Consensus Top 40 point guard Makai Ashton-Langford, out of Brewster Academy, answered Ed Cooley’s prayers when he committed to Providence late Monday. The 6’2, 185-pound Ashton-Langford, one of the top guards in the Class of 2017, had been a top priority of Cooley and staff over the past two years.
Ashton-Langford had narrowed his college choices to Providence, Louisville and the University of Connecticut by the end of last summer and then chose UConn over PC back on September 5. He spent the fall and winter convinced that he was going to be a Huskie, but began having doubts when Kevin Ollie surprisingly dismissed Glen Miller, who had been a key in Ashton-Langford’s recruitment, once the season ended. “I committed right after I visited,” said Ashton-Langford. “I began to think that I had made a snap decision.”
On March 31, Ashton-Langford asked UConn to be released from his letter-of-intent and Ollie complied. It didn’t take long for Cooley and company to re-establish contact with the point guard that they had wanted all along. Back in the fall, the Friars had added two four-star frontcourt players, Nate Watson, a 6-9, 250-pound power forward and Dajour Dickens, a 6-11 true center, but Cooley still harbored hope of adding a point guard to the 2017 class.
Enter the now back on the market Ashton-Langford. Makai and his parents quickly lined up an official visit to PC, which coincided with the Friars’ annual end of season banquet, and after returning home on Sunday, Ashton-Langford decided the pull the trigger and commit to Providence.
Ashton-Langford becomes the most highly rated prospect to join the Friars since Kris Dunn and Ricky Ledo in 2012. The lead guard is rated as the #31 player by Scout.com, #36 by ESPN.com and #38 by Rivals. He is the #32 player in 24/7’s composite rankings.
So what kind of player is Providence getting? Well, a winner in short. Ashton-Langford has not played in a game where his team has lost since last spring. During the summer, Makai led Mass Rivals on the AAU tour and averaged 15.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 3.3 apg, as Mass Rivals swept to four straight championships in the July recruiting period, including the Adidas Gauntlet Finale and the Adidas Summer Championship.
After spending three years at Cushing Academy, Ashton-Langford moved to Brewster Academy and led the team to a perfect 33-0 record and both the NEPSAC AAA championship and the National Prep School championship. Clearly, good things happen when Ashton-Langford has the ball in his hands.
Adam Finklestein of the New England Recruiting Report writes: “Ashton-Langford is a talented playmaker with the ball in his hands. He has great end-to-end speed with the ball, terrific finishing touch, and the size and strong body to play through contact on his way to the rim. He is also a gifted on-the-ball defender. Most importantly though, his resume of winning is second to none.”
When we reached out about Ashton-Langford’s game, another long-time scout of the New England prep scene with knowledge about Dunn and PC’s pursuit of 2018’s David Duke, had this to say: “Dunn and Marcus Paige were the number 1 and 2 point guards coming out of high school back in 2012. David Duke is more Kris Dunn where Ashton-Langford is more Marcus Paige, if that makes sense.
Another point to consider is that, playing at Cushing alongside Wabissa Bede and for a very deep and talented Brewster team, Ashton-Langford is very accustomed to sharing the ball and spending some time off the ball. All in all, this is a significant recruiting win for Ed Cooley and the Friars, one that re-establishes their presence on the New England recruiting trail and one that could lead to future dividends down the road. An impact player and winner is heading to Friartown.