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5 Things on Makai Ashton-Langford’s Commitment
- Updated: April 11, 2017
Five things on the huge news out of Providence that Makai Ashton-Langford has committed to PC.
1. I’ve been watching Ashton-Langford develop for three years now and spent a considerable amount of time writing about him, but for those readers who focused more on the on-court product than recruiting, here’s a quick breakdown of his game.
What jumps out immediately is his pure speed with the ball in his hands. Ashton-Langford is a blur with the ball, but his game is as much about savvy as it is speed. The more you watch him, the more you expect him to finish what look to be impossible attempts at the rim. When Rajon Rondo was in his prime he used to contort his body and finish inside with tricky spin off of the glass, and Ashton-Langford has a lot of that to his game. He can get by virtually any defender off of the bounce, and makes a high percentage of difficult shots in the paint.
What he’ll bring to Providence from day 1 is the ability to get into the paint and deliver for his teammates. While the Friars made the NCAA Tournament last season, they were very much limited in terms of players who could create for others. Kyron Cartwright was a tremendous assist man, but outside of him PC didn’t have another player on its roster averaging even 1.5 assists a night.
Ashton-Langford doesn’t just get into the paint off of his athleticism. He sets defenders up well by changing speeds. Once in the paint he draw defenders and makes sound decisions with the ball.
2. Ranked 36th nationally in ESPN’s 2017 rankings, Ashton-Langford becomes the most highly rated player to commit to Providence since 2012. He’s the seventh ESPN top 100 player to pledge to PC since Cooley’s first year here — a list that doesn’t include Ben Bentil and 2017 power forward commit Nate Watson — two players who both cracked several other top 100 lists.
2012: Ricky Ledo (21), Kris Dunn (23)
2013: Brandon Austin (56)
2014: Paschal Chukwu (61), Jalen Lindsey (84)
2016: Alpha Diallo (95)
2017: Makai Ashton-Langford (36)
3. On the whole, players ranked in ESPN’s 35-40 range have gone on to have a major impact at the college level. Looking for some notables ranked in this range in recent years? Here’s a look at some of the best and where they committed.
2011: Quinn Cook (Duke), Mo Harkless (St. John’s), Marshall Plumlee (Duke)
2012: Perry Ellis (Kansas), Ricardo Gathers (Baylor), Jerami Grant (Cuse), Adam Woodbury (Iowa), Willie Cauley-Stein (Kentucky)
2013: Matt Jones (Duke), Jordan Mickey (LSU), Deonte Burton (Marquette), Semi Ojeleye (Duke)
2014: Thomas Welsch (UCLA), Quentin Snider (Louisville)
2015: Tyler Dorsey (Ducks), Chimezie Metu (USC)
2016: Tyus Battle (Syracuse), Shamorie Ponds (SJU), Zach Collins (Zags)
4. Don’t look now, but Ed Cooley and his staff are on a roll on the recruiting trail.
For the class of 2017, they spotted seven footer Dajour Dickens early and got a pledge from him in February of his junior year, and followed that up by landing their top two recruiting targets in Watson and Ashton-Langford to complete a stellar three man class.
Ashton-Langford originally committed to Connecticut over Providence and Louisville last September, but asked for his released earlier this month and Cooley wasted no time in pouncing.
Coming off of a 2016 spring in which they landed a top 100 wing in Alpha Diallo, highly productive JUCO transfer Emmitt Holt, and a high potential big man in Kalif Young, it’s been a terrific 13 months for this coaching staff after near misses with the likes of Donovan Mitchell and Wenyen Gabriel in prior years.
5. Ashton-Langford is also the first big-time New England prep product to commit to Providence in recent years. The Friars have had a breakthrough of sorts with two local powers.
Both Diallo and Ashton-Langford are Brewster Academy products, and Cooley and his staff have spent considerable time tracking the Mass Rivals AAU program.
Brewster went 33-0 this past season in winning both the NEPSAC AAA title and the Prep National Championship, while the Rivals have risen extremely quickly on the Adidas Circuit. Mass Rivals has two other key PC targets in the pipeline in Boston native AJ Reeves and Providence product David Duke.