Chukwu Aftermath: 2014 Recruiting Update

UndercoverFriar —  September 5th, 2013 9:35 AM —  Comments

Paschal Chukwu this summer at NBA Top 100 Camp

Providence and Ed Cooley landed a “big” commitment last week from 2014 C Paschal Chukwu, which marks the second commitment in the 2014 class as Chukwu joins F Jalen Lindsey. Providence was long rumored to be in good position with Chukwu, but it eased any concerns of Friartown when he announced his pledge to Providence and Coach Cooley on Twitter last week. Chukwu will bring a strong defensive presence to the Friars from the minute he steps on campus, but has great potential to become an elite center as long as he continues to improve his offensive game and fills out his frame. While Ed Cooley and the Providence staff are off to a tremendous start to the 2014 recruiting class, they are certainly not done.

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Seven feet and two inches.

Two-point-nineteen meters.

I mean, do I really have to explain why this is exciting?

Center Pascal Chukwu, another top 100 prospect in the class of 2014, committed to Providence College yesterday. Cooley and assistant coach Bob Simon had been on Chukwu for a long while now, and just a few days ago it was announced that his list had been cut down to just St. Joe’s and the Friars. With the mystery surrounding Abdul-Malik Abu and Jared Terrell’s recruitment, and losing Kaleb Joseph to Syracuse, there was a clout of anxiety surrounding Chukwu’s decision. Would he pick the Friars or end up going to the A-10? Fortunately those questions were put to rest, and Chukwu made it plain and clear what his plans for the A-10 were.


They looked kind of like this.


It’s appropriate to have that gif on here too, because Chukwu has frequently been compared to Dikembe Mutumbo for his height and shot blocking ability. I know what you’re thinking and the answer is yes, I have inquired about Chukwu’s Gieco commercial. They’re getting back to me.

But hey, in the meanwhile, this is great news! How great? Let’s talk about it.

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The hopes of Providence’s version of the “Fab Five” created by Michigan years ago took a hit over the weekend as 2014 point guard Kaleb Joseph committed to Syracuse while on an official visit, choosing the former Big East school over Providence and West Virginia. Joseph had previously stated that Syracuse has been his dream school since he was a child and he must have become comfortable with the threat of limited playing time behind freshman point guard Tyler Ennis, who Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said is “as good as any point guard we’ve brought in here.”

While the proposed “Friar Five” is no longer a reality and there is increasing anxiety amongst Friartown that this recruiting class may not turn out as successful as once hoped, let’s remember that Ed Cooley has already secured a commitment from a consensus top 50 player nationally in Jalen Lindsey. In addition to Lindsey, Providence is in good position with several other recruits to turn the 2014 recruiting class into yet another successful one. Let’s take a look at some of the remaining targets of Providence in the class of 2014 and update the current state of their recruitment.

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Kaleb Joseph to Syracuse

dave@friarblog —  August 18th, 2013 5:01 PM —  Comments

So about that Friar Five…

Can’t blame the kid for going to his dream school.


While the realization that both West Virginia and Providence had more immediate playing time to offer gave Joseph pause, it ultimately wasn’t enough to make him say no to his dream school.

Time to move on. Now let’s hope this just doesn’t turn out like last fall’s miss after miss on the big targets.

As the final days of summer begin to wind down it is time to start turning our attention to Friar Basketball and the 2013-14 season. We will be taking a closer look at the teams in the Big East and we focus on St. John’s. Last season St. John’s finished at 17-16 (8-10) and did not make postseason play. For a look at this upcoming season, and what we can expect from the Red Storm, we have two St. John’s bloggers helping us out for this edition.

Quinn Rochford: Editor/Writer, Rumble in the Garden; @QSTJHoops

Norman Rose: Editor-in-chief, Rumble in the Garden; @ecoastbias

1. In 100 words or less describe St. John’s 2012-13 season.

Quinn: If you were to ask me to do it in one word, I would have said “chaotic.” Aside from the up-and-down season on the court, where the Red Storm found themselves losing its final four conference games after starting 8-6, St. John’s endured a lot off the floor as well. Between Steve Lavin’s father, Cap, passing away in February, Orlando Sanchez’ legal fight for 2013-14 eligibility and D’Angelo Harrison’s season-ending suspension, the Johnnies lit enough fireworks to light the sky. So, when you look at the body of work that culminated in an NIT berth, the result wasn’t terrible but still shy of expectations.

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(Image from New England Recruiting Report)

Well, this is escalating quickly.

Florida, UConn, Miami, St. John’s, UCLA, Xavier — you have been kicked off of the Jared Terrell island. Sorry St. John’s, UCLA, Iowa State, Miami, Kentucky and Kansas State, but you have been fired from Abdul Malik Abu’s boardroom. Late last night (why does all of this recent recruiting news happen late at night?) their AAU coach Ty Boswell announced that the two 2014 prospects each cut their list to 4. The one little school that is on both of their lists? Yep, that would be Providence College.

Adding even more fuel to the incredible buzz around Friartown is the fact that both of these players will be at Providence this weekend for Ed Cooley’s Elite Camp. Several big recruiting targets will be attending the second annual Elite Camp hosted by Cooley and staff, but all eyes will be on Terrell and Abu. There have been previous rumors suggesting the two could be a package deal. Given the speed that everything has happened at thus far, and the general awesomeness of Ed Cooley, nothing would surprise me at this point. The event on Saturday already makes for a great day in Friartown. Who is down for something epic?

UPDATE: is reporting that Terrell and Abu will be announcing their decision together at a press conference in September. Oh man.

What’s Up Friartown!? @UndercoverFriar has become a part of Friarblog and will be providing recruiting updates and analysis in columns posted to Friarblog intermittently. I intend to provide Friarblog readers with in depth recruiting information and analysis. Hope you enjoy! Go Friars!

2014 Recruiting: Tracking the “Friar Five”

Since Coach Ed Cooley’s arrival at Providence College, the excitement regarding recruiting has risen to a level never before seen in Friartown. From Ladontae Henton shortly after his hire to a top ten class in Kris Dunn, Ricardo Ledo, and Josh Fortune to this year’s recruiting class of Brandon Austin and Rajay Bullock in addition to transfers Carson Desrosiers and Tyler Harris, Ed Cooley has certainly left an impression on the world of recruiting. With that being said, avid followers of Friar basketball recruiting have looked forward to the 2014 recruiting class as where Ed Cooley could leave an even bigger mark. Given the inroads Coach Cooley made early on with 2014 recruits and the number of available scholarships (five), the 2014 recruiting class had the makings of a great one from the start.

By now most Friar fans know the potential “Friar Five” consists of 2014 recruits F Jalen Lindsey, G Jared Terrell, G Kaleb Joseph, C Paschal Chukwu, and F Abdul-Malik Abu. Coach Cooley along with associate head coach Andre Lafleur and assistant coach Bob Simon have been hard at work on the recruiting trail for a long time for each of these prospects. Each of these recruits is a consensus top 100 player nationally and has had many other schools hard after him as well. Friar fans have anxiously been waiting for lists to be trimmed and interviews to be recorded mentioning Providence as a likely destination for any of these recruits. Any combination of these five prospects would make for a great recruiting class, but the “Friar Five” or anything remotely close to it would be an incredible statement for the state of Providence College basketball and it could very well happen. Let’s take an in depth look at the recruitment of each of these players and where it stands in regards to lists and decision timelines. While four of these 2014 prospects are still deep into their recruitment, one prospect has made a decision and decided to take his talents to Friartown, forward Jalen Lindsey.

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Another big 2014 recruit has listed the Providence Friars among his final choices of schools. Last night, news came out that Kaleb Joseph, a point guard ranked #51 overall by ESPN for the class of 2014, cut his list down to Providence, Syracuse, and West Virginia (Hey, that was all the BIG EAST once!). Just another day in the life of Ed Cooley.


“Each of the three schools on his final list also has unique things to offer, and Joseph discussed each of his final choices.

Providence stands out not just because it is local but also because the Friars will be looking to replace their leading scorer and starting point guard in 2014.

“Bryce Cotton is graduating and so I would have an immediate opportunity to fill those minutes from Day One,” Joseph said. ”

Mr. Joseph, I want you to pick PC and all, but NO ONE CAN REPLACE ICE COTTON’S MINUTES.

Anyhoo, much like the rest of these 2014 targets Ed Cooley and staff have been all over Joseph for quite some time. He’s visited a bunch since last summer, and has been seen at several games.

Big prospects from the class of 2014, power forward Abdul Malik Abu and shooting guard Jared Terrell, have had numerous suitors over the past year plus. During the busy recruiting periods, it seemed like they would both pick up offers from the top schools around the country every other day. Ed Cooley and his staff have been on both of these young men from the very start, and it has definitely paid off.

Tonight, each recruit announced their top 10 list of schools, with the Providence Friars making the cut in both cases. It has been rumored for quite some time that the Massachusetts natives and Expressions Elite (AAU) teammates would be a package deal, creating a fantastic inside / out combo for any recruiting class.

Here are their lists of schools (via @HoopdreamsMag)

Abdul Malik Abu

NC State


Kansas State



Iowa State




St John’s

Jared Terrell







St Johns




Interestingly enough, the only teams involved from the New Big East are the Friars, St. John’s, and Xavier (for Terrell only).

If you are about to read this and are unaware of Jalen Lindsey’s commitment to Providence College, then Friarblog is most certainly not the site for you.

If you want to read about why he chose the Friars, Dave Telep of ESPN wrote a great piece here. College basketball Insider Reggie Rankin believes he has some Andre Iguodala in him and that he will be the first of a few commitments for the Friars 2014 class.

Lindsey put his trust in Ed Cooley’s staff over the likes of Rick Pitino, sorry slick, Thad Matta, sorry Brutus, and Billy Donovan, still love ya kid.

His father Walt, an Ocean State native, made it clear that it was how much the Friars wanted him that made Providence College stand out from the rest, including his home state Vols and Memphis Tigers.

We have all defended Providence basketball at one time or another, and it didn’t take long for Jalen to join the club.

Something he has already gained is respect from his elder Friars, one LaDontae Henton in particular.


Well Jalen, now that you have put your faith in Coach Cooley and the Friars, I want to put my faith in you that you will do and see these things during your time in Friartown…

{more to come soon}