Friar Basketball

A Closer Look: Kuluel Mading


Prospect: Kuluel Mading

Position: Stretch/Rim Running 4, Rim Protector

High School: The Burlington School (Burlington, NC)

AAU Program: Team Curry

Class: 2021

Overview: Five years ago Providence was hot on the trail of Wenyen Gabriel, a lean, athletic, 6’9 forward who could stretch the floor and block shots. The Friars were ahead of nearly every other high major in identifying Gabriel’s talent. In May of his junior year Gabriel was viewed as a borderline top 100 prospect. That was about to change — quickly.

To anyone who saw Gabriel at AAU tournaments that spring it quickly became apparent that the staff was about to have their hands full in holding off elite competition. Providence eventually finished in Gabriel’s top five, but when that list includes Kentucky and Duke, well, all of the hard work the staff put in early goes up in smoke.

Five years later, Providence is pursuing Kuluel Mading out of North Carolina, who has a similar profile to Gabriel — athletic, versatile, and late in getting on the radar of high major schools. That has apparently changed this spring, as Providence offered him a scholarship this week. Mading is also seeing interest from Indiana, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, and Iowa, to go along with an offer from Clemson and other southeastern schools.

Part of the reason for Gabriel’s late ascension up the recruiting ranks was a growth spurt that saw him sprout to 6’9 with a 7’1 wingspan. Mading has been listed as 6’8 in some publications, and 6’10 in others. If he’s truly 6’10 then what you’ll see on the tape below would make his potential scary.

With the potential cancellation of all summer AAU tournaments, Providence could be fortunate to have started recruiting Mading when they did.

The Bottom Line: Ed Cooley and his staff need to rebuild their frontcourt this offseason with the pending graduations of Nate Watson and Noah Horchler in 2021. That process began earlier this spring with the signing of transfer Ed Croswell, a bullying, rebounding transfer from La Salle.

Mading would give the frontcourt a far different option than the bruising, more grounded Croswell. Since the departures of Paschal Chukwu and Carson Desrosiers in 2015, PC has not had great rim protectors. There has to be hope that Jimmy Nichols will flash more of the shot blocking ability he showed as a freshman two years ago. Providence has remained a top tier defensive team regardless, but an above average rim protector could take their defense to another level. Could Mading be that guy?

Thanks to the efforts of assistant coach Jeff Battle, Providence has blanketed the North Carolina recruiting scene. Other intriguing prospects PC has offered from Carolina are the explosive point guard Bobby Pettiford Jr., 6’6 guard Lucas Taylor, and 6’9 skilled wing Eric Van Der Heijden.

Pettiford is seeing interest from the likes of Louisville, Taylor has scored offers from PC, Wake Forest, and Vanderbilt, while Van Der Heijden seems to be blowing up — grabbing a recent offer from Texas.


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