Kris Dunn, New London High School, and Ricardo Ledo, South Kent Prep, are both Providence College commits and have earned some of the highest individual honors a high school basketball player can achieve. In the last few months the elite high school players have participated in the two most prestigious high school basketball games, the McDonald’s All-American game and the Jordan Brand Classic.
These games are showcases for the upper-echelon of high school basketball talent on the national level. Both are broadcasted on national television and the McDonald’s game is like an all-star weekend with festivities including a slam dunk contest and three-point shootout to round it out the competitions.
“Providence is a special place for me,” Dunn said in an interview with ESPN. “I have a great connection with the coaches but most importantly with (Cooley). He made my family and I feel at home and we were wanted.”
Ledo is ranked sixth in the Rivals top 150 and ranked 21st by ESPN. The 6-foot-6 guard is regarded as a prolific scorer, will also become a Friar next season.
“I grew up in Providence and it feels like a perfect fit,” Ledo told ESPN. “I trust coach Cooley. He’s one of the reasons Providence can get back on top.”
Providence College has landed the two top Connecticut recruits and two of the top 25 recruits in the nation. This could be because of a number of things but a person can speculate that UConn’s sanctions and punishments took them out of the race and stopped them from staying home.
College basketball in Connecticut has had a shadow casted over it for some time now. It is a Huskies-shaped shadow that has produced the likes of Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton, and Emeka Okafor, among many others.
The University of Connecticut may be the juggernaut of Connecticut basketball but it is far from the only team taking the hardwood. There are several collegiate teams in the state that have to compete in finding elite players to continue to build their program’s success.
Whether it is Division I, II or III, all coaches go through a rigorous recruiting process every year in order to put their teams in the best possible position for the future. Depending on their division and conference, different teams look for a different caliber of players.
The purpose behind this blog is to take a deeper look into the collegiate basketball in different parts of Connecticut. It will be interesting to uncover the differences in recruiting from each Division. For example, some coaches look for specific players to play within their system and some coaches will recruit in certain geographical areas more than others.
Also, the NCAA has many rules about what coaching staffs are allowed to do when contacting an individual. It will be important to learn exactly what their limitations are and the pressures that college coaches are under in building their program.
Recruiting is the cornerstone to building a successful collegiate team and it is a topic that needs to be covered in a greater capacity.