Arguably Providence’s top priority recruit in the Class of 2017 announced his final seven schools via his Twitter account on Tuesday and the Friars made the cut. 2017 Nate Watson released a final seven of Kansas, Maryland, Miami, NC State, North Carolina, Providence and Wake Forest.
Watson and 2017 Makai Ashton-Langford have been the two recruits Ed Cooley and his staff have focused in on as players most wanted to add to Dajour Dickens in Providence’s committed Class of 2017. Watson, who is ranked 104th nationally by 247Sports’ composite national ranking, began to break onto the national scene during the April live evaluation periods where college coaches could track him on the Under Armour Association circuit running with DC Premier. He made his presence felt early in the NYC session on April 15th by scoring 26 points, ripping down 11 rebounds and swatting 3 shots in his team’s opening game. Watson averaged 14.8 points/game on 62.5% from the field, 6.2 rebounds/game and 1.2 blocks/game in 12 games played during the three sessions of the UAA. Watson is listed at 6’8, 250 lbs and sports a 7’2 wingspan.
During the year, Watson attends Bishop O’Connell after transferring from Capitol Christian last summer. At Capitol Christian he was in the Class of 2018, but has re-classified back to 2017 since enrolling at Bishop O’Connell. Watson, who also attended the prestigious NBPA Top 100 camp, has discussed visits in multiple different articles with varying plans, but he has already taken an unofficial visit to nearby Maryland.
Watson has been getting the treatment that Providence fans have come to recognize of Cooley’s top recruiting targets. Cooley and two assistants were three deep for Watson’s first game of the UAA Finals in the second July live evaluation period after Cooley was on hand at Under Armour’s All-American camp held during the first live evaluation period of July. The Friars continued to have at least one coach on him throughout the month. With some high profile programs like Maryland, North Carolina and Kansas among Watson’s finalists, it remains to be seen if Cooley will finally land top July target after being spurned by Abdul Malik-Abu, Donovan Mitchell and Wenyen Gabriel in three successive years. The Friars currently only have one open scholarship for the 2017-18 season, but scholarship situations are ever-changing in today’s college basketball world where hundreds of players transfer each offseason.
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