Providence Basketball’s Bright Future

Disclaimer: I am not a Providence fan, nor do I have any connection to the Friars program. I just think it’s worth noting what Ed Cooley and staff have accomplished recently. 

There was a lot to be excited about if you were a Providence Friar fan last season. Ed Cooley took a team that was supposed to have a down year, and went to the NCAA tournament. That 20 win team now returns its top seven scorers, including senior Rodney Bullock, who was voted Pre-Season All Big East 2nd Team. The outlook on the 17-18 season is much different than it was a year ago. A March Madness bid wouldn’t be a surprise, it’s expected.

As if having 90% of your scoring from last season return wasn’t enough, the Friars also welcome a group of freshman that have immediate impact talent. Headlining the class is ESPN Top 100 guard Makai Ashton-Langford. Ashton-Langford is a playmaking guard who will fit alongside, or in place of Kyron Cartwright. He’s be able to get to the rim and create with the ball in his hands. He will be one of the most talented freshman in the conference this season.

Joining Ashton-Langford in the 2017 freshman class are Nate Watson and Dajour Dickens, two players who will help bolster Providence’s front court. Both big men will contribute to the Friars in different ways. Dickens will use his length and athleticism to protect the rim, while Watson will use his strength and body to control the glass in his time in a Friar uniform.

With three productive seniors returning and a promising group of freshman, Coach Cooley expects a lot from his club. That said, this is far from a one year window for the program to strike. Cooley has also done a great job recruiting local talent, landing future commitments from AJ Reeves and David Duke, two ESPN Top 100 players in the Class of 2018. Both members of the Mass Rivals AAU program, Reeves and Duke will be immediate impacts when they step on campus. That is great news for Frirar faithful, who will be sad to see three key seniors leave after this year.

The Friars were voted to finish third in the Big East this season behind Villanova and Seton Hall. They will hope to ride a passionate head coach and experienced team to another NCAA tournament berth. Like all good teams however, they must look past one year. And with the recent success Providence has had recruiting the last couple of seasons, they are set up to sit in the top of the conference for the next couple of years.

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