The Providence Friars have become a constant fixture in the NCAA Tournament. Ed Cooley has taken a program that hadn’t been to the Big Dance since 2004 to a school-record four straight NCAA Tournaments. He also has a roster that is poised for a fifth consecutive appearance in 2017-18, though college basketball betting odds offered by sportsbooks don’t appear too highly on the Friars’ chances of actually winning the whole damn thing. That’s where recruiting comes in.
Here are some Providence news and notes from the week.
LaDontae Henton to Sign with LA Clippers
Friar legend LaDontae Henton will sign a training camp contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, per Chris Reichert of 2Ways10Days.com.
The Los Angeles Clippers are signing LaDontae Henton to a training camp deal with an Exhibit 10 clause, per a league source
— Chris Reichert (@Chris_Reichert) August 24, 2017
Leading up to the 2016 NBA Draft there were plenty of rumors that the Chicago Bulls were looking to move up from 14 to take Kris Dunn. Much of those rumored discussion happened between the Bulls and the Boston Celtics, who owned the 3rd pick in last year’s draft. No trade happened and Dunn was selected 5th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Fast-forward a year and the Bulls were again interested in Dunn on draft night and, this time, they pulled the trigger. The Timberwolves and former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau got Jimmy Butler and the 16th pick — which turned into former Creighton big man Justin Patton — and the Bulls got Dunn, Zach LaVine and the 7th pick — which turned into Lauri Markkanen.
Providence lost out on Makai Ashton-Langford the first go-round when the Worcester native committed to UConn and Kevin Ollie in September. This time Ed Cooley closed the deal and got a commitment from Ashton-Langford shortly after he was on campus for an official visit. Cooley built up a great relationship with both the player and the parents when chasing the Mass Rivals point guard the last several years and it appears that relationship was the key to Providence securing the services of the top-35 player. Ashton-Langford took an official visit starting April 7th after Cooley went up to Brewster Academy to meet with him on the first day coaches could be back on the road recruiting after the Final Four dead period.
The latest episode of the Providence College podcast features Ed Cooley. Host Matt Chittim and Cooley discuss the importance of having a supportive administration, how he and his staff target recruits and Cooley gives his opinion on hardest worker, best athlete, most improved, best defender, best shooter and who would win in a 1 on 1 game of walk-ons.
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Providence junior Rodney Bullock will put his name into the NBA Draft to test the waters, ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman tweeted. Bullock is taking advantage of the rule change made in January 2016 that allow college players to enter the NBA Draft multiple times and still maintain their eligibility to return to school as long as they don’t hire an agent. Goodman’s tweet indicates Bullock is not going to sign with an agent.
Where: UD Arena – Dayton, OH
When: 9:10pm ET
How: truTV (Spero Dedes, Len Elmore & Steve Smith with Ros Gold-Onwude)/March Madness Live (Where Available)/WEEI 103.7 FM and Friars.com (John Rooke and Joe Hassett)/Westwood One (Ted Emrich and Austin Croshere)/FriarTV