Posts Tagged ‘Naadir Tharpe’

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.

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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.

Kevin McNamara over at the ProJo recently blogged on how Coach Keno Davis has been establishing strong NewEngland_01relationships with High School underclassmen.  Among the prospects were Kaleb Tarczewski from Mass, Naadir Tharpe from Boston, and Michael Carter-Williams from the Saint Andrew’s School in RI.  Most notable were ESPNs #13 Player for 2010, St Andrew’s SF Ricky Ledo and the ESPN #1 player in the class of 2012 – Andre Drummond from Connecticut.  That’s right, they are all New Englanders.

Coach Keno Davis is clearly making strides in the recruiting trails to make PC a relevant team not just in the Big East but in the college basketball once again.

imagesIts really great to see how Coach Keno Davis has immediately made a recruiting impact at PC, and how he has targeted better players than PC has in years past.  He is proving that he was worth every cent PC paid to get him. Ricky Ledo and Andre Drummond are huge names and we will be keeping a close eye on them, of course hoping for the best.  But it is so early in the process so there is no reason to get too excited.

However, it is great to see is that Coach Keno Davis is targeting New Englanders.  For PC to become relevant in the Big East once more it needs to become a major factor in New England.  Connecticut will always be difficult to compete with recruiting as long as Coach Jim Calhoun is there, but PC has to be able to consistently beat out Boston College and non-New England schools for the attention of New England high schoolers.  Too often PC has lost, not just New Englanders, but Rhode Islanders to rival schools outside of New England.  PC does not have the luxury of lying in a basketball hot bed like other Big East schools do, so when a good player close to home emerges its important that PC gets a really hard look by them.

Being as success breeds success it imperative that PC becomes successful on a yearly basis, this will bring interest to PC among younger players, and by the looks of it what Coach Keno Davis and his staff are doing out on the recruiting circuit is really helping PC get to the point of success.  Which is why we are glad PC extended Coach Keno Davis’ contract.  This will not be an overnight transition, but we think with time Coach Keno Davis can really build a successful program at PC.  And even though none of these prospects are even close to committing to any school it great to see that Coach Keno Davis is getting after them… early.