick Diallo, Isaiah Briscoe, Levan Alston, Antonio Blakeney, Justin Robinson, Jalen Coleman, Miles Bridges and plenty more.
  • For a preview of the Adidas Gauntlet #2 in Indianapolis, IN this weekend by Scout.com, click here. Notable PC targets playing are Braxton Blackwell, Joshua Langford, Kobi Simmons, Kaiser Gates, Jalen Adams and Malik Beasley.
  • The Nike EYBL Session #2 in Dallas saw a bunch of PC targets in action. Here are some comments on PC recruits from various Scout.com writers:

Josh Gershon Day One of EYBL:

Antonio Blakeney, SG, E1T1: A big time shooter, Blakeney gets ridiculous elevation on his jumper. He’s a threat to knock down shots off the catch and pull and he’s a very tough player to guard due to just how much lift he gets when he pulls up and shoots. He’s a talented shooting guard should be a really productive player at the next level.

Cheick Diallo, C, Team Scan: You never have to worry about Diallo’s motor and Saturday morning was no exception. Diallo was terrific around the basket, scoring whenever he got the ball around the rim. He’s right-hand dominant in the post, but very efficient in the paint. Beyond his nonstop motor, Diallo’s size, length and athleticism help him block shots and grab rebounds.

Josh Gershon Day Two of EYBL:

Levan Alston, SG, Team Final: This kid had his long ball working at a high level on Sunday morning, hitting 7 of 11 three-pointers in a game against Team Texas Elite. Alston hit them off both the catch and pull in an easy victory. Not just a shooter, Alston also showed to be a committed defender, picking up multiple steals and taking them back the other way for easy baskets. He has nice size for an off guard at 6-foot-5 and good length as well.

It’s hard to not be impressed by Justin Robinson’s understanding of the game. The 2015 Boo Williams point guard did a nice job getting to the basket, running his team and hitting three-pointers despite playing through an injury.

Evan Daniels Day One of EYBL:

Isaiah Briscoe, SG, NJ Playaz: Briscoe’s performance against the Jackson Tigers was arguably the best I’ve seen him play. Briscoe is clearly in better shape than last year and in turn appears a step quicker. He attacked the rim and was aggressive with his drives. Briscoe is a strong finisher once he’s in the painted area and finishes well with either hand through contact. Briscoe also showed off his passing ability tossing out eight assists to just two turnovers. He finished with a team-high 17 points in the win.

Jalen Coleman, SG, All-Ohio Red: An aggressive scorer, Coleman caught fire and hit a number of threes. While the official score sheet had Coleman for five three-pointers, I had him for seven. Regardless, he’s a very good long-range threat, but he’s also a good pull-up jump shoot from mid-range. A 6-foot-4 wing, he’s quick, a good athlete and rebounds well from the guard position. The official stat sheet had him for 23 points in a win over Albany City Rocks.

Evan Daniels Day Two of EYBL:

Antonio Blakeney, SG, E1T1 Elite – Last weekend Blakeney impressed with his scoring efficiency. In one viewing on Sunday, Blakeney kept up his strong play. Although he didn’t connect on his three-point attempts against Athletes First, he did make mid-range pull-ups and scored at the rim. Blakeney is an equipped scorer with the ability to put up points from all three levels. He continues to play with confidence and is due a ranking bump when they are updated. Blakeney scored 21 points on 8-for-17 shooting.

Greatest improvement 

Isaiah Briscoe: The No. 19 player in the ESPN 60 is scoring at a high rate and is becoming a triple-level threat with his ability to make 3s, show a tight pull-up jumper and physically attacking the rim. He runs the team with court awareness and passing accuracy. Briscoe has improved over the last year as he draws a crowd of defenders and goes to work to set up his teammates. Briscoe is carrying a 5-2 assist-to-turnover ratio and creating fouls with his drive game, while averaging eight free throws per game. More importantly he is making his teammates better and getting wins. St. John’s, Villanova, Louisville, UConn and Rutgers are fighting it out for his services. 

Hot shooters 

Bruce Brown: This strong-bodied shooting guard can stop and make transition jumpers from behind the arc or by spotting up when his teammates penetrate. When open, he is not afraid to let it fly and is making 43 percent of his 3s. 

Levan Alston: At 6-foot-4, Alston is a good combination of size and stroke with the green light to shoot in both the conversion game and the half-court offense. He is best off the catch and understands how to spot up in an open pocket as the ball moves. He is shooting a red hot 55 percent from beyond the arc. 

Biggest 2016 riser 

Miles Bridges: His teams don’t run plays for him, but he still manages to score double-figure points and usually grabs double-digest rebounds. Bridges is skilled close to the basket and selective on his attempts. Bridges has some natural scoring instincts and plays with effort. He had a breakout performance, scoring 25 points against Each 1 Teach 1 over the weekend. 

Best Guards:

Eric Davis | The Family

Davis is one of the most consistent scorers on the circuit. He blends filthy handles with a loaded offensive repertoire, leading a balanced Family squad in scoring at 14.5 points per game. He had a huge performance in a high-scoring affair against Each 1 Teach 1, delivering 34 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Jalen Coleman | All Ohio Red

Another player who took a weekend to adapt to the rigors of the EYBL was Jalen Coleman. In the second session, the 6-foot-4 Coleman absolutely lit it up on Saturday. He scored 23 points against The City Rocks and followed it up with a 24-point outing against the St. Louis Eagles. His 67% field goal shooting in Dallas should be a good indication of what kind of scorer Coleman is.

Best Big Men:

Miles Bridges | The Family

The potential Bridges carries is out of this world. Every time we watch the 2016 forward, we walk away impressed with a different aspect of his game. The 6-foot-6 athlete was huge in The Family’s first three games, before struggling against a tough Howard Pulley squad. In four games, Bridges averaged 17.5 points, seven rebounds and three assists. If he remains a consistent contributor, The Family will be competitive with anyone in the league.

On the Rise:

Bruce Brown | G/F | Boston Amateur Basketball Club

Brown is one of our favorite prospects in the 2016 class. The 6-foot-5 swingman led BABC in scoring in all four games, averaging 18.3 points and carrying the Boston squad through a few energy-less games. He is a physically-imposing combo guard and can get into the lane at will. To top it off, he is a menace on the defensive end. While still a sophomore, he is budding into a potential program-changing player.

  • D1Circuit.com’s Jack LeGwin has a good look at how there is a plethora of New England prep school talent playing in the EYBL this year. It’s worth the read.
  • CoreyPorterTV has video highlights of Expressions AAU from the EYBL #2 in Dallas last weekend:
  • 2015 SG Eric Davis was offered by Michigan this week. He joins Jalen Brunson and PC recruit Jalen Coleman as the only players offered by the Michigan staff in 2015 to date.

  • 2015 SG Donovan Mitchell has been given a ton of attention by the Providence staff during his season at Brewster Academy and they are still in constant contact with him. Mitchell told Adam Zagoria on Saturday that he plans on visiting “BC, Creighton, Iowa, St. John’s, Georgia Tech, Cincinnati and others over the summer.” PC is very solid with Mitchell and he has been to campus a ton so I’m not really worried about him not mentioning Providence for visits. He went on to tell Zagoria that coaches from BC, St. John’s and Providence at all of his games in Pittsburgh during the April live period. Mitchell will be playing in the Frankie Williams charity game on May 29th. It was also announced earlier today that Mitchell will be playing in the underclassmen game of the Mary Kline Classic on May 31st.

While Mitchell has been shown the priority treatment, the Friars have gotten involved with some players at his position that are ranked well above him in recruiting rankings. Ed Cooley has shown that he will take a swing at the top players so it should come as no surprise to see PC mentioned for players along with basketball blue bloods.

  • 2015 PG Jalen Adams spoke to “The Basketball Diary” earlier this week and mentioned Providence. Here is the interview:
  • 2015 PG Justin Robinson had a solid showing in Dallas last weekend for Boo Williams in the EYBL Session #2. The team went 3-1 on the weekend with Robinson averaging 6.5 ppg and 2.25 apg in 14 mpg. He had a high scoring effort of 15 points in one game and a high assist effort of 7 in another game. He told me he doesn’t have any visits planned yet because of his busy schedule with AAU and baseball but he has been in contact with the PC staff and said they are “great coaches and great guys off the court.” Robinson holds offers from George Washington, Illinois, Maryland, UMass, Memphis, Old Dominion, Penn State, Providence, Radford, Saint Joseph’s, St. Peter’s, Temple, UNLV and Virginia Tech.
  • Craig Leighton from FriarBasketball.com was at the Hoop Group Jamfest in Providence last weekend and gives his recap of some players to watch. New England Recruiting Report also gave a recap of the Jamfest while CoxSportsOnline.com has a video recap with Adam Finkelstein.
  • A player that was mentioned in the 5/2/14 weekly recruiting update, Ernest Aflakpui, was mentioned by Scout.com’s Brian Snow as being an undervalued recruit in the class of 2015. Snow says:

For me, right now the guy who I think fits this mold is Ernest Aflakpui. It is kind of surprising because he is a high school and AAU teammate of five-star prospect Derrick Jones, but for whatever reason Aflakpui isnt racking up the interest that you might expect given that he is a legit center who can really run the floor and he plays hard.

At the moment schools such as TempleLa Salle, and St. Joe’s have offered, and interest is coming in from places such as VCU, Providence, and Georgia Tech, but at his size and with his athleticism I would think more high-major schools would be beating down the door for Aflakpui.

Seeing him at the Pitt Jam Fest, Aflakpui is a legit 6-foot-9, he runs the floor extremely well, blocks shots, rebounds and has gotten better on the offensive end scoring on the low block. Overall, he is a very good prospect, and one who for whatever reason seems to be flying a bit under the radar for most colleges.

Class of 2014’s best shot-blockers

3. Paschal Chukwu, Providence 
Chukwu is going to have the biggest adjustment of any player on this list when it comes to the level of competition, but his ability to block and changes shots at the rim will be his most immediate impact at Providence. He’s very aggressive patrolling the paint from the weak side, but he also utilizes his shot-blocking prowess to make up for his current lack of strength when defending the ball on the block. While he’s going to need to get stronger, he has an ability to utilize his size and length in order to recover with a block — even when pushed farther under the rim than he would ideally like. 

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