Yesterday was a massive day for Providence Friars Men's Basketball. The Friars were able to get a commitment from Brewster Academy guard Makai Ashton-Langford for next year's incoming Freshmen class. Let's take a little trip down memory lane to go through the timeline of how Ed Cooley and the Friars landed the stud guard.
April 30, 2014: Boston College offers Makai Ashton-Langford...this just makes me chuckle.
May 21, 2015: DePaul offers Makai Ashton-Langford...this one's even funnier because at least he's from Mass for BC to offer, there was no chance in hell that he was going to DePaul.
July 27, 2016: Ashton-Langford transfers from Cushing Academy to Brewster Academy for his PG year.
August 8, 2015: UConn offers Makai Ashton-Langford.
August 7, 2016: Official visits set up for Louisville, UConn, and Providence.
August 24, 2016: Ashton-Langford tweets out that he has narrowed his list to a final two schools, UConn and Providence.
August 31, 2016: Makai takes an unofficial visit to Providence.Decisions🤔🤔... pic.twitter.com/qxpPMKtoTe— makai ashton (@makaiashton11) August 24, 2016
September 5, 2016: Ashton-Langford commits to UConn.
November 9, 2016: Sings National Letter of Intent to attend UConn.🔥🔥Makai Ashton-Langford6'1/2017 - Brewster Academy (NH)UConn Commitment pic.twitter.com/nKiywrk4B8
— Phenom Hoop Photo (@PhenomHoopPhoto) September 8, 2016
March 31, 2017: De-commits from UConn.Just signed my NLI🙏🏽 #blessed— makai ashton (@makaiashton11) November 9, 2016
April 6, 2017: Coach Ed Cooley visits Makai Ashton-Langford.
April 7, 2017: Makai takes an official visit to Providence, attends the end of the season banquet.
April 10, 2017: Officially commits to PC.
Congrats to my roommate on his commitment to Providence! ⛹🏽@makaiashton11 pic.twitter.com/DmeXvFjsZR— Thomas Allen (@TGABFY) April 11, 2017
April 11, 2017: I start counting the days until the next PC basketball season.
I saw some UConn fans trashing Makai a little bit for de-committing from the Huskies saying that they didn't want a player that obviously wasn't mentally tough enough for the challenge of playing at UConn. He was the 4th player who was going to be playing for UConn this year who won't be now, coming next season (joining Enoch, Jackson, & Durham). For people to get upset at a young kid for realizing that he made a hasty decision on what is potentially the biggest decision of his life, is utterly ridiculous. And not for nothing, I never stopped following MAL on twitter or Instagram when he chose UConn over PC, so I'm going to take 0.04% of the credit for him coming to Providence.
This is why I never understand the small faction of fans that say that Ed Cooley shouldn't go after the big recruits. Kris Dunn was the the first guy who made all others that followed him possible. With the amount of transfers and de-commitments that you see in today's College Basketball landscape, to even be in the conversation of one of the final teams on a big time recruits list speaks volumes to other players in the same situations. Also, as in the case, if someone has a change of heart as to where they want to play, having a prior relationship, and a great one at that, goes a long way because that's probably the first place that guy will turn to when re-visiting his recruiting.
Just look at how the Friars snagged big man Carson Desrosiers once he decided to transfer from Wake Forest. Assistant Coach Jeff Battle had previously recruited Desrosiers to Wake and had since moved onto Providence once Ed Cooley took over the head coaching job. Guess who Carson's first call was to once he decided to transfer...Jeff Battle.
Makai Ashton-Langford is the 32nd ranked High School recruit according to 247 sports. MAL joins two other Providence recruits with size from Virginia in Nate Watson (89th) and Dajour Dickens (139th). The Friars have skyrocketed up the National recruiting ranks all the way up to 14th ranked in all of College Basketball (2nd in the Big East being Xavier). Providence still has one open scholarship for the upcoming season with the transfers of Ryan Fazekas and Ricky Council from last year's squad. This 14th ranked class will join a team returning their top 8 players (Cartwright, Holt, Diallo, Lindsey, White, Young, Jackson, and Bullock...most likely), making them primed for a pre-season Top 25 ranking if you ask me.
I've been on a re-tweeting and favoriting spree on Twitter so I'll just throw a couple of them down here that I particularly liked once the new broke on MAL.
If you're even just a moderately talented PG and you go to Providence you'll average 15 and 7 under Ed Cooley. https://t.co/xWUL1XpR1b— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) April 11, 2017
Not for nothing, but MAL has a relationship with some PC targets for next year, David Duke and AJ Reeves.
— Duke (@Duuukkeee) April 11, 2017
If this starts an onslaught of big time recruits coming to Providence, I'm so fucking down for that.
I'm going with the 24/7 sports ranking of 32...so tough shit ESPN.This is a HUGE pickup for Ed Cooley and the Friars. Makai Ashton-Langford was ranked No. 36 in the ESPN Top 100.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 11, 2017
Makai Ashton-Langford on why chose Providence: "My relationship with Cooley, opportunity to impact Big East was just too much to pass up."— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 11, 2017
Ed Cooley should get a lifetime contract from Providence. Lifetime..@BrewsterHoops on Makai Ashton-Langford to PC: The visit this weekend proved to be what he thought in terms of the culture they've created— Brendan McGair (@BWMcGair03) April 11, 2017
Legitimately everything I read about this kid makes me like him more and more.Have coached Makai Ashton-Langford for 5 years & he may be the nicest young man to have worn a Mass Rivals jersey. Incredible get for PC.— Rivals Nation (@RivalsNation) April 11, 2017
— TruthAboutPCBBall (@TTAPCBBall) April 11, 2017