Jalen Lindsey: The ScoutFriars Interview

"Crazy," Jalen Lindsey said when asked about the atmosphere around him after committing to Providence College late Monday night. "But it's great to see the excitement, and great to see the fans [energy]."

Lindsey, the latest recruit to pledge his game under Ed Cooley, is one of the top prospects in the country. This past season Lindsey helped lead Christ Presbyterian Academy to its second straight state title. Jalen won the State Tournament MVP award and the Mr. Basketball in Tennessee award for his performance, which concluded a strong junior year with averages of 17.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. He had already caught the attention from some top schools including Tennessee, Florida, and Kentucky, but Providence was the one that stood out for him.

"They recruited me the hardest," Lindsey recalled. "Coach Cooley is an outstanding coach and an outstanding guy both on and off the court. I believe he'll help me get prepared for the NBA. I trust him with that."

This is not the first time Cooley has won over a player with his honesty and trust-building. His ability to be upfront and honest with recruits to build strong, truthful relationships has become widely recognized as part of his success as a coach.

"Coach Cooley and I were talking Monday afternoon, and we were having a great talk and I decided that was it, it felt right and I was going to play for Coach Cooley."

One thing that Ed Cooley is recognized for in his recruiting is to find players that fit his mold of a model student athlete, and Lindsey is no exception. Lindsey has cited that one of his strongest areas is his shooting, whether it's his jumper or his ability to attack the rim allowing for the versatile scoring offense that Cooley likes to generate.

However, Lindsey acknowledges that the strongest part of the game is his ability to get his teammates involved. Lindsey does ensure his team is active on the floor and working with each other, and he's previously recognized that his teammates have helped him succeed. This 'team-first' mentality is one that Cooley preaches, consistent with Lindsey's former high school coach, Drew Maddux.

Although Lindsey has a strong game already, he knows where he wants to get stronger. "My ball handling definitely, and consistency with my shot needs improvement," Lindsey said. Lindsey will have no trouble improving on his handling with the help of God Shammgod, and having a coach like Andre LaFleur on the staff will be sure to help with Lindsey's consistency. "I'm blessed to work with Coach LaFleur," Lindsey said, continuing to say that Coach LaFleur would be able to help him reach his NBA goals.

Lindsey will be transferring from CPA to Huntington Prep in West Virginia for his senior season of high school. There, Lindsey hopes to win a national championship and leave behind a legacy as a top player to come through that school. But Lindsey doesn't plan to have success stop after high school.

"I want to help build this thing," Lindsey said confidently about coming in to play for the Friars. "Coach Cooley has some tricks up his sleeve, and I really believe in him. He's got plans for success, including getting more players."

Lindsey also took the time to say a few words to the Friar fans who rejoiced at his announcement on Monday night.

"Thank you for accepting me," Lindsey said. "I can't wait to get there and get this started."

Lindsey is the first commitment of the 2014 class for the Friars, but Providence still has many targets they're pursuing, including Paschal Chukwu, Kaleb Joseph, Jared Terrell, Robert Johnson, Angel Delgado and Abdul-Malik Abu, among others.

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