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Nate Watson, a 6-foot-9 Class of 2017 power forward from Bishop O'Connell (VA), committed to Providence during his official visit on Saturday.

He also considered Maryland, N.C. State and Miami, but will skip visits to Maryland and Miami.

"Coach [Ed] Cooley and his staff did a great job recruiting him and Nate feels very comfortable with Cooley and his plan for Nate," Fred Howze, Watson's AAU coach, told SNY.tv.

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CHICAGO -- Like every other player here at the NBA Draft Combine who has yet to sign with an agent, Ben Bentil would love a guarantee that someone will take him in the first round.

"A spot in the first round, knowing that I'm definitely going in the first round," Bentil said here Thursday. "It only takes one team to like you so that's what I'm trying to do."

Bentil, who measured here at 6-foot-8 1/4, impressed on Thursday, going for 15 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists in a 109-69 rout along with teammates Isaiah Whitehead, De'Andre Bembry, Malcolm Brogdon and Marcus Paige.

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Canadian big man Kalif Young is headed to Providence.

The 6-foot-9, 250-pound left-handed Class of 2016 power forward from Ontario's Orangeville Prep chose Providence over Marquette after visiting Providence this past weekend. Young took an official visit to Marquette on May 4 with his mother.

Young's commitment comes at a time when Providence forward Ben Bentil is testing the NBA Draft waters and may opt to leave. He has until May 25 to decide.

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Alpha Diallo, ranked No. 95 in the Class of 2016 by ESPN, told SNY.TV that he has committed to Providence. 

"I built a strong relationship with Coach [Ed] Cooley and he has a clear vision for my future," he said.

The 6-foot-7, 200-pound forward from Brewster [N.H.] Academy chose Providence over VCU and Oklahoma State, according to Brewster Academy's coach Jason Smith.

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As widely expected, Kris Dunn will declare for the NBA Draft.

The news was first reported by Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com.

Dunn is projected to go No. 5 in the 2016 NBA Draft by Draft Express.

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Kris Dunn's career at Providence has come to a close.

The Friars' season ended late Saturday night with an 85-66 loss to No. 1 North Carolina in a second-round East Region game here. A projected NBA lottery pick, Dunn scored 29 points in 26 minutes in the loss, despite being in foul trouble for a majority of the first half.

Ben Bentil, a sophomore forward who may also test the NBA Draft waters, added 21 points.

Tags: Jack LeGwin, Kris Dunn, NBA Draft, Providence
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Dajour Dickens, a 6-foot-11 Class of 2017 center from Hampton (VA) Bethel, has committed to Providence, he announced on Twitter.

Dickens, who also held offers from Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Memphis and Creighton among others, is ranked the No. 12 big man in that class by 247Sports.com.

"I've decided to attend Providence College!" he wrote. "My family and I have chosen the right fit and people! From this point on , I'll be answering no questions about recruiting as I am putting my focus on the rest of this academic year and looking froward to a great developing summer and senior year! Thank you to all the college coaches who recruited me. Good luck to all and God Bless."

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Ben Bentil scored 10 of his 31 points in overtime, including two clutch free throws with 14.7 seconds left that led No. 16 Providence past No. 4 Villanova 82-76 on Sunday.

Bentil also had 13 rebounds, helping the Friars stop Villanova's 22-game Big East winning streak. The Wildcats hadn't lost a league game since falling at Georgetown in January 2015.

The win also snapped Villanova's nine-game winning streak and 32-game home winning streak.

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Providence landed point guard Maliek White on Sunday, which appears to take them out of the Shamorie Ponds Sweepstakes.

The 6-foot-2 White out of Richmond (VA) George Wythe is the No. 26 point guard in the Class of 2016 according to 247Sports.com.

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Shamorie Ponds could be closing in on a college decision.?(Photo by Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

Shamorie Ponds?won't take his official visit to Minnesota this coming weekend and could make his decision soon.

Tags: Articles, Providence, Recruiting, St. John's, Adam Zagoria
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By JOSH NEWMAN

Another projected lottery pick in the 2015 NBA Draft will return to school for at least one more season.

Providence College redshirt sophomore point guard Kris Dunn announced Friday he will return for a fourth year next season. This, after the New London, Conn. native shot up draft boards this winter with his strong play, culminating with his being named Big East Co-Player of the Year.

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NEW YORK -- Kris Dunn flirted with the first triple-double in the Big East Tournament in 17 years, but despite his heroic efforts defending champion Providence lost to this year's favorite, Villanova, 63-61, in an instant-classic semifinal on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

In Saturday night's championship game, No. 1 Villanova will play No. 6 Xavier for its first Big East tournament title since 1995. The Musketeers fended off a late run by No. 2 Georgetown to win 65-63 in the nightcap.

In the first semifinal, the 6-foot-3 Dunn?went for?22 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds and tied the game at 61 on a layup off a steal by teammate Ben Bentil with 12 seconds left.

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By JOSH NEWMAN

NEW YORK - Villanova?won the Big East regular-season title by four games and is now stalking a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but at least one Big East coach doesn't think it is getting the respect it deserves.

"One of the best, if not the best in the country" Providence head coach Ed Cooley said late Thursday afternoon after the Friars defeated St. John's 74-57 in a Big East Tournament quarterfinal. "I don't think Villanova has gotten the respect they deserve on a national scale."

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By JACK LeGWIN

One of the top players in the state of Florida, Alex Owens, has committed to Providence.

He also considered Houston, Missouri and Central Florida.

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By JOSH NEWMAN Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW YORK --?Selection Sunday and the unveiling of the field of 68 is going to be a nervous time for a lot of teams across the country.

Providence will not be one of them.

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JaQuan Lyle is planning to visit Providence in early March, his mother told SNY.tv following a home visit in which she hosted head coach Ed Cooley and assistant Bob Simon at her home in Evansville, Ind.

"We plan on making a visit to Providence on March 3rd or 4th," Lumecha Garrett told SNY.tv. "I work on the weekends so we're trying to make some visits during the week if we can."

She said Cooley and Simon were the first coaches to visit her in Evansville since the 6-foot-5 Lyle decommitted from Louisville and that she was impressed by that.

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For years, Syracuse has made a habit of seemingly never leaving New York State for its non-conference schedule, although the Orange did play in Maui this year.

This year, it's entirely possible the Orange won't have to leave the Empire State during the NCAA Tournament until the Final Four in Arlington, Texas.

Both Joe Lunardi and Jerry Palm have the Orange as the No. 1 seed in the East and opening in Buffalo for the first two rounds. Buffalo, by the way, is only about 1 hour, 20 minutes from point guard Tyler Ennis' home near Toronto.

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Providence head coach Ed Cooley and his whole staff were on hand Sunday night at the Hoophall Classic to watch Donovan Mitchell, a 6-foot-3 2015 combo guard from Brewster (N.H.) Academy.

"It was really nice," Mitchell told SNY.tv after scoring 13 points in Brewster's 91-73 victory over Wilbraham & Monson. "It shows that they are really interested in me."

Mitchell also recently visited Florida and has taken in a UConn game. He currently holds offers from Iowa, Providence, Boston College, Cincinnati, Creighton, Maryland, UConn, St. John's, Seton Hall, Fordham, Florida and Marquette with interest from Kansas.

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Providence suffered a big loss Wednesday when the school announced that sophomore point guard?Kris Dunn?will miss the remainder of the season due to right shoulder surgery.

The 6-foot-3 Dunn was forced to leave an exhibition game last month after injuring the shoulder.

Providence will apply for a medical hardship waiver with the Big East in order to get back Dunn?s season of eligibility.? If approved, Dunn will have three years of eligibility remaining, beginning with the 2014-15 season.

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By BRENDAN McGAIR

Special to ZAGSBLOG

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. ? Toss another memory into the Providence-Rhode Island basketball scrapbook.

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By JOSH VERLIN

NEW YORK?? The youth movement in the new Big East Conference has a decidedly Philadelphia flair to it.

Two of the top freshmen in the 10-team league hail from the city?s Public League, with?Rysheed Jordan(Vaux/St. John?s) and?Brandon Austin(Imhotep/Providence) both expected to play big roles for their respective teams right away. At the league?s media day on Wednesday, Jordan was named the Preseason BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, following up on a senior season where he led Vaux to the PIAA Class A state championship.

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Blair (N.J.) Academy wing Marial Shayok visited Providence last weekend and enjoyed it.

"He had a great visit," Blair coach Joe Mantegna told SNY.tv. "He felt really comfortable with Coach [Ed ] Cooley. He was impressed with how far along their player development is. It was a really great visit in every way."

Providence recently landed power forward Ben Bentil to go along with center Paschal Chukwu and wing Jalen Lindsey in their 2014 recruiting class.

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Ben Bentil?is headed to the Big East.

The 6-foot-8 Bentil out of Middletown (DE) St. Andrew's announced Monday for Providence, choosing the Friars over St. Joe's, Temple, Miami and UCLA.

"I've decided to go Providence college. ( FRIAR NATION) ," he Tweeted.???

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Abdul Malik Abu and Jared Terrell will visit Providence unofficially next Saturday, Expressions Elite coach Tyron Boswell told SNY.tv.

Kaleb Joseph and Pascal Chukwu may also join them.

Providence has been recruiting the 6-foot-8 Abu and the 6-2 Terrell hard for two years, and head coach Ed Cooley has made them a priority.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Providence coach Ed Cooley sat courtside for much of last week's Nike Global Challenge.

The Friars head man was keeping an eye on recent commit Jalen Lindsey, as well as players he hopes ultimately become Friars, such as 2014 forward Abdul Malik Abu.

"We want to recruit the best players in the country," Cooley, speaking generally because he cannot comment on specific players, told SNY.tv.

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Jalen Lindsey, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Huntington (W.V.) Prep, committed to Providence late Monday night, giving head coach Ed Cooley a long, athletic wing and the Rivals No. 48 prospect in the Class of 2014.

He also considered??Tennessee, Memphis and Mississippi State.

Lindsey is a Tennessee native, but his father, Walt, is a Rhode Island native.

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While the U.S. U19 World Championship Team prepares to play this week in Prague, Czech Republic, Providence's Bryce Cotton and 25 other top college players arrived at the U.S. Olympic Training Center for the start of the USA World University Games Team training camp.

"So far, so good, today was the first day," the 6-foot-1 Cotton told SNY.tv by phone Monday night. "It was good for everybody to get their feet wet and just get integrated to all these different players."

A rising senior who was an All-Big East selection last year and was named to the SNY All-Big East Preseason Team, Cotton led the Big East in scoring last season at 18.3 points per game. This training camp gives him a chance to match up against other elite college guards like New Mexico's Kendall Williams, Notre Dame's Eric Atkins and Nevada's Deonte Burton.

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By DAVE SPAHN

Special to ZAGSBLOG

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- In order for schools to compete with teams like Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, and college basketball's other historic programs, they must substitute hard work for history and tradition.

Tags: Huntington Prep, Providence, Recruiting, Adam Zagoria
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By JOSH NEWMAN Special to ZAGSBLOG

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - As former Providence star and Brooklyn native Vincent Council goes through the NBA Draft process this spring, he can't help but think a little about what could have been.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound point guard averaged?15.9 points, 7.4 assists and 4.1 rebounds as a junior for the Friars to help raise expectations as a senior. Just five minutes into his senior season on Nov. 10 against NJIT, Council suffered a hamstring injury. He would miss 10 games, returning for the Friars' final nonconference game against Brown, which means he was forced to dive right into Big East play five days later.

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NEW YORK -- Providence coach Ed Cooley says his team will only accept an invitation to the NIT and not to any other postseason tournaments.

"If we don't play in the NIT, our season is gone," Cooley said following Providence's 61-44 loss to Cincinnati in the Big East Tournament.

"I didn't come to Providence College to play in another basketball tournament. If the standard is the NCAA, that's the standard."

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http://web.sny.tv/media/video.jsp?content_id=25670909

By BRENDAN McGAIR

Special to ZAGSBLOG?

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By BRENDAN McGAIR

Special to ZAGSBLOG

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Few schools in the country added as much talent at the semester break as Providence.

Ed Cooley and the Friars picked up point guard Kris Dunn, a McDonald's All-American, and forward Sidiki Johnson, an Arizona transfer who is a mercurial talent.

In his debut after missing the first part of the season with a right shoulder injury,?Dunn tied a freshman school-record with 13 assists in a 79-45 rout of Colgate at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. He added?seven points and six rebounds in 27 minutes for the Friars, who wore green jerseys that read "Sandy Hook" on the back in honor of the 26 shooting victims in Newtown, Conn.

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Rhode Island will visit Providence Thursday night in a battle of two up-and-coming teams with depleted rosters.

How depleted are they?

So depleted that the most interesting game between the two teams might be a hypothetical three-on-three contest between each team's best unavailable players.

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Brandon Austin visited Providence this weekend and he says head coach Ed Cooley is pitching him on becoming part of the future core of the team along with Kris Dunn and Ricky Ledo.

"It was pretty good," the former Penn State commit told SNY.tv Sunday night.

"I liked the school, the community, the team, the coaching staff, all that.

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Former Indiana commit Ron Patterson visited Providence Friday night for their Midnight Madness and heads to SMU on Wednesday.

"It went good," the 6-foot-2, 200-pound shooting guard from Brewster (N.H.) Academy told SNY.tv Sunday. "They have a nice gym. They said I would be a go-to guy, like a scorer."

Patterson said he likes head coach Ed Cooley's approach.

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Rodney Bullock, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound power forward from Hampton (Va.) Kecoughtan, has verbally committed to Providence.

Bullock told SNY.tv he chose the Friars over Clemson, Xavier and Old Dominion.

"I think it fits my style of play and I'm going to bring lots of versatility," he said.

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Ricky Ledo will be able to practice but not play for Providence this season.

The 6-foot-5 wing from Providence was ruled a partial qualifier with full participation but is exempt from competition this season. He is currently enrolled in classes and can compete during the 2013-14 season, according to the Providence Journal.

Providence coach Ed Cooley told the Journal Ledo "is in good spirits. He's appreciative of being here but he knows he has work to do. This is a great opportunity for Ricky."

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GALLOWAY, N.J.???In an effort to turn Providence around, head coach Ed Cooley is taking a two-pronged approach in recruiting.

Cooley is going after some big national fish like Troy (Mich.) shooting guard James Young, who's also being targeted by Kentucky, Michigan State and Syracuse, and he's also trying to lock down the best talent in the New England area.

That explains why he's never far from the Expressions Elite 16s team that features 6-foot-8 2014 power forward Abdul-Malik Abu and 6-4 shooting guard Jared Terrell.

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Incoming Providence point guard Kris Dunn will undergo shoulder surgery in about two weeks and could be sidelined up to five months, according to a report in the New London (Conn.) Day.

"I have a torn labrum," Dunn, a McDonald's All-American, told the paper. "I've got a fracture in my bone. It happened during the NFA game during the ECC tournament (on March 1). I got fouled hard and I kind of dislocated it a little bit and it popped back in real quickly.

"? I went to a couple trainers and physical therapists and they said it was just bruised. So I just kept playing on it and I thought it would go away if I just iced it, and it didn't."

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Providence freshman point guard Kris Dunn will have an MRI on his shoulder this week to determine if he needs surgery that could keep him out for an extended period.

"He's going to have an MRI on Thursday and will be evaluated after the MRI and we'll see where it is from there," Friars coach Ed Cooley told SNY.tv Monday.

"He really hurt his shoulder when he was out with the USA [U18] tryouts. He's in good spirits. Until we see what's up with this MRI there's really nothing to talk about."

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Tyler Harris is headed to the Big East.

The 6-foot-8 Long Island native opted to transfer to Providence from N.C. State, choosing the Friars over Temple, Dayton, UAB and South Florida.

"He has developed a great relationship with (head) coach (Ed) Cooley and (assistant) coach (Andre) LaFleur," Torrel Harris told SNY.tv. "He believed in them, how they would utilize him to be a major contributor to the team and he looks forward to competing in the Big East."

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The tallest player still left in the Class of 2012 is fresh off a visit to Providence and heads to South Carolina next.

7-foot Brooklyn native Jordan Dickerson visited Providence this week and will trip to the SEC school Sunday-Tuesday.

"[USC coach] Frank [Martin] was recruiting him when he was at Kansas State," Dickerson's uncle, Darrell Crawford, told SNY.tv.

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Former Wake Forest center Carson Desrosiers made the call on Tuesday.

The7-footer from Windham, N.H., picked Providence over Vanderbilt and Oregon State.

"Just committed to PC," he said by text. "I connected with Coach [Ed] Cooley instantly and everybody's excited for the immediate future of PC basketball, including myself."

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If you're confused about who's coming and who's going from the Providence basketball team these days, you're not alone.

After some back and forth, Arlington (Fla.) Country Day?point guard?Ian Baker told SNY.tv he has committed to the Friars and will join the team next year along with a recruiting class of Kris Dunn, Ricky Ledo and Josh Fortune.

"I did commit,"?the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Baker?told SNY.tv. "The thing I liked about Providence the most is my relationship with the head coach. It also seems like a great place. I'm going to be comfortable and have the opportunity to play right away according to coach [Ed] Cooley."

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While the college basketball world waits for Shabazz, Nerlens and Tony to name their college choices, another potential diamond in the rough remains uncommitted.

Bradley Hayes, a 6-foot-11 center from Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood with a very high ceiling, has yet to pick a school.

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NEW ORLEANS -- New Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley has rounded out his staff with the addition of Jimmy Carr from Rutgers.

Hurley's staff now includes his brother, Bobby, Carr and Preston Murphy, who worked for former coach Jim Baron and will stay on with Hurley.

?Jimmy Carr has been a tremendous asset to me and my staff, not only for his knowledge of Rutgers University, but the Big East as well,? Rutgers coach Mike Rice said. ?Jimmy is a great coach and an even better person. We are excited for him to have this opportunity. We wish Jimmy and Natalie nothing but the best.?

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