Freshmen Jordan, Austin Lead Big East Youth Movement


NEW YORK – The youth movement in the new Big East Conference has a decidedly Philadelphia flair to it.

Two of the top freshmen in the 10-team league hail from the city’s Public League, with Rysheed Jordan(Vaux/St. John’s) and Brandon Austin(Imhotep/Providence) both expected to play big roles for their respective teams right away. At the league’s media day on Wednesday, Jordan was named the Preseason BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, following up on a senior season where he led Vaux to the PIAA Class A state championship.

The ultra-athletic 6-foot-4 point guard scored a city-high 20.7 ppg last year, finishing his career in the Public League with 1,817 points, good enough for seventh-best in the history of the league. He often had to carry his team near-singlehandedly, with his best performances saved for the biggest of stages.

“I’ll say that at this stage or juncture of Rysheed’s college basketball career, he’s as impressive as any that I’ve coached when it comes to decision making, poise, toughness and his ability to learn,” St. John’s coach Steve Lavin said. “At this stage, and it’s early–he hasn’t played his first Division I basketball game–but he makes good reads, good judgements, good choices, winning play after winning play and that bodes well.”

Click here to read the full story at


Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter

And like ZAGS on Facebook

Shayok Enjoys Providence Visit, Marquette Next

Blair (N.J.) Academy wing Marial Shayok visited Providence last weekend and enjoyed it.

“He had a great visit,” Blair coach Joe Mantegna told “He felt really comfortable with Coach [Ed ] Cooley. He was impressed with how far along their player development is. It was a really great visit in every way.”

Providence recently landed power forward Ben Bentil to go along with center Paschal Chukwu and wing Jalen Lindsey in their 2014 recruiting class. To read more of this story, click here

Ben Bentil to Providence

Ben Bentil is headed to the Big East.

The 6-foot-8 Bentil out of Middletown (DE) St. Andrew’s announced Monday for Providence, choosing the Friars over St. Joe’s, Temple, Miami and UCLA.

“I’ve decided to go Providence college. ( FRIAR NATION) ,” he Tweeted.🏀🏀🏀

This is a nice pickup for head coach Ed Cooley after he and his staff missed out on Expessions Elite forward Abdul Malik Abu, who picked N.C. State over Providence, UConn and Florida.

Bentil is a powerful four man who can transition into a three.

He joins 7-1 center Paschal Chukwu and 6-7 wing Jalen Lindsey in Providence’s increasingly strong 2014 class. To read more of this story, click here

Chukwu to Providence

Ed Cooley is now half way to the “Friar Four.”

The Providence coach on Thursday landed a verbal pledge from Paschal Chukwu, the 7-foot-1 center from Fairfield (CT) Prep, who chose the Friars over St. Joe’s, where his sister attends. reported Wednesday that Chukwu was down to Providence and St. Joe’s.

“I’ve known coach Cooley for three years,” Chukwu told the Providence Journal, referring to Cooley’s time as coach at Fairfield. “I’ve gotten to know them really well. Providence is a program on the rise and I’m looking forward to playing for coach Cooley.” To read more of this story, click here

Abu, Terrell Visiting Providence

Abdul Malik Abu and Jared Terrell will visit Providence unofficially next Saturday, Expressions Elite coach Tyron Boswell told

Kaleb Joseph and Pascal Chukwu may also join them.

Providence has been recruiting the 6-foot-8 Abu and the 6-2 Terrell hard for two years, and head coach Ed Cooley has made them a priority.

“We want to recruit the best players in the country,” Cooley, speaking generally because he cannot comment on specific players, told last month at the Nike Global Challenge. To read more of this story, click here

Providence’s Cooley: ‘We want to recruit the best players in the country’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Providence coach Ed Cooley sat courtside for much of last week’s Nike Global Challenge.

The Friars head man was keeping an eye on recent commit Jalen Lindsey, as well as players he hopes ultimately become Friars, such as 2014 forward Abdul Malik Abu.

“We want to recruit the best players in the country,” Cooley, speaking generally because he cannot comment on specific players, told

“Everybody always says a lot of negative things about the brand of Providence. Whether that’s in the past or whatever, I don’t look at that. I want the best players in the country to to play in the best league in the country.” To read more of this story, click here

Jalen Lindsey to Providence

Jalen Lindsey, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Huntington (W.V.) Prep, committed to Providence late Monday night, giving head coach Ed Cooley a long, athletic wing and the Rivals No. 48 prospect in the Class of 2014.

He also considered  Tennessee, Memphis and Mississippi State.

Lindsey is a Tennessee native, but his father, Walt, is a Rhode Island native.

“Basketball-wise, it’s giving me an opportunity to play right away,” Lindsey told “Knowing that I’m playing for Coach Cooley gets me excited. I think he’s a great coach, and I know we can do great things.”

Walt told that Providence had worked hard on Jalen, even watching him win a state title at Christ Presbyterian in Tennessee last season. To read more of this story, click here