Providence Recruiting Update: Class of 2019 Phones Ringing

June 15th at 12:00am marked the first time that coaches could directly contact members of the class of 2019 — rising high school juniors. Ed Cooley and his staff worked the phones all day and reached out to a number of targets. The annual tradition with each rising junior class leads to a bevy of tweets about interest and offers and the Providence staff made their fair share of contact already with the class of 2019. A bigger deal is made of this first contact period but it does give media members and fans an idea about which players Providence is prioritizing and trying to build a relationship with between now and the early signing period for this class in November of 2018. Let’s take a look at some of the new and notable names that heard from the Friars on June 15th.

Akok Akok

  • Class of 2019
  • Putnam Science Academy
  • Hometown: Manchester, NH
  • Power Forward
  • 6’8 195 lbs
  • AAU Team: Mass Rivals (adidas)

Akok appears to be one of the next men up for the Mass Rivals squad that has produced tons of talent over the years, including Providence incoming freshman Makai Ashton-Langford and 2018 recruiting targets David Duke and AJ Reeves. Previously a member of the 2018 class, Akok re-classified last summer when transferring from Manchester West to Putnam Science Academy. He is running with the 17U Mass Rivals — alongside Duke and Reeves — on the adidas Gauntlet series this year. Through two sessions during April Mass Rivals is 8-0 and Akok is averaging 12.0 points/game, 4.0 blocks/game and is shooting 54.8% from beyond the arc on 42 attempts. Akok also recently attended the prestigious NBPA Top 100 camp and was invited to the adidas Nations, which will take place in California next week.

Akok, who is the nephew of Manute Bol, is still raw but has the physical tools and is developing an inside-out game. He recently told Cardinal Authority that he is “comfortable playing the wing” and said he doesn’t “like to be down there in the post except block a lot of shots on defense.” Akok currently holds offer from Creighton, DePaul, Iona, Louisville, Manhattan, Massachusetts, NC State, Providence, Rhode Island, Rutgers, St. Bonaventure, Virginia Tech and Washington State.

Armando Bacot

  • Class of 2019
  • Trinity Episcopal
  • Hometown: Richmond, VA
  • Power Forward
  • 6’8 225 lbs
  • AAU Team: Team Loaded VA (adidas Gauntlet)

Bacot has seen his recruitment blow up over the last several months. The big-bodied forward with a 7’2 wingspan just turned 16 in March and spent April with Team Loaded VA on the adidas Gauntlet series. Bacot averaged a double-double so far through two sessions in April. Team Loaded VA went 8-0 and Bacot averaged 14.9 points/game, 10.9 rebounds/game while blocking nearly 2 shots per game. He has pulled down double-digit rebounds in 6 of the 8 games. The Friars offered Bacot back in August of 2016 and their call on June 15th shows they are still chasing the talented Richmond native despite the crowded offer pool of high major schools. Bacot holds offers from Baylor, California, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Harvard, Iowa, James Madison, Kansas, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Miami, NC State, Old Dominion, Penn State, Providence, Richmond, Saint Louis, St. John’s, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCF, UCLA, USC, VCU, Villanova, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

Khalif Battle

  • Class of 2019
  • Roselle Catholic
  • Hometown: Edison, NJ
  • Point Guard
  • 6’4 180 lbs
  • AAU Team: Team Final (Nike EYBL 16U)

Battle is the younger brother of current Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. The elder Battle was recruited by Providence before ultimately choosing the Orange. Khalif is beginning to make his own name with Team Final’s 16U team on the Nike EYBL circuit. He will be transferring from St. Joe’s Metuchen to Roselle Catholic for his junior season and his recruitment is just starting to pick up some steam as July approaches. Battle’s current offer list includes Iona, Rutgers and Saint Joseph’s.

Caleb Burgess

  • Class of 2019
  • WestRidge Academy
  • Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC
  • Point Guard
  • 6’3 170 lbs
  • AAU Team: Big Shots Elite

Burgess was a teammate of 2018 Providence target Joel Ntambwe at Forest Trails Academy last year until Ntambwe was moved to the post-grad team midway through the season. Burgess, who plays with Big Shots Elite, led his team in points, assists and steals as the youngest player on the squad. Burgess had been a member of the 2018 class until he re-classed to 2019 because he’s young for 2018. Burgess has Campbell, Cinicnnati, Clemson, Denver, Drexel, East Carolina, Kent State, LSU, Providence, Tulsa, UNC-Greensboro and Wake Forest recruiting him right now. He will attend Providence’s Elite Camp this weekend and the day I talked to Burgess last week he had just received mail from Providence.

Tyler Burton

  • Class of 2019
  • Marianapolis Prep
  • Hometown: Uxbridge, MA
  • Wing Guard
  • 6’5 180 lbs
  • AAU Team: Mass Rivals 16U (adidas Gauntlet)

Burton is another rising star for Mass Rivals. After a 5 inch growth spurt last year Burton is now 6’5 and has a 6’8 wingspan. He’s another player that was previously a member of the class of 2018. He is the son of former Friar Quinton Burton. He currently attends Marianapolis Prep and plays with the 16U Mass Rivals team on the adidas Gauntlet series. Since June 15th Burton has reportedly heard from Holy Cross, Massachusetts, Northeastern, Providence, Quinnipiac and San Diego.

Charles Coleman

  • Class of 2019
  • Dexter School
  • Hometown: Boston, MA
  • Center
  • 7’0  220 lbs
  • AAU Team: WrightWay Skills (Hoop Group)

Coleman attends the Dexter School and runs with WrightWay Skills. Coaching Coleman at both spots is former Providence graduate assistant under Cooley, George Wright-Easy. Coleman goes by CJ and has a big frame at 7’0 and 220 pounds. The future appears bright for Coleman. He holds offers from Boston University, Columbia, Connecticut, Iona, Quinnipiac, Rider, South Florida, Stony Brook and UNLV. He also reportedly heard from Northeastern, Notre Dame, Providence and Rutgers on June 15th.

Jamier Fletcher

  • Class of 2019
  • First Love Christian Academy
  • Hometown: Munhall, PA
  • Power Forward
  • 6’7  230 lbs
  • AAU Team: OBC (adidas Gauntlet Series)

Fletcher previously attended Steel Valley HS and was a member of the class of 2018 before deciding to transfer and re-classify to 2019 at First Love Christian Academy. He runs with the 16U Ohio Basketball Club (OBC) on the adidas Gauntlet series. Fletcher just received his first offer last week when Morehead State reached out. He is also hearing from Akron, Denver, Miami (OH), Oregon, Providence, Rice and more.

Michael Fowler

  • Class of 2019
  • Greensboro Day
  • Hometown: Raleigh, NC
  • Small Forward
  • 6’8  190 lbs
  • AAU Team: Team CP3 (Nike EYBL 16U)

Fowler, nicknamed “Big Mike”, runs with 16U Team CP3 on the Nike EYBL circuit. He transferred to Greensboro Day from Cary Academy in December, which means he’s playing with some other Providence targets like John Newman III. The Friars will look to continue to build a relationship with the big wing who told pcbb1917.com that he “enjoyed the conversation [he] had with Coach [Jeff] Battle.” Fowler is currently being recruited by Charlotte, College of Charleston, East Carolina, Elon, Hampton, Liberty, NC State, NC Central, Providence and Yale. His first offer came in April from Hampton.

Greg Gantt

  • Class of 2019
  • Trinity Christian Academy
  • Hometown: Fayetteville, NC
  • Small Forward
  • 6’7  190 lbs
  • AAU Team: Team Felton (Under Armour Association)

Gantt attends Trinity Christian Academy and runs with Team Felton alongside fellow 2019 Providence recruit Joey Baker. Team Felton went 6-6 in the first two UAA sessions and averaged 6.1 points/game and 6.3 rebounds/game in those 12 games. Gant currently holds offers from Campbell, DePaul, East Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, Grambling, Hampton and South Carolina. Since June 15th Gantt has heard from Denver, Elon, Georgia, Louisville, Providence, NC State, UCLA and UConn.

Brycen Goodine

  • Class of 2019
  • St. Andrew’s
  • Hometown: North Darmouth, MA
  • Shooting Guard
  • 6’4  170 lbs
  • AAU Team: BABC (Nike EYBL)

Goodine is next in line at St. Andrew’s and with BABC, following in the footsteps of 2018 Cole Swider. Goodine re-classified from 2018 to 2019 when moving from Bishop Stang to St. Andrew’s for last season. He is playing with BABC on the Nike EYBL circuit. His only reported offer is from Boston College last July, but his recruitment has been kept close to the chest. Providence assistant Brian Blaney reached out on June 15th. Other schools that reached out on June 15th include Florida, Georgia Tech, Massachusetts, Miami, Rhode Island, Stanford and UConn.

Noah Kamba

  • Class of 2019
  • Dexter School
  • Hometown: Brookline, MA
  • Point Guard
  • 6’0  170 lbs
  • AAU Team: WrightWay Skills (Hoop Group)

Kamba is a shifty point guard who plays alongside Charles Coleman at Dexter School and with WrightWay Skills. A recap of his performance in mid-March by New England Recruiting Report said “Kamba’s quickness and burst is undeniable, but on Sunday he looked like a true floor general as well. His pick and roll reads were nearly perfect and his handles tight. Combine all of that with a jumper that continues to show growth and now looks much smoother, and he has lethal playmaking tools.” Kamba has offers from Boston University, Columbia, Iona and Quinnipiac. He heard from Brown, Davidson, Holy Cross, Massachusetts, Northeastern, Notre Dame, Pennsylvania, Providence and UNLV.

Patrick Kelly

  • Class of 2019
  • Virginia Episcopal School
  • Hometown: Lynchburg, VA
  • Small Forwards
  • 6’7  190 lbs
  • AAU Team: Team Loaded VA 16U (adidas Gauntlet Series)

Kelly is the son of former NFL tight end Patrick Kelly who died of brain cancer at the age of 37 back in 2003. Kelly is now at Virginia Episcopal after a brief stint as a member of the class of 2018 in Arizona and runs with the 16U Team Loaded VA team on the adidas Gauntlet series. Kelly’s reputation is as a wing-shooter. At 6’7 and 190 pounds Friar fans should think along the lines of former target Cole Swider. Kelly has heard from Mount St. Mary’s, Ohio State, Princeton, Providence, Wake Forest and Yale since June 15th.

Jalen Lecque

  • Class of 2019
  • Christ School
  • Hometown: Bronx, NY
  • Shooting Guard
  • 6’4 175 lbs
  • AAU Team: Southern Stampede (Nike EYBL)

Lecque is a Bronx, NY native but has opted to transfer from Monsignor Scanlan to Christ School in North Carolina to repeat his junior year and enter the class of 2019. Lecque attended Providence’s Late Night Madness festivities in October and the Friars offered him last week. He has been running with Southern Stampede on the Nike EYBL circuit in April and May and though the team has gone just 5-11 Lecque has made a name for himself with some highlight reel dunks.

Lecque averaged 16.3 points/game and 3.7 assists/game while shooting 41.4% from the field on the EYBL circuit. It’s still a little early for all the recruiting services and their 2019 rankings but ESPN ranked Lecque 24th in their latest Top 60 rankings. Scout recently ranked him 81st in the class. Lecque has offers from Auburn, Colorado State, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Houston, Iona, Kansas State, Manhattan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Providence, Rhode Island, Rider, Saint Louis, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Stony Brook, TCU, Tennessee, Texas Tech, VCU and Wake Forest.

Jordan Mason

  • Class of 2019
  • Dexter School
  • Hometown: Brookline, MA
  • Wing Guard
  • 6’4 180 lbs
  • AAU Team: WrightWay Skills (Hoop Group)

Mason is the third Dexter School/WrightWaySkills player that Providence reached out to in the class of 2019. Mason is best known as a shooter, but his game has been rounding out since arriving at Dexter in the Fall. He has offers from Boston University, Iona, Quinnipiac, Rider, St. Francis (PA) and UNLV. He also heard from Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Davidson, Holy Cross, Massachusetts, Northeastern and Providence since June 15th.

 

Bryce Okpoh

  • Class of 2019
  • The Colony HS
  • Hometown: The Colony, TX
  • Small Forward
  • 6’7  180 lbs
  • AAU Team: RM5 Elite (Nike EYBL 16U)

Okpoh is a developing wing player who is making the transition from playing mainly down low to being on the wing as he gets further along in high school. The lefty hails from Texas and runs with the 16U RM5 Elite on the Nike EYBL circuit. Providence assistant Jeff Battle reached out to Okpoh who holds offers from Baylor, Sam Houston State, SMU, Texas Arlington and Tulsa. He also heard from Boston University, Charleston, Duquesne, Kansas State, NC State, Oklahoma State, Providence, Texas-San Antonio, USF and Wake Forest.

DJ Robertson

  • Class of 2019
  • Athens Drive HS
  • Hometown: Raleigh, NC
  • Point Guard
  • 5’11 150 lbs
  • AAU Team: Team Wall (Nike EYBL 16U)

Robertson transferred to Athens Drive HS from Word of God and runs with the 16U Team Wall squad on the Nike EYBL circuit. He came off the bench for his high school team as a freshman and was named 1st team all-conference last year as a sophomore. He just received his first offer last week from Campbell and also heard from Georgia Tech, Liberty, Old Dominion and Providence.

Jaelyn Withers

  • Class of 2019
  • North Mecklenburg HS
  • Hometown: Huntersville, NC
  • Small Forwards
  • 6’8  210 lbs
  • AAU Team: Team Loaded NC 16U (adidas Gauntlet Series)

Withers attends the same high school as former Providence target and current Creighton guard Davion Mintz. Withers never played with Mintz, however, as the 2019 wing was on the JV when Mintz was playing varsity at North Meck. His father played hoops at Charlotte. Withers holds offers from Appalachian State, Charlotte, Georgia Tech, Grambling, James Madison, NC State and Virginia Tech and also heard from Georgetown, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Providence and Tulane since June 15th.

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