Friar Basketball

Recruiting Notes: URI’s Big Weekend, NC State and Louisville Reload, Big Name Still Lists Friars

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1. It was a terrific weekend for Rhode Island, who landed a verbal commitment from ESPNU top 100 guard EC Matthews on Saturday night, and locked down a verbal Sunday from Staten Island wing Hassan Martin, who had visited the Rams on Friday.

Both players had been recruited by Providence, but it’s safe to say Matthews was the more highly regarded prospect by the PC staff.

Martin was URI’s third commitment of the weekend after 6’8, 240 pound Nigerian power forward Ifeanyi Onyekaba pledged on Friday.  Head coach Danny Hurley is hopeful Onyekaba will be eligible to play this season, but that is still in question at this point.  Two weeks prior they also got a commitment from Northeastern transfer Alwayne Bigby, a 6’5 guard who will be eligible to play immediately as a graduate student.  Bigby is more of a role player, as Hurley is scrambling late to build depth for the 2012-13 season, but seems to be building a formidable roster for 2013-14.

2. With Matthews off the board it would appear that Putnam Science Academy point guard Dayshon Smith could become even more of a priority for Ed Cooley and his staff.  Smith visited Dayton this weekend.  With Vincent Council graduating this season, Kris Dunn projects to be the only point guard on the 2013-14 roster and Smith would provide Providence with a guard capable of manning the point when Dunn heads to the bench, or play alongside him as a two guard with range.

3. Mark Gottfried and North Carolina State have it rolling on the recruiting trail.  A trio of McDonald’s All Americans made up their 2012 class, and this weekend they received a pledge from Brewster Academy power forward Kyle Washington, a very skilled, but slender, 6’9 left hander.  His commitment comes on the heels of Hampton, Virginia point guard Anthony Barber’s last week.

Barber is ESPNU’s 11th rated player overall and Washington is their 66th.

I caught Washington at the St. Andrew’s Christmas Tournament last December and he was one of the few big men to find his offensive game against Tilton’s Nerlens Noel.  His Hotchkiss team eventually fell out of the game, but Washington was effective prior to succumbing to foul trouble.  A year at Brewster will only serve to help Washington, who can really shoot from 18 feet..

4. Chicago super-recruit Jabari Parker has added Connecticut to his list of 10.  He and his family will host new head coach Kevin Ollie for an in-home visit next week.  Many think he’s the best player in high school basketball.

5. Former PC mentions who committed of late: Davon Reed is headed to Miami, Kameron Williams committed to Ohio State, and Kendrick Nunn is going to Illinois.

6. Rick Pitino and Louisville had a big week – one that pushed their recruiting class towards the top of the heap nationally.  Power forward Akoy Agau committed on Wednesday night after the nation’s top junior college point guard, Chris Jones, came aboard last week.

2012 commit Terry Rozier has reclassified to 2013 and will now be part of a class that includes the aforementioned recruits, as well as ESPNU top 100 guard Anton Gill from North Carolina.

7. Looking for a big name still listing the Friars?  Reggie Rankin of ESPN spoke with Keith Frazier out of Dallas, TX this week, who lists PC among eight schools.  He told Rankin he won’t commit until the spring.

Prospects at this level (Frazier is ranked 19th in the class of 2013) who hail from Texas will always be a tremendously tough get for PC.  Three of the eight schools he listed are in-state (Texas, SMU, Texas A&M), while others are recruiting powerhouses (Florida, Memphis, Arizona).

“I am looking for a school where I can instantly play big-time minutes, the coach is loyal and with me when I do something good or bad, and someone that can help me get to the next level. Make me a pro,” Frazier told Rankin last week.

8. The Larry Brown impact?  SMU will most likely be on the outside looking in when Aaron and Andrew Harrison (twin top 10 guards nationally out of Texas) commit, but SMU is in their final three, along with Kentucky and Maryland.  It’s hard to remember the last time SMU was on the final list of top 5 recruits, and the package deal that is the Harrison twins will be quite a haul for someone.

 

Email Kevin at kevin.farrahar@friarbasketball

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