OBSERVATIONS FROM PC'S ELITE CAMP

Providence College and Ed Cooley and company hosted their annual Elite Camp on August 8 and more than 75 campers turned out for a little attention and coaching, Friar-style.

In past years, the Elite Camp has proven to be an effective recruiting tool for Providence. Two years ago, Cooley tried for a Fab Five moment when Paschal Chukwu, Abdul Malik-Abu, Jared Terrell and Kaleb Joseph took the floor together along with junior Donovan Mitchell. Of those, only Chukwu committed, but it was a memorable scene.

Last year, PC reaped commitments from Alex Owens and Class of 2017 guard Javon Taylor, who verballed at the end of the day.

This year, the stars weren’t shining as brightly, but there were a number of known Friar targets on hand. From the list of campers that was provided, there were four players that were confirmed PC targets and a number of others with Friar interest. The four targets were: Donovan Love ’16, Chuba Ohams ’16, Wabissa Bede ’17 and A.J. Reeves ’18.

The player who attracted the most attention, though, was one who was a late arrival and not on the camper list. Sedee Keita ’16, a 6’11, 225 power forward from 22ft. Academy in South Carolina, received the full Ed Cooley love treatment. Keita played with the top prospects and Cooley sat with him on the bench, speaking to him for fifteen minutes. Cooley then escorted Keita to the Friar offices. A brief glimpse of Keita’s talent was enough to convince observers that he would be a prime catch.

As is always the case in camps of this type, it quickly becomes apparent who the high level, Division I type players are. Following are observations of players who were singled out for the prime scrimmage and how they fared:

SEDEE KEITA ‘16: By far, the most effective big man at the camp. Keita reminded this observer of a poor man’s Jalen Reynolds. Long and lean, yet strong, Keita is extremely active, has excellent explosiveness, rebounds well and can score inside and out, flashing an accurate perimeter jumper. He has the whole package and would be a plum recruit for PC’s 2016 class.

WABISSA BEDE ‘17: Bede, from Cushing Academy, was the best point guard present and is a pure point, one can ably lead a team. Generously listed at 6’2, his only weaknesses were his size and outside shooting, but he has great vision, an excellent handle, passes well and is solidly built and able to take it to the basket and kick.

DONOVAN LOVE ‘16: Another 6’2 guard who can play on or off the ball, Love hails from New Hampton Prep. We didn’t see much in the way of outside shooting from Love, but he also takes it hard to the hole and passes well.

CHUBA OHAMS ‘16: From Woodstock Academy, Ohams is a 6’7 wing who has a nice inside-out game. Ohams’ ballhandling didn’t impress, but he’s not afraid to take it inside and mix it up with bigger players.

A.J. REEVES ’18: A 6’5 forward out of Brimmer and Mayo, Reeves is considered the top prospect in his class in New England, but has a ways to go to fulfill his potential. Complained about ref calls too much but showed a nice midrange jumper. He’s young and has time to grow and mature.

JAVON TAYLOR ’17: This Friar commit from Beaver Country Day, simply has not progressed much from last year. At 6’3, he can play on or off the ball, and is quick, but did not finish well inside and did not shoot well from outside. Clearly an unselfish player, Taylor did not assert himself or stand out in any way.

JAMES WELLS ’16: A 6’7 forward from Worcester Academy, Wells’ only offer so far is from Canisius, but he can play. Very smooth and an excellent shooter, Wells can score from inside or out. At times, he was the best player on the court. While he may be ticketed as a mid-major player, someone is going to get themselves a very nice player.

NOAH KEMBA ’19: Keep an eye on this young point guard. He saw major time with the big boys and his height – probably 5’6 – is his major drawback, but he went head-to-head with Bede and held his own. Obviously a very young player, but Kemba, especially if he grows, could become a top point guard.

LENNY KADISHA '16: This 6'3 shooting guard from Harlem has reclassified to 2016 and will take a prep year at Coastal Academy. The Friars have been involved with Kadisha for a couple of years and he can be explosive and athletic. He also has a nice looking jumper and finds ways to score. Has some New York City playground flash to his game.

AARON WHEELER ’17: A 6’7 forward from St. Andrew’s, Wheeler is long and lean and has a very good outside shot. Very active and quick, he can score with ease both inside and out.

PRESTON SANTOS ’18: This 6’5 wing from Bishop Hendricken may be painfully thin, but he can play. Santos can shoot from the outside, handle the ball and get to the basket. More size will help him finish, but he has a bright future.

NATHAN KNIGHT ’16: A 6’9 post player from Kimball Academy, Knight resembles Alex Owens in appearance and build but is nowhere near the finished product that Owens was. A below the rim player, Knight has a strong build and is tough and unafraid inside but may be a step slow.

A contingent of Friars were present to help the coaches. Demonstrating drills and offensive sets for the campers were Ben Bentil, Junior Lomomba, Ricky Council, Casey Woodring and Quadree Smith. At times, Cooley slipped Keita in for Smith.

QUICK HITS: Kris Dunn’s arm injury is healed and he should take the floor soon. In addition, we were told that “if practice were to start today, Rodney Bullock would be out there.” The staff is being extra cautious with Bullock, but he is taking part in all activities other than scrimmages and is ready to go.

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