Catching Up After the July Live Periods

Now that the July live periods have come and gone the PC staff will be doing the same thing as the players they were on the road watching all month: evaluate where they stand with players.

The coaching staff will have meetings to discuss where they think they stand with players just as those players will have meetings with their families, mentors and coaches. Players have already begun cutting lists and Providence has even made their way onto some of those lists. Here is a catch up of where Providence stands after the three July live evaluation periods:

Lists Cuts and Commitments Elsewhere

2015 Donovan Mitchell

A recent pcbb1917.com poll asked respondents to give their confidence level that PC will land Mitchell. The results were that most fans can’t get a good read on Mitchell’s recruitment. That’s likely due to the fact that he has blown up and has drawn attention and offers from some big time programs like Louisville and Indiana among others. Louisville has been all over him and he recently got offered by Kansas.

His original plan was to commit in September but with the new interest and offers Mitchell has decided to hold off on a decision for a little while to evaluate all the newcomers and take more visits. I can’t see how that’s good news for the Friars as I think most people expected that if the September timeline remained intact, Mitchell would give his commitment to Ed Cooley. The waters are considerably more muddy than they were a few months ago. Having said all of that, Providence did make their way onto Mitchell’s top 10 list that he announced on July 31st:

Mitchell told Corey Evans of HoopsIntel.com that he plans to visit Villanova on August 4th, Louisville August 7th-8th and is looking to cut his list down to 5 by the end of August. I’m told from a source that a September decision isn’t out of the question at this point but that will depend on how many visits can be scheduled during August and how those visits go. But ultimately Mitchell doesn’t know exactly when he will make a decision.

2015 Alex Owens

Alex Owens is someone I didn’t quite realize was as high on Providence as it appears that he is. I always thought he would end up at LSU where his AAU teammate Ben Simmons is heading. LSU didn’t make the cut though. Owens cut his list down to 5 on July 25th and then subsequently cut the list down to 3 on July 27th where Pittsburgh and Houston were eliminated but Providence stayed in:

Owens recently told UndercoverFriar that he plans on visiting Providence soon:

2015 Teki Gill-Caesar

There were rumors for the last few months that Gill-Caesar was thinking about reclassifying back to the class of 2014 and enrolling at a school this fall. That doesn’t appear to be happening. On July 30th, Hoops Hype CA tweeted out that Gill-Caesar had a short list:

Providence made the short list but many people think Missouri is in the driver’s seat after they hired Gill-Caesar’s former prep coach, Rob Fulford.

2015 Antonio Blakeney

Blakeney had continued to mention Providence all throughout the April and July live periods. Based on his list of schools and the national attention he was garnering, most Friar fans believed Blakeney to be a long shot at best. That turned out to be true as PC didn’t make it to Blakeney’s final 7:

2015 Levan Alston

Alston had early interest from PC but that interest had waned over the last several months. On July 30th, Alston cut his list to a top 6 of Temple, VCU, Marquette, Notre Dame, Penn State and Penn, per CityofBasketballLove.com.

2015 Matt Ryan

Ryan committed to Notre Dame on July 11th.

2015 Elijah Burns

Burns committed to Notre Dame on July 19th.

2015 Sam Miller

Miller committed to Dayton on July 30th.

This and That

2014 guard Ricky Council II had a good showing during the July live periods and even went off for 35 in the final game. PhenomHoopReport.com is reporting that Virginia Tech was tracking him during the live periods and that prep school is still an option if a high major offer doesn’t come from someone. Providence doesn’t seem like they want to pull the trigger which might be a product of Council II not wanting to go that far from home or it could just be that the staff feels confident enough with what they have at this point and will take their chances with adding guards in 2015. Whatever the reason is I wouldn’t expect Council II to be a Friar.

I was down in Philadelphia to catch some of the Reebok Breakout Classic during the 1st July live period. While there I was able to see a number of Providence targets live in person for the first time. I saw two games of Donovan Mitchell’s and he is even more impressive live than on the YouTube mixtapes. He is explosive, physical and he can now shoot. He is dangerous and seeing him live made me truly appreciate how much he blew up during the month of July.

2015 Ernest Aflakpui is an effort big who is relentless on the boards and showed more offense than I expected though he isn’t Hakim Olajuwon down low at this point.

2015 wing Derrick Jones played on the same team as Mitchell during this event and he had some explosive dunks and his athleticism was on full display in all the games I watched. He is rail thin though and will need to gain a lot of strength before getting into the college game.

Also playing with Mitchell and Jones was Mitchell’s Brewster Academy teammate 2015 Jarred Reuter. Reuter showed more touch around the rim than I expected, displaying a smooth looking baby hook over his right shoulder. He did his obligatory banging down low and also showed some skilled passing.

2015 Steve Enoch is a freak athlete. He is still learning the game but he showed incredible ability for someone who has only been serious about basketball for roughly a year. I sat behind Kevin Ollie during one of his games and Ollie was looking on intently.

2015 Andrew Robinson will do a prep year at Putnam Science Academy this season along with his twin brother. I’ve been told PC has interest in Andrew. I was not overly impressed by Robinson in the game I saw but it can be hard to judge a player based on one game in an event where you are on a team with random players. I did hear he played well during the team events in July.

2016 Sedee Keita will be a big time recruit. The big man has the ability to play inside and out and is tough on the boards. His issue at this point is that he either needs to dramatically improve his perimeter game or spend less time out there until he does. He is still learning the game and how to play it in his large and athletic body but I expect he will figure it out soon and could have a breakout season but that apparently won’t be at Vermont Academy as he is in the process of picking a new school.

I also saw 2017 big man Tomas Murphy and came away impressed by his basketball IQ. He seemed to always do the little things that don’t show up in the box score like tipping a rebound to a teammate or sealing off a defender so a guard had a path to the rim. He wasn’t as athletic as I thought he would be but he is still so young and should continue to fill out and grow. I believe he was one of two or three players from the class of 2017 in attendance at the Reebok Breakout Classic.

2015 Terance Mann was supposed to visit Providence back in June but rescheduled his trip due to travel back from the Kevin Durant Skills Academy. The date originally thrown out for that visit was August 1st but I haven’t been able to confirm if Mann is still planning on visiting on that date.

I recently talked to 2015 Justin Robinson who said he will attend the CP3 Elite Camp August 7th-11th. He also mentioned that he is planning on coming up to Providence but a date hasn’t been chosen yet.

2015 Alex Illikainen broke his nose during the Nike Peach Jam in the 2nd live period of July so he didn’t compete with his Howard Pulley team at AAU Nationals in Louisville during the last live period. He will be heading up to Brewster pretty soon to begin his senior season at the New Hampshire prep school.

2016 Bruce Brown plans to visit Providence in August, per an article by Scott Phillips of College Basketball Talk.

2016 Braxton Blackwell had a very good live period but garnered a lot of praise during the final live period in Vegas with CBS Sports’ Jeff Borzello calling Blackwell “one of the most consistently impressive performers during the third evaluation period.” In the past Blackwell has indicated that he wants to visit Providence possibly this summer. We’ll see if that happens.

2016 Tyus Battle made the U17 USA team that will compete in Dubai beginning August 9th in the FIBA U17 World Championships. In all, 6 PC recruits tried out for the U17 team in Colorado Springs during the final live period.

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