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Xavier picks up four-star 2019 commitment from guard Dahmir Bishop

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Xavier continued its trend of Class of 2019 commitments on Friday night as four-star guard Dahmir Bishop pledged to the Musketeers.

The 6-foot-5 Bishop is a native of Philadelphia, as he’s a natural perimeter scorer who should be able to play multiple spots for Xavier. Regarded as the No. 89 overall prospect in the national Class of 2019, according to Rivals, Bishop committed to the Musketeers and head coach Travis Steele after taking an official visit to campus last weekend.

Already the fourth member of Xavier’s Class of 2019 recruiting haul, Bishop gives the Big East program a third top-150 prospect as he joins top-150 forwards Daniel Ramsey and Zach Freemantle as well as three-star big man Dieonte Miles.

While Xavier isn’t in the mix for elite five-star prospects in this class, Steele and his staff have done an admirable job of identifying the prospects that they want and landing them quickly. Having four prospects committed for next year by mid-September gives Xavier’s recruiting a lot of flexibility going forward. If Steele continues to identify, and land, prospects that fit Xavier’s profile, then the program should be in good hands after former head coach Chris Mack left for Louisville.

Five-star 2019 guard Nico Mannion down to two schools

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Five-star Class of 2019 point guard Nico Mannion appears to be inching closer to his college decision after announcing that he’s down to two schools on Friday night.

The 6-foot-3 Mannion recently reclassified into 2019 after being in the Class of 2020 the past few years, as big-name colleges immediately offered. Mannion was down to a final four that included Arizona, Duke, Marquette and Villanova.

Now, Mannion is focused on Arizona and Marquette as the Blue Devils and Wildcats have been dropped from his list. With Villanova taking a recent commitment from five-star guard Bryan Antoine, it makes sense that it might be a crowded backcourt situation. Duke is a potentially crowded backcourt situation as well, with multiple five-star point guard offers in 2019.

Arizona is the in-state option for Mannion, as he plays at Phoenix Pinnacle High School. Marquette would also give Mannion plenty of freedom in the backcourt as high-scoring guard Markus Howard could be a recent example of what the Golden Eagles could look to do with Mannion.

It’ll be interesting to see how long Mannion takes to announce from here, as he hasn’t set a decision date or next step in the timeline. One of the top scoring lead guards in the Class of 2019, Mannion should have an instant impact at the college level.

Five-star guard Cole Anthony announces 12 finalists

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For a kid that’s the son of an NBA player (who also is prominently on TV as an analyst) and a top-five recruit, Cole Anthony has kept his recruitment remarkably quiet. Our own Rob Dauster wrote 2,500 words on him earlier this summer, and still had to “read the tea leaves” as to who, exactly, was recruiting the talented guard.

Anthony finally provided some clarity on the situation ahead of his senior year.

Twelve schools made the cut for Anthony, who will now consider Kansas, Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisville, Oregon, Villanova, Wake Forest, Pitt, Georgetown, Notre Dame and Miami as his college destination.

Anthony essentially had his pick of any school in the country, so this list is a trim, but considering the size of it, Anthony is still keeping his options open. Those options basically being all the top programs in the country. And Pitt.

(Sorry, that was mean to the Panthers. Clearly the hiring of Jeff Capel, who spearheaded Duke’s recruiting of recent seasons, is putting them in contention for top-level players.)

Anthony has said previously he’s looking to make a spring decision on where he’ll attend school.


Providence freshman David Duke Jr. takes flight in Italy

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Having reached the NCAA tournament in each of the last five seasons, the Providence basketball program has begun its preparations for a run at a sixth straight appearance in Italy.

Ed Cooley’s team, which beat the Varese All-Stars by a final score of 113-46 on Thursday, was back in action Saturday with the Adriatic Sea Dragons serving as the opposition. And during one sequence freshman guard David Duke Jr., part of a highly-anticipated recruiting class, showed exactly why so many have been high on the Providence native since he made his commitment to stay home.

Duke stole a pass in the backcourt and then took off towards the basket, with a backpedaling defender serving as “resistance.” The end result was a lesson in what can happen when you wind up underneath the basket, and the man with the ball is a high-level finisher.

Much is expected from Providence’s four-member freshman class, but there’s plenty to expect from the returnees as well. Alpha Diallo is one of the Big East’s best wing talents, and contributors such as Kalif Young, Nate Watson and Makai Ashton-Langford appear poised to take a step forward in 2018-19.

Add in the return of Emmitt Holt, whose minutes are being limited in Italy after an abdominal issue sidelined him for all of last season, and Providence has the tools needed to not only make another NCAA tournament appearance but contend in the Big East as well.

Xavier lands four-star forward

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Just a week after taking his official visit, Daniel Ramsey decided to make Xavier his collegiate destination.

Ramsey, a 6-foot-8 forward in the Class of 2019, committed to the Musketeers, he announced Monday.

“I also would like to thank any coaches and trainers that I’ve had throughout this long journey!” Ramsey wrote on Twitter. “Last but not least I want to thank my family for helping me every step of the way and believing in me through it all!

“With that being said I will be committing to Xavier University”

Ramsey, who hails from Albany, Ga. and made his official visit to the city of Cincinnati last weekend, commits to Xavier after announcing a top-six late last month that also included Florida, Georgia, Ohio State, Rice and Vanderbilt. He is a consensus top-150 player in the 2019 class.

He joins fellow four-star and top-150 recruit Elias King, a 6-foot-7 forward also from Georgia, in first-year coach Travis Steele’s 2019 class.

Providence lands four-star 2019 forward Greg Gantt

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Providence added another quality recruit on Friday as four-star Class of 2019 forward Greg Gantt pledged to the Friars.

The 6-foot-8 Gantt is a native of North Carolina who has ascended up the national rankings thanks to his two-way versatility and athleticism. Regarded as the No. 55 overall prospect on Rivals, Gantt gives the Friars another solid piece to work with as head coach Ed Cooley and his staff have done an admirable job of landing players over the last several classes.

With Gantt, Providence could have a multi-year, two-way forward who could develop into a really solid all-around player. Since the Friars have their potential backcourt of the future coming in this season in A.J. Reeves and David Duke, Gantt slides in nicely in the frontcourt. The additional Providence 2018 commitments of Kris Monroe and Jimmy Nichols at forward will also bolster the Providence frontcourt as well as the Friars are starting to develop solid positional depth among recent recruiting classes.