Friar Basketball

Pettiford Jr. Set to Announce, PC Makes List for Thompson

Gianni Thompson

As the calendar turns to June it appears as though recruiting is heating up in Friartown.

Bobby Pettiford, Jr., a point guard out of North Carolina who is a priority of the PC staff, is set to make his college decision on June 10. The Friars appear to be well positioned with Pettiford Jr., who has spoken highly of the Providence staff. Both Louisville and Virginia Tech have also made him a priority.

Pettiford is ranked outside of the top 100 in most national services for the class of 2021, but recruiting gurus in North Carolina believe he could be the top point guard in the state. Pettiford was featured here last week.

Ed Cooley and his staff also recently offered Gianni Thompson a scholarship. Thompson is a lengthy 6’8 wing whose game has really expanded over the past two seasons at Brimmer and May — the same program that produced current Friar guard AJ Reeves. Thompson is a class of 2021 prospect who has range beyond the 3-point line and plays big defensively.

Thompson narrowed his list of schools to seven earlier this week. PC made the cut, along with Penn State, Xavier, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Temple and Richmond.

In a recent interview with Brian Snow of, Thompson’s coach Tom Nelson provided insight into his recruitment and his game, “He’s got Boston College, Xavier, Temple has been there from early on, Richmond had him for a junior year official, Providence called this week and he has been around the program a lot because of A.J. Reeves, Penn State offered and he has been in contact with Coach (Patrick) Chambers a lot,” said Nelson.

Nelson added, “BC has done a zoom call every week, Xavier has done a zoom call with the entire staff and his family, and they have been in contact a lot from Travis Steele to Dante (Jackson), those schools that I mentioned are all in contact. (Ed) Cooley face timed and talked to him last week and offered. He has a good plethora of options.”

“He came to me two years ago, and he was on a team as a freshman that he didn’t play at all,” Nelson said to Snow. “He went from not real confident and not great ball skills without strength at 6-foot-5, and then he grew two or three inches and his ball skills got better. We worked on his shooting stroke, his release, shot blocking and all of those different things. That first year he was able to improve as a sophomore average almost 16 per game, and you could see the potential.”

Providence’s offer to Thompson shows significant interest. On their recent Town Hall zoom call with season ticket holders, assistant coaches Bob Walsh and Jeff Battle explained how the philosophy of the staff has been to focus their attention on smaller group of prospects versus casting a wide net.

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