Archive for the ‘Recruiting’ Category

Coach Keno and his staff have received a letter of intent from 6’9,” 200lbs  Power Forward Brice Kofane. (Name is pronounced Breese) Kofane who currently plays his high school ball at the Miller School in Charlottesville, VA, and his AAU ball in Albany, NY with the Albany City Rocks, is originally from Cameroon.  Kofane has  91 ESPN scout grade and is a four star recruit according to Rivals.com.  He has springs and is a great shot blocker.  He also can more than hold his own on the boards.  Kofane is athletic gifted and can run great for a big.  Kevin Willard, Kofane’s coach at The Miller School had this to say about his player.

“Brice is a deer. He can run forever, and he guarded the other team’s best player, centers or point guards.  He needs to become more skilled offensively but he makes a lot of activity plays around the rim.”

More importantly, in light of recent events, is that Kofane has a reputation as a great kid.  He has a solid reputation.  He holds a 3.6 GPA from  prestigious school, and initially wanted to attend Harvard.  And on the court he is an active, coachable player, who plays the game with spirit and intensity.  Willard said this:

“Brice is already a really good defensive player and he’s a fantastic kid with a great attitude.  He can be one of the better student-athletes in the Big East at Providence.”

Kofane did take note of the incident concerning Johnnie Lacy and James Still, concerned people around Kofane, as Kevin McNamara reported in the Providence Journal, but ultimately opened the door of opportunity and playing time for him. Kofane had this to say:

“I really felt home when I went up there and I really believe on what the coaching staff and the staff and the team are doing.  I think it is the right place for me to become a great person on and off the court.

All accounts of Brice Kofane peg him as a defensive specialist who could develop into a great overall player.  Coming from Cameroon, basketball is still relatively new to Kofane and he is still learning and honing his skills.  If he can develop a solid mid-range jumper, some touch around the glass, and a strong finish he will do very well.  But in the meantime he will let his defense do the talking.  Providence is hoping he can be a shut down defender to help their struggling defense and challenge other teams at the rim.

Like most of you out there, we didn’t even know who Brice Kofane was until yesterday.  But after a little background information, we are on board.  Clearly we had no defense last year.  It went as far as announcers calling us Pro_idence, because we had no D.  So clearly something needed to be done about the complete lack of defense.  Bringing in a defensive specialist who also has the skills to become a good offensive player is a good start to fixing the problem.  Also, with the departures of Russ and James Still, we were in need of another big.  With Bilal, Kadeem, Brice, and Ron Giplaye, although none are overpowering with their size, we have enough depth for next saeson.  Plus, Kofane is a shot blocker.  We were in desperate need of someone who could create a challenge at the rim for opposing teams.

Also Coach Keno recently coming under fire, possibly unfairly, for the types of players he recruits a good, solid kid like Brice is a good thing.  As mentioned above Brice has a 3.6 GPA, is bilingual, and by all accounts a good, hard working kid.  So for all the Jim Donaldson’s out there…. there you go, it is possible to have good kids, good students, and good basketball players all in one.

On the court, as we said, Kofane is a defensive specialist.  He is great on the boards and gives great effort.  When it comes to how his Providence career plays out?… Well only time will tell.  He may not be star player on the team, but all good teams need solid role players, and Kofane looks to be exactly that.  He might not pad the stat sheet every night but he will be a contributor.  He has a ton of potential and a lot of room for improvement.  Look at what Greedy and the staff were able to do in his red shirt season.  There is no reason to believe that Kofane cannot become a really solid player in the BIG EAST.  Personally we can’t wait to see him get out there and get a chance.  With four bigs in Bilal, Kadeem, Ron, and Brice it will be interesting to watch them battle out for minutes.  But for now Brice is good news for a program that had received a little too much bad news recently.  He seems like the type of kid and player you want at your school.

Check out this link for a little get to know you video about Brice.

http://www.newsplex.com/video?clipID=4537905&autoStart=true&contentID=84174032

Also check out PC Hoops for All who has a post about Brice

Joe Young has surfaced once again with yet another honor.  Joe Young has been named to the2010 ESPN Rise All-American First Team. Young is one of twenty high school players who made the team.  Young adds this award to his Gatorade State Player of the Year Award (Texas), a state championship, and other MVP awards.  Besides his honors, the 6’3″ guard averaged 27.5 points, 4.4 steals, 4.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game this season.

If you weren’t already excited about Joe Young joining the Friars, than start to get excited.  The kid appears to be the real deal.  Gerard Coleman has been deemed the star of our recruiting class, as he should, but Joe Young is not very far behind him.  He continues to impress and has only improved since he was re-ranked into the ESPN Top 100 at #99.  Our bet is that when the players are re-ranked again he will be much higher than 99.  We have said it so many times before, but if Joe Young is half the shooter people say he is than we cannot wait for him to get to campus and thrive in the 3-Happy offense we run.  Also if you haven’t seen it check out the video profile of Young below.

Joe Young has been named to the 54th Parade All-American Team as a 3rd team member.  He becomes the first Friar recruit to make the team since God Shammgod did 15 years ago.

Incoming Providence freshman and Yates High School (Houston) standout, Joseph Young has been named the Basketball Player of the Year by Gatorade. The Gatorade Award is for outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court.  Besides his impressive season with the 34-0, Texas State Champion Yates Mighty Lions, Young has a B average and has done numerous hours of community service.  Winning the award in Texas has made Young eligible for the National Boys Basketball Player of the Year.  Young beat out a number of other standout high school seniors in what is one of the more difficult states to receive such an award in.

Congratulations to Joe Young.  He can add this honor to the honor of being in the ESPN Top 100, winning the his school a state title, and his McDonald’s All-American nomination.  Honestly you have to start liking Joe Young more and more everyday.  Whether it was his 45 points at the T-Mobile Invitation, his winning record, or his off the court demeanor he seems like the type of player who really contribute to making your team a winning one.  And we have said it before but you really have to tip your hat to Keno and the coaching staff.  They were on to Young before he surfaced into the ESPN Top 100 and way before he was receiving McDonald’s All-American nominations.  And it seems like Joe Young is still is getting better.  If he can bring his winning mentality and his hot shooting from Houston to Providence, he could have an instant impact as a lethal three point shooter.

We have been out of the game for a while now, but there is big news in Friar Town, Naadir Tharpe, a 6’0″ point guard from Worcester, MA verbally committed toProvidence College.  Tharpe, who had been hearing from Boston College, Virginia, West Virginia, UNLV, and Purdue chose to stay closer to home and join Keno and the Friars.  Tharpe’s coach Jason Smith, from the Brewster Academy in New Hampshire had this to say about Naadir:

“He has a very high basketball IQ, elite/level quickness and is an out outstanding passer with vision. He’s a big-time kid. People in their community will fall in love with him. He is outgoing and personable. He has great school spirit.”

Tharpe is a playmaker, and will make the players around him better.  His shot has been inconsistent, but has been improving greatly.  Tharpe is ranked in the ESPN Super 60 for the class of 2011 as the 51 best player and the 13th best point guard in the class.

Obviously it was a very disappointing season, which makes it even better to finally get some good news.  Hat off to Keno and his staff who once again reeled in another top recruit.  This makes three in the ESPN Top 100 for Keno in his short time here.  You have to love that we are now going after big time players and actually getting some.  This was not happening a fews years back.  What we also like is that Keno is started to make a mark in the New England recruiting scene.  For too long we have missed out on the best players around, but it looks like Keno is starting to turn that trend around.

As far as Tharpe goes… we are really excited.  We are thinking that in a couple years or so we are going to have a serious back court.  Vincent Council doing what he does, Gerard Coleman, Joe Young hitting threes, and now Naadir Tharpe putting in work.  In the college game you are always thinking about the future, and even though VC is just stepping in to Sharaud’s roll, it is nice to know that there will be somebody to step into VC’s roll when his time at PC is done… and nice to get some added depth for the first couple seasons.  Tharpe is reason to get excited.

You may not agree with everything Keno does (cough cough… defensive philosophy) but you have got to give it to him on the recruits.  In a short time at Providence he has started gaining some momentum and has given Providence fans something to be excited about.

Side Note:  Tennessee was on campus today practicing for their first round match-up against San Diego State.  We got to watch some of their practice/walk-through which was cool.  Bruce Pearl is an interesting guy and it was interesting to see how he ran a practice.  Vols were looking good… San Diego shouldn’t give them too much trouble but an expected matchup with Georgetown could be very interesting.

Recruiting: Kadeem Jack

Posted: February 4, 2010 in Recruiting
Tags: ,

There is still recruiting that can be done for the class of 2010 and Providence is staying involved, and as always Adam Zagoria at Zagsblog.com is right on top of it.  Providence is in pursuit of 6’8″ power forward, Kadeem Jack.  Jack is a senior and well known Manhattan High School in New York.  Having spent ten years in Trinidad and Tobago, Jack has only been playing basketball competively for 4 years and is more of an athlete right now than a basketball player, but everybody around him sees the great upside in him.  His coach at Rice, Maurice Hicks, had this to say about Jack:

“Kadeem hasn’t been playing basketball for a long time.  I think it’s a great thing because you can teach him. He doesn’t have the bad habits. As soon as you tell him to do something he does it right away.  He’s a kid that loves to play and I think his upside is tremendous.”

At the moment Jack is being recruited by a number of schools.  The most interest has been shown by Arizona, St. John’s, Providence, Miami, and Seton Hall.  UConn, Arkansas, and Georgia have also shown interest according to Jack.  Jack will wait to take remaining official visits until after Rice has completed their season.  As to who may be leading the recruiting race?… Arizona appears to be in front, but Jack had this to say:

“I wouldn’t say it’s one school.  All of them showed me love. Each school has a different way to recruit players.”

The recruitment of Jacks has been developing lately.  Assistant Coach Rodell Davis made the trip down to Brooklyn see Jack at the 3rd Annual SNY Invitational.  Jack had a good tournament, but Davis was joined by assistants from Seton Hall, St. John’s, and Miami.

We are glad to see that Providence is still in the recruiting mix.  We missed out on Devon Collier, but we haven’t ended our pursuit of another big body.  At 6’8″ and 210 lbs.  Jack isn’t the biggest player around but he is solid enough and very athletic, which fits in with what Cocah Keno is doing here at Providence… energetic players, who can run the floor, and have good instincts in transition.

He has been given a 90 overall scout rating by ESPN and has room to keep improving.  We don’t expect too much to happen in regards to Jack until his season is over.  He will most likely take an official visit here at some time in the early spring.  We don’t know too much else about Jack, except that he would be a nice way to round out an already strong incoming class, and would add much needed size and depth to our thin front court.  Getting him might be a stretch at this time, but we will not rush to conclusions about where he will go before he starts to take the majority of his official visits.  So in the mean time we will keep an eye on him as closely as we can.

We saw this by way of Friarblog. ESPNU has come out with their high schoolmidterm grades which means they have updated their recruiting page and have elevated both Gerard Coleman and Joe Young.  Gerard Coleman moved up to 54th spot on the list and improved his overall player rating to 95!  Joe Young, who has been taking off down in Houston moved into the ESPN Top 100 at the 99th spot and improved his overall player rating to 94!  Even Ron Giplaye‘s overall rating improved to 88.

We have to tip our hat to Coach Keno Davis and the rest of the coaching staff for this incoming class.  Keno, in the sort time he has been here, has really elevated the caliber of player coming to Providence.  We are seeing some of the fruits of solid recruiting in Vincent Council this year, but clearly that is just the start.  It is great that we have two ESPN Top 100 players on our team, it adds legitimacy, and is not lost on future, prospective recruits.  However, what is really great is how early Providence was able to find them and lock them up.  This applies more for Joe Young, in that he was not very well known at the time Providence went after him.  We must admit that we were really hoping that Providence would snag Oregon State bound Devon Collier, but we could not be happier with how things turned out.

Coleman and Giplaye have also improved since they inked with PC.  We know PC isn’t going to be able to compete with the Kansas’ and UNC’s of the country, but getting players who are great quality, Top 100 Players, that continue to improve before they get on campus is big.  We think there a good things to come.

Great news for Providence, and the future looks just a little bit brighter.

**Kevin McNamara reported that Russ is still on the team and is still in good academic standing. Friarblog did some extra searching around and saw some less than happy facebook status updates from Russ. Apparently Russ is finfihing up some academic work and that is why he is unable to make the trip with the rest of the team.

We are a little confused by this.  The semester ended a while ago and it seems strange that he would be doing work now, but it is possible, especially since Russ transferred in, that he came into PC academically behind and is taking winter session courses to get himself on track.  Either way we wish Russ good luck with his school work.

Friarblog has a post saying that Russ Permenter did not make the trip to the Midwest to play DePaul and Marquette. In the post is a Twitter conversation with John Rooke, who assumes that Russ left PC before second semester classes start.  We will follow this as closely as possible but check Friarblog for more up to date information.

There is a chance that this is nothing.  Maybe Russ was sick, or had personal issues to attend to, but there is a good chance that he is out.  He got limited minutes in the Notre Dame game and has not seen action since.  Reason to be upset for sure.  Playing behind two freshman usually doesn’t make somebody too happy either.  In his radio show, Coach Keno said that Russ’ playing time was a reflection of his practice play.  So putting everything together, the chances are that Russ is out.  And if that is the case we wish him only the best of luck, but we will save our goodbyes for if and when that becomes official.

If Russ has left Providence a scholarship has opened up for the high school class of 2010.   Not to be insensitive toward Russ, but for those who listened in on the most recent Keno Davis Radio show, Coach Keno hinted that Friar fans might be happy in the very near future with recruiting.  Now of course the ”near future” can mean all different things and the recruitment might be from someone in the class of 2011.  But let’s just say that it is someone who is a senior now.  Who would it be?  We have no idea, but Providence has had their eye on the younger brother of Atlanta Hawk Al Horford, Jon Horford, who has an ESPN scout rating of 92.  The 6’9″ senior from Michigan is a good low post scorer and works hard on the boards.  He is getting looks from SEC school, Alabama, and Big 10 schools, Minnesota and Michigan.  Michigan would seem to be in the lead, but maybe the BIG EAST could draw him to Providence.  Of course this is all gross speculation, but it does seem that he could be a good fit, and Providence has been able to pull a few players out of the midwest recently.

We are getting way ahead of ourselves though.  We will see how everything plays out with Russ.

Last week Friarblog ran a story on potential recruit Stevie Taylor.  Coach Keno Davis took a visit out to Ohio to see Stevie practice.  We had heard about Stevie Taylor a while back, but there didn’t seem to be to much information.  In light of Coach Keno Davis’ trip we figured we should follow up.  We spoke to someone in the Taylor family regarding the visit who confirmed that Coach Keno Davis and Assistant Chris Davis flew to Columbus and watched one of Stevie’s practices.  Keno said that Stevie had a good practice and that they would be in contact with him.  Prior to this vist Stevie took a visit up to Providence.  This is was the impression:

Both Stevie and I enjoyed our visit to Providence and left very impressed with the school and
the city.

Stevie is ranked in the top 100-150 by several scouting services (Hoop Scoop and Rivals) and has an excellent skill set, speed, quickness, and basketball IQ, but at the moment that seems to be secondary to the concerns about his size.  Stevie is no taller than 5’9″ at this point which is clearly small for a BIG EAST point guard.  Initially Stevie was not holding out for high major interest when PC approached him, and was and still is excited about his mid-major oppurtunities.  Stevie’s family member; however, is confident that his size would not prevent him from playing in the BIG EAST, pointing out the success of PC’s own Sharaud Curry. 

Stevie is also being recruited by Miami Ohio, Ohio University, Akron, and recently Northwestern has begun to show interest.  According to Stevie’s family member, PC is in his top 2-3 schools but for now he is keeping his options open.  Stevie Taylor is looking to give a verbal before the AAU season starts up in the early spring. 

While many smaller guards are able to thrive in college basketball, including PC’s own Sharaud Curry, there is the thought that PC may be looking for someone with a bit more size, and a little higher up on the recruiting board in Shabazz Napier and or Naadir Tharpe.  While neither one is over 6’0,” Napier is in the ESPN Super 60 and Tharpe is the #24 ranked point guard in his class.  They are both explosive players from Massachusettes, who are being sought after by the likes of Villanova, Boston College, Arizona, Purdue, and Indinana just to name a few.  Some stiff competition.

Don’t get us wrong though, from all accounts Stevie Taylor can play.  ESPN gave him an 88 for his scout grade and he has a nice floater and great handle.  He seems like the under the radar type player that PC has gone to so many times in the past.  Keno seems to have been going away from that somewhat and has been targeting higher recruits.  Either way we are sure Stevie Taylor will have a close eye kept on him, becuase there is chance that PC will lose on both Napier and Tharpe.  And at the time the 2011 class will be on campus VC and Johnny Lacy will be in their junior years and a new point guard will need to be developed.  we will follow Stevie Taylor very closely and let you know if we hear anything else.  In the meantime we wish Stevie good luck in his season and good luck in his college selection process.

Joseph Young exploded for 33 points in his senior year debut with 33 points.  Yates which is ranked as high as the 4th best public highschool basketball team in the country laid a whopping 140 points in the game.  Basically, Young was advertised as an explosive scorer and, to quote ESPN.com

“The ultimate shooter”

At least in his first game Young lived up to the billing.  He flew under the radar for a while, but grabbing a player who has such a great shot and who is such a prolific scorer is great news for PC.  So good job Joe… keep it up.  Glad he’s with us.

 

Also, if you are interested ESPN has uploaded a highlight video for Gerard Coleman on his player profile page.  Check it out to get an early look at one of the best players in the country in the high school class of 2010.

ESPN.com  Gerard Coleman