#pcbb Weekly Recruiting Update 5/23/14

Some exciting new site features are in the works regarding recruiting and I hope to have everything built and ready to go before the July live period. Keep an eye out.

Effective 12:00am on Thursday we are now in a recruiting dead period. The dead period will last until next Friday, May 30th. For more information on the recruiting calendar and what a dead period means, click here. Being a dead period doesn’t stop the AAU circuits from continuing. This is another weekend where Nike EYBL and Adidas Gauntlet will both be in action and there are also a few other events taking place over the Memorial Day weekend. Here are all of the events this weekend courtesy of CBS Sports’ Jeff Borzello:

May 23-25

May 23-26

May 24-26

There are a two guard names that the Friars have apparently are now focusing on for their 1 available scholarship left in the 2014 class. One would be an incoming freshman while the other would be an incoming senior who would be immediately eligible with 1 year left. The incoming freshman is Tramaine Isabell who was recently released from his National Letter of Intent at Washington State. It’s a bit of a bizarre released because he signed with the prior coaching staff and when the new coach came on board, Isabell re-committed to them a month ago. There are rumors that Isabell may have grade issues and could be at risk on not qualifying and that’s why the new Wazzu staff “pushed” him out. Providence certainly has not had good luck with the NCAA clearinghouse recently so this looks like it could be a risky proposition though they have offered along with Auburn (who may now be out because of 2 recent guard commitments this week) and Missouri. Isabell also tweeted out the below picture indicating that God Shammgod is in contact with him.



The other name is Antoine Mason.

He is the son of former New York Knick, Anthony Mason and announced this week that he has officially received his release from Niagara where he was 2nd in the nation in scoring last season at 25.6 ppg. Mason will be blocked from transferring to a MAAC school and also cannot transfer to a school on Niagara’s 2014-15 schedule which includes St. John’s so the Queens native will be looking elsewhere.

Mason is a volume scorer who took a lot of shots and lived at the free throw line last season for the Purple Eagles. 25.6 ppg is a massive number and there is no question that Providence is losing scoring with Cotton and Batts graduating but 5th year transfers who need lots of shots can affect team chemistry so I’d be a little wary of taking Mason. Having said that, I’d rather take Mason than Isabell if the rumors about his academic issues scared off Washington State. As each weekly recruiting update goes by, the names of available players changes so there are no guarantees that PC will have a better option than Antoine Mason to come in and fill a need for 1 season. The other factor in the “pro” column in favor of Mason is that he is a 1 year rental that will come off the books and not affect any future recruiting for 2015 and 2016 where PC is involved with a number of highly ranked guards.

  • Naadir Tharpe’s recruitment continues to be very quiet but it would appear that the ship has sailed with PC as they are concerned about the photo of Tharpe and the topless 38 year old as well as the fact that he is no guarantee to be immediately eligible because he will need a waiver and a ruling isn’t guaranteed to happen before the school year.
  • This week was more quiet on the offer front for PC than last week but we did learn some information about a new name. 2015 PG Justin Jenifer apparently has a top 3 already and PC is in it along with Cincinnati where he will take an official visit on June 6th and Texas Tech. I’m not sure that Jenifer is in PC’s top 3 for guards in 2015 but it’s nice to know that he likes the Friars. Jenifer is a diminutive 5’9 left handed lead guard who has seen his national ranking drop outside the top 100 (Rivals #112 right now) as some have said others have caught up to him. His lack of size definitely is beginning to hurt him more now that he is going to be a senior next season at Milford Mill Academy in Maryland. He plays for Team Takeover on the AAU circuit and they play in the EYBL. So far this EYBL season, he is averaging 8.1 ppg 4.1 apg and 1.2 spg in 11 games.

Scout.com’s Rob Harrington Day Two of EYBL:

Antonio Blakeney, SG, E1T1 — Based on this weekend, one might make the case for Blakeney in the national top 15. That’s how good he’s been. Maybe that’s unrealistic unless he performs at this level consistently — and, to be, clear, he has been close at prior EYBL sessions — but at this moment he appears to be a probable McDonald’s All-American. His 42-point outburst against Team United opened his Saturday, but he followed that up with 24 points in a narrow evening defeat to the Travelers. Most impressive: He hoisted 15 total threes in those two games, while also going shooting 20 total free throws. That’s the sort of balance that suggests big things.

HoopsIntel’s Corey Evans Day Two of EYBL:

Terance Mann 6’5/BABC

Mann oh man, was Terance Mann great. It seems that his stock soars to higher flights by each passing day and in a Saturday afternoon session, the BABC wing was fabulous all game long. The best way to describe him is as a high-major scorer, not shooter just yet. He primarily does his work off the bounce with the right hand and can score on pull-ups out to 22-feet. Mann also can get into the teeth of the defense and pass the ball appropriately to open teammates near the bucket. His handles have developed, body has tightened up, and scoring and passing prowess continues to expand. Scoring it for 22 off of just 13 shot attempts is the model of efficiency and gives good reason to why he holds such a long offer list. He is far from closing out his recruitment and remains in gathering mode at this time.

Aaron Falzon 6’8/Expressions

Shooters are always a must, especially at the high level. Look at March Madness and how do the Cinderella’s put on their glass slipper….? By way of the shooter. Falzon fits the mold with his prolific shot-making from behind the arc and it wasn’t the first time that we saw the Northfield Mt. Hermon product hit on seven 3’s in a game. What makes Falzon so good is his ability to move off the basketball and replace gaps in the half-court offense. He also brings some added toughness to the tin on both ends, an evolving ability to put the ball on the floor off his right hand and take his man off the bounce, and the willingness to scrap for the loose ball. It seems that Falzon would have to find the proper situation in college as a face-up 4-man, though programs like Northwestern, Creighton, and Boston College have already dished one out to the Expressions forward.

Miles Bridges 6’6/The Family

Quite possibly the standout of the evening, Bridges was remarkable in his squad’s close margin victory against Expressions. Bringing some Detroit toughness to the floor, the lefty was scoring it with either hand in the land and also stepped out and nailed the 3-point jumper off the catch. It was by far the best we have ever seen the Huntington Prep forward play. He has never been a slouch with toughness and physicality and he lent it out like Santa Claus giving out his gifts on a Christmas morning. Finishing with 18 points, seven boards, three assists, and two steals doesn’t really tell it all for the Michigan native, but the Family forward was the catalyst for his team’s win on Saturday. After his game, Bridges rattled off a short list of schools with offers and interest, yet noted that he wanted to land one from UNC in the future.

  • ESPN’s Adam Finkelstein and John Stovall gave out some superlatives from the EYBL Session #3 and a few PC recruits made the cut:

More scoring guards 
Isaiah Briscoe: His style is similar to Trier in that he gets his body on the defender, manipulates the contact to get to the free-throw line or creates leverage in order to either step back for his pull-up or angle his way to the rim by leaning in and carrying the defender on his back. His impact went beyond just scoring this weekend as he found teammates when the defense collapsed on him and also did a nice job providing a perimeter rebounder. 

Antonio Blakeney: The 6-foot-4 guard was good from start to finish this weekend, but at his best in a 42-point outburst on Saturday. Blakeney is a versatile perimeter scorer who is a threat in all three ranges. He shoots it very well from the 3-point line, can rise up with quick, fluid pull-ups in the mid-range area and also be quick and decisive when taking it to the rim. Because he has no aversion to contact, he also earns his fair share of free-throw attempts. 

Best frontcourt tandems 
Cheick Diallo and Thomas Bryant: The “motor brothers” were dominant this weekend. Beyond their collective energy and intensity, their defensive impact was unmatched. Both are high-level shot-blockers and rebounders, albeit in their own distinct styles. Diallo utilizes his athleticism and mobility to fly around the court and make multiple bounces on a single possession. Bryant relies more on his sheer size, length and intimidating presence. Offensively, Diallo is as good of a rim runner and bouncy finisher as there is, while Bryant showed off a few different moves with his back to the basket. 

Best senior big man 
Alex Illikainen: He doesn’t have some of the same physical upside as other top big men in the class, but he had a terrific weekend. He opened the session by knocking down a game-winning 15-footer, rolling off a side ball-screen and utilizing his high release and soft touch. Later, he proved himself against two of the best big men in the country, going for 27 points and seven rebounds while matched up against Team Scan. Illikainen is also a terrific passer for his size and able to facilitate from both the low and high posts. 

Biggest stock riser 
Terance Mann: He has been a well-known prospect for some time, but he’s taking his game to new levels as of late. He’s arguably as important to his BABC team as any other player on the circuit. At 6-5, with a long and increasingly strong build, he handles the majority of their ball-handling responsibilities, leads the team in both assists and rebounds, asserts himself defensively, and is now even creating offense for himself with new-found regularity. 

Best Guards:

Antonio Blakeney | E1T1

During the first game of the session, the 6-foot-4 scoring machine delivered 42 points on Team United, going 14-for-20 from the field en route to a 103-77 win. In the blowout, Blakeney went 5-for-8 from distance and 9-for-10 from the free throw line. In what was a remarkable display of offense, Blakeney scored in just about every possible fashion. In the year of the shooting guard, Blakeney is proving to be among the elite. Through three sessions, he has put of averages of 19.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Expect more fireworks in Minneapolis.

Best Big Men:

Cheick Diallo | Team SCAN

Diallo is the complete package. The 6-foot-9 athletic center lead Team SCAN to a perfect 4-0 record in Hampton, earning gritty wins over Howard Pulleyand The Family. He was particularly huge in the win over a streaking Howard Pulley squad, racking up 23 points on 8-for-11 shooting, 16 rebounds and six blocks. He forms one of the best frontcourt duos in Thomas Bryant, and it looks like they are peaking at the perfect time.

Miles Bridges | The Family

Bridges performances this weekend lead to an offer from Big 12 powerhouse Kansas, and the offer is well-warranted. The sophomore averaged 17.3 points, nine rebounds and 1.8 blocks, helping The Family to three huge wins and putting them back into Peach Jam contention. He hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer against King James, giving The Family a two-overtime win. Their only loss was to Hampton-unbeaten Team SCAN, and Bridges was a gigantic reason for that success.

  • The Adidas Gauntlet #2 in Indy also had a good amount of PC targets. Here are some mentions from various sources:

Scout.com’s Brian Snow

Class of 2015

Jalen Adams, SG, Mass Rivals – There is no doubt he is a volume player, but Adams can flat out get buckets. Adams is super-fast baseline to baseline and can fill it up going to the rim. Also he is a capable shooter who showed an ability to hit from out to 22 feet. He needs to make some better decisions, but Adams was asked to shoulder the load and he did just that, and found a way to lead his team to a win.

Bennie Boatwright, PF, Gamepoint – Playing with a new team, Boatwright made a tremendous impression on his teammates. He was absolutely unconscious from deep hitting three after three, and was instrumental in his team coming back and winning. Boatwright is one of the elite shooters in the country, and has great size to go with it. Now he is kind of stiff as an athlete, but in catch and shoot situations it is impressive what he can do.

Class of 2016

Kobi Simmons, PG, Atlanta Celtics – There might not have been a more impressive performer on the day than Simmons. He has legit size, elite athleticism, and the ability to really finish off the bounce. Also Simmons hit a few jumpers from deep, and overall was impossible to stop. Simmons was dominant at times and nobody was able to stop him from getting to the rim when he put his mind to it. Simmons has big time natural talent, and is beginning to put it all together.

  • The Under Armour Invitational probably had the least amount of Providence recruits compared to the EYBL and Gauntlet (amazing how Ed Cooley and his staff are truly recruiting at the highest levels) but here are some mentions:

Scout.com’s Evan Daniels/Josh Gershon:

Markis McDuffie, PF, Sports U – During the high school season, McDuffie spent majority of his time playing on the block, but with Sports U he’s playing strictly on the perimeter. At 6-foot-6, maybe 6-7, McDuffie is mobile and athletic. He’s also a guy that can step out and make jump shots, as he hit a jumper from mid-range and a pair from behind the stripe. At this stage, he’s more of a face up four, but if he’s going to continue to play on the perimeter he’s going to need to spruce up his ball handling.

New Heights guard Dupree McBrayer knocked down four of five three-point attempts in a win over Texas Pro. The 6-foot-3 wiry guard is a confident shooter that can create his own shot off the dribble. He scored 14 points in the win.

Tomas Murphy, PF, NE Playaz – The brother of Erik and Alex is just a freshman, but he already has a strong reputation around high school basketball circles. A 6-foot-7 power forward, Murphy is a hard-playing prospect. He’s competitive and active on both ends. Murphy has good awareness in the paint and is able to score with his back to the rim and facing it. He has sure hands, good touch and is also a talented passer.

  • So you can probably tell by now that 2016 Miles Bridges is having a really good showing on the EYBL circuit. In the 12 games The Family has played in EYBL so far, Bridges is averaging 14.8 ppg 7.3 rpg and 1.4 bpg in 28.2 mpg. He has hit a number of clutch shots to tie and take leads and he has been relied on late in games and in overtimes. His recruitment is really heating up and he got an offer from Kansas this week.

But there is good news for Friar fans in regards to Jalen Lindsey’s former Huntington Prep teammate – Bridges is planning to visit Providence this summer. Bridges spoke with James Henderson of PackPride.com, an NC State site, this week. Bridges said “right now I’m hearing from West Virginia, Providence, Michigan State, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas, Kentucky, Oregon, Ohio State, and NC State…right now I’m probably going to visit Oregon, Providence, and Michigan State over the summer. I’d say Michigan State is recruiting me the hardest.” Picture this Friar fans: Miles Bridges and Braxton Blackwell visiting Providence this summer hosted by Jalen Lindsey.

  • 2016 Braxton Blackwell spoke with AllHoosiers.com at the Adidas Gauntlet event in Indianapolis last weekend:

Here are highlights of Blackwell’s play from Indy last weekend:

  • CoxSportsOnline.com did a nice player profile of BABC’s Terance Mann with some video interview as well.
  • 2017 Kimani Lawrence had a posterization dunk at EYBL last weekend:
  • D1Circuit.com’s Alex Kinsky spoke to 2015 PC recruit Antonio Blakeney and Blakeney talks about his strengths and weaknesses and how he has no favorites on the recruiting trail. He does continue to list Providence. It’s worth the read.
  • FriarBasketball.com’s Kevin Farrahar gives his recap from last weekend’s action for some PC targets including Jalen Adams and Aaron Falzon.
  • Adam Finkelstein spoke with 2 PC recruits in Jarred Reuter and Steve Enoch for CoxSportsOnline.com.
  • CoxSportsOnline.com has a post from the New England Recruiting Report on the Memorial Day Super 16 Showcase which will take place in New London, CT this weekend and feature a number of PC recruits like Tomas Murphy, Steve Enoch and Dupree McBrayer. Click here for their preview.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone!

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