Ricky Ledo’s gift to Keno Davis

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Perhaps the most surprising news of the weekend didn’t involve Renardo Sidney’s fisticuffs with Elgin Bailey. It didn’t involve Butler’s unexpected run to the Diamond Head Classic title. Hell, go back a couple of more days, and last week’s most surprising news may not have even been the suspension of Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly.

If you remember (and how could you forget), Rick Pitino announced that he would be coaching the Puerto Rican national team from April-June this spring. Surprising? Yes, until you consider that Ricky Ledo, a top ten recruit from the class of 2012 and one of Louisville’s top targets, is of Puerto Rican descent.

A little clearer, right?

Pitino wanted to coach the Puerto Rican national team to get close to a kid he was recruiting.

Makes a lot of sense.

But it backfired.

On Christmas Eve, Providence head coach Keno Davis received an early Christmas present I’m not sure he ever imagined getting. Ledo, a Providence native, called Davis and declared his intentions to stay home and play for the Friars. From Kevin McNamara of the ProJo:

“I’m going to do it in front of my family and friends as opposed to leaving,” Ledo said on Christmas morning. “So many other guys have left. I want to stay close to home, like Marvin Barnes.”

Ledo said the attraction of his family and friends was powerful, as was PC’s pitch for him to stay home and follow in the footsteps of Barnes, Ernie DiGregorio, Joe Hassett, Abdul Abdullah and, most recently, Jeff Xavier, as local high school stars who played for the Friars. Ledo spent Christmas with his grandparents, Ada and Julio Carrasco, as well as his brother Kyron and his parents, Kimeco Ledo and Ricardo Carrasco. He said everyone was excited with his choice.

“I talked to my family and I just wanted to get this over with,” he said. “It’s home and Providence gives me the best shot as a player to play a lot right away. I also like Keno’s style: fast-paced, run-and-gun.”

Needless to say, this is a huge, huge, huge get for Davis.

Ledo was being recruited by everyone. He more or less had the option of going to any school in the country, and he chose Providence.

Ledo won’t be in a Friar uniform for another two years, but with Ledo already committed to the school, its a great building block for the rest of his recruiting class. “Come to Providence and play some run-and-gun basketball with one of the ten best players in your class.” Not a bad recruiting pitch.

Perhaps more importantly for Davis is that Ledo’s commitment has bought him some time. Its no secret that the Friar program has struggled the past few seasons. Combine that with all the offseason drama surrounding the program, and it was easy to speculate that Davis’ seat was starting to get a bit warm.

But with Ledo’s commitment and his team off to an impressive 11-2 start, Davis appears to have that program heading in the right direction.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.