Ed Cooley

One school in common as teammates Abdul-Malik Abu, Jared Terrell cut lists

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One of the bigger questions in recruiting circles this spring/summer was how likely it is that Expressions Elite (Mass.) teammates Abdul-Malik Abu and Jared Terrell end up attending the same school.

With Terrell (who attends Brewster Academy) being a 6-2 guard and Abu (who attends Kimball Union Academy) a 6-9 power forward, the tandem would be a quality haul for any school hoping to land their services.

On Wednesday night it was learned that if the two are to end up at the same school there’s only one choice, as each player cut his list to four as first reported by HoopDreamsMag.comAbu’s final four schools are UConn, Florida, N.C. State and Providence, with Terrell’s final four being Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, Rhode Island and Providence.

The one school in common: Providence.

Obviously recruiting is a fluid situation, as many variables can potentially come into play with any recruit. But the final lists put forth by Abu and Terrell is another piece of good news for Providence head coach Ed Cooley and his staff (and the Friar faithful, of course) on the recruiting trail.

PC’s already landed a commitment from 2014 small forward Jalen Lindsey, a Top 100 prospect from Nashville, Tenn. And there’s also the matter of Providence being one of the final three schools on 2014 point guard Kaleb Joseph’s list, with Syracuse and West Virginia being the others.

Things are looking up on the court as well, with Providence coming off of its first postseason appearance (NIT) since 2009. It’s safe to say that if Cooley can continue to build both on the court and on the recruiting trail, there will be much rejoicing in “Friartown.”

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.

LSU looking into starting lineup options

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - MARCH 7:  Head Coach Johnny Jones of the LSU Tigers watches his team play during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on March 7, 2015 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Tigers defeated the Razorbacks 81-78.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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LSU football and Leonard Fournette are off to a strong start this fall, but the beginning of October also means that college hoops is right around the corner. If you’re a Tigers basketball fan, you also have plenty to be excited about on the hardwood this season with the arrival of a loaded freshman class headlined by forward Ben Simmons.

While the versatile Simmons has solidified a spot in the starting lineup for next season, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Johnny Jones uses the rest of his talented freshmen. In a story from Sheldon Mickles of the New Orleans Advocate, he looks into some potential LSU starting lineups.

Freshman guard Antonio Blakeney, a McDonald’s All-American with Simmons, is also expected to start, but does another talented freshman guard, Brandon Sampson get a shot to start? And what of Arizona transfer Craig Victor when he’s eligible to play in December?

Mickles believes the early favorite for starting lineup is guards Tim Quarterman, Keith Hornsby, Blakeney, Simmons and center Darcy Malone. When Victor returns, Mickles said Victor could push Simmons into the “center” position, which would be a matchup nightmare on the opposition because Simmons would be very tough for many college centers to defend.

Sampson also gets a mention from Mickles of having the potential to start down the line. Overall, a good problem to have for Jones and he’ll have to experiment to see which lineups are giving him the most. Having a productive starting five is nice, but I’m sure Jones would love to find the five players he wants to close with.