- A Look Around 1st Live Evaluation Period
- Makai Ashton-Langford Highlights
- Twitter Reactions: Makai Ashton-Langford to Providence
- Providence Announces Team Awards
- Report: Ashton-Langford Officially Visiting PC
- A Closer Look: AJ Reeves
- Rivals: PC’s 2017 Class 34th Nationally
- Makai Ashton-Langford News Caps Wild Week at PC
- Fazekas to Transfer and the Class of ’15
- Key Recruiting Targets in Local All Star Game
Makai Ashton-Langford News Caps Wild Week at PC
- Updated: March 31, 2017
The news of Makai Ashton-Langford’ s de-commitment from UConn caps a wild news week in Providence.
In the past eight days two players have transferred, Ed Cooley’s name was floated by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman as a possible replacement for John Thompson III at Georgetown (the story got so much traction that Cooley felt compelled to clarify that he wasn’t a candidate to the Providence Journal’s Kevin McNamara), and the collective minds of all in Friartown were blown when the Woonsocket Call’s Brendan McGair spoke with PC’s top three local targets in 2018 about playing together at Providence.
We’re not even at the Final Four yet.
If you’re here, you’re familiar with Ashton-Langford. He’s ESPN’s 36th ranked player in the class of 2017, a Worcester native, and one of the top point guard prospects in the country. He spent a couple of years at Cushing Academy before wrapping up his prep career leading an undefeated Brewster Academy team to both the NEPSAC Class AAA championship and a Prep National title. If you include the 21-game winning streak his Mass Rivals AAU team ended last summer on, he’s now won over 50 games in a row.
Last September, Providence was in Ashton-Langford’s final three schools — a race that many believe came down to PC and UConn, as he did not visit his third option (Louisville).
With a pair of talented big men already in the fold in 2017, a September commitment from Ashton-Langford likely would have given Providence a top 20 class nationally. Yet, he committed to Connecticut in early September — but not without giving the Friars some serious consideration.
He told The Hartford Courant at the time, “When it came down to UConn and Providence, it was 50-50 – that’s how close it was.”
Nearly seven months later Connecticut fired assistant coach Glen Miller, who led Ashton-Langford’s recruitment, and Ashton-Langford was given his release from UConn on Friday.
Landing prized recruits in the spring isn’t easy; with so many of the elite programs losing stars to the NBA, they are scouring the country for talent, but few schools will be as familiar as Providence.
He’s been on PC’s radar for three years now, and his father had high praise for Cooley in a Courant article earlier this month, “I love Ed Cooley… He’s a great guy. Kai’s a kid, 17-18. After we left Providence, Ed Cooley basically offered him the keys to the car, this is your team. He said, ‘Dad, I don’t know what to do.’ I said, ‘Don’t make a decision yet. Wait until we get to Connecticut.'”
With a full release in hand, Ashton-Langford is eligible to play next season.
Outside of Kyron Cartwright, Cooley didn’t have many playmakers at his disposal last season, and Ashton-Langford would pay huge dividends in that regard almost instantly. This team may have made its fourth straight NCAA Tournament last year, but they still badly need another guard who can generate offense for both himself and his teammates.
Ashton-Langford is nearly impossible to keep out of the paint, finishes well around the rim on a variety of floaters and difficult angle layups, and finds teammates very well.
A wild week in Providence just got very interesting.
We featured Ashton-Langford in our Closer Look series in April 2015: http://friarbasketball.com/2015/04/29/closer-look-makai-ashton-langford/