Recruiting Update: Big Man Search Goes North of the Border, ESPN Player Rankings Updated & More

Recruiting never stops and Providence continues to scowl the landscape for a big man to add to the class of 2016 that currently only includes point guard Maliek White. There are certainly some names that have become well-known to Providence fans over the last few months like Darius Hicks, Levi Cook, Isaiah Whaley and others. But some new ones also surfaced recently. A Friar coach was also spotted at a NEPSAC game on Wednesday. Shifting gears to future classes, ESPN released their updated player rankings for the classes of 2017 and 2018 and there are some notable Friar recruits scattered among the lists. The Friars also extended an offer to a player in the class of 2018 over the weekend after various Friar coaches attended the talent-heavy Hoophall Classic that took place at Springfield College from January 14th-18th.

Friars Looking North for a Big

Providence has been chasing a big man — or two — for some time now. Some of the familiar names of Whaley, Hicks, Cook, Taurean Thompson, Iran Bennett and others have become virtual household names to those that follow Providence’s recruiting closely. A new name that surfaced recently on Providence’s radar is Kalif Young. Young is a 6’9 Canadian playing at Ontario-based Orangeville Prep. The 18 year old ran with CIA Bounce on the grassroots circuit last spring and summer. Young also has international experience with Team Canada on the U16 team in 2013 and U17 team in 2014. Measurements taken at the 2015 Biosteel All-Canadian game show Young measuring at 6’8.5 without shoes, sporting a 7’0 wingspan and weighing in at 261 lbs. In short, Young would be a true center that Providence is lacking on their roster right now. Providence extended an offer Young’s way on January 9th. Other notable suitors are Duke, Indiana, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. Coaches from Duke, Indiana and Syracuse were at Young’s game on Wednesday night. Pittsburgh is the only other high major besides the Friars to have extended an offer as of now.

LaFleur Hits the Road…to Wilbraham

Providence coaches, namely Ed Cooley and Andre LaFleur, have been working hard lately for two players at Brewster Academy in the class of 2016. One is a player that fits Providence’s needs in the frontcourt — Taurean Thompson — and the other is a player that seems to fit Cooley’s eye — Alpha Diallo — when it comes to his love of versatile and hard-nosed players. Cooley spent most of the day on January 6th at the Brewster campus in Wolfeboro, NH, including having lunch with the players and taking in the team’s evening practice. A few days later, Cooley and his entire staff were spotted at Northfield Mount Hermon for the Hoggers’ game against…..Brewster Academy. This served a dual purpose for Cooley as he got to continue to be seen by Thompson and Diallo and put in some face time with 2017 target Tomas Murphy. Providence, namely Brian Blaney, is also recruiting 2018 forward Nate Laszewski at NMH. Most recently, it was LaFleur who was spotted at a Brewster game, this time at Wilbraham & Monson on Wednesday night. Diallo led the Bobcats with 22 points and 10 rebounds in the win over NMH.

ESPN’s Updated Player Rankings

ESPN put out updated player rankings for classes 2016, 2017 and 2018 this week. There are only nine players on ESPN’s 2016 Top 100 that remain available and two of those nine were mentioned above. There are only 11 committed players on ESPN’s 2017 Top 60 and Providence has varying degrees of involvement with players on that list. ESPN’s 2018 list is only a Top 25 and yet the Friars still have a couple names they are involved with there.

Class of 2016
  • #86 – Taurean Thompson – PF/C – Brewster Academy
  • #94 – Alpha Diallo – SF – Brewster Academy
  • The Big East has 7 commitments on ESPN’s 2016 Top 100
Class of 2017
Class of 2018
  • #6 – Naz Reid – PF/C – Roselle Catholic
  • #15 – Jalen Smith – PF – Mount St. Joseph

Friars Looking to 2018

Providence dished out an offer this week to a 2018 guard from Canada. Jaelin Llewellyn and his Orangeville Prep team played at the Hoophall Classic over the MLK weekend and caught the eye of the Friar staff. He’s a 6’2 guard who played on Team Canada’s U16 team at FIBA worlds in Argentina in 2015. He also ran with CIA Bounce on the grassroots circuit. Elias Sbiet at NorthPoleHoops.com described Llewellyn as “a precision passer with spacial awareness, several breakdown and counter moves, along with scoring ability both from the three point line and at the cup.”

Joining the Friars in offering Llewellyn after the weekend’s action were Creighton, Fairfield and Wake Forest. Tennessee and UNLV offered back in October of 2015. Creighton may have an inside track on the Canadian since Bluejay assistant Preston Murphy played with Jaelin’s dad at URI.

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2 thoughts on “Recruiting Update: Big Man Search Goes North of the Border, ESPN Player Rankings Updated & More”

  1. Is Providence still hosting a potential student athlete this weekend with the weather about to hit the Northeast?

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