PETRO'S PROGRAM NOTES & WHISPERS III

BY DAN PETRONELLA <br> The late signing period opens on April 13th and it's down to crunch time for college coaches everywhere, including here at Providence College. Dan takes a look at several PC prospects and projects what may happen when the 13th rolls around.

I was intending to make this entry a Recruiting Notebook for 2005, but I decided against it...... 2005 recruiting is very fluid at this time, and I cannot see the advantages of putting player profiles into RN form to be buried for all eternity.... We are approaching the moments of truth..... the time when final decisions will be made by both players and coaches...... What I will talk about is what's happening now.... tomorrow it may all be different.......

At this point, with no firm resolve to the Hosely question, we have two scholarships available for next season...... we have major back court needs.....a need for a solid wing player..... and maybe a big man that can provide defensive help on the inside....... To accomplish this we have two 'ships.... quite possibly three....... I don't think there is any secret that Craig Austrie, a 6-2, 180 pound point guard from Trinity Catholic in Stamford, CT and Geoff McDermott, a 6-5---6-6, 220 swingman/quarterback, who has also clocked some minutes at the point for New Rochelle High School in New Rochelle, NY, are the two main targets as of today......

Austrie had verballed to UMass, but has reopened his recruitment when Steve Lappas was fired earlier this month...... Craig visited Uconn unofficially on Thursday...... the Huskies have placed an offer on the table for this young man.... an offer to be a four year backup in Storrs.... Austrie can help in 2005, especially if Kellogg leaves and Price cannot return....... but no doubt Calhoun will recruit over him as soon as the next recruiting class comes around...... Craig will officially visit Providence on Monday and Tuesday of next week...... A verbal will certainly be the goal.... and quickly..... At UMass, Travis Ford has been named as the new head coach....I'm sure he will try to influence Austrie to honor his verbal..... but with two BE offers on the table, I can't see Austrie in Amherst come September....

McDermott, a player who has blown up right through the roof may visit Duke this spring..... While Geoff has not yet decided which sport he will play in college, he has been leaning toward the hardwood....... A legitimate offer from the Blue Devils will be difficult to deal with...... but thus far, Geoff has maintained a closeness to the Friar program......

Now some comments about other players whose names have been mentioned.... First, on Thursday I was told that Anthony Ivory is out of the picture.... that said, we have received the transcript of another Maryland big man, and a player whose name first appeared in the RN two years ago...... Jerome Johnson.... a 6-9, 220 pound Big Forward who played this past season at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, VA...... we are serious about him and have a good chance at landing him.......

And, oh by the way, we are still recruiting Mike Gerrity, the 6', 175 point guard from Mater Dei in Santa Ana, CA...... and we are very strong with NYC swingman Saiquon Stone.... we are in the process of obtaining his transcript and a visit.... Stone led Xaverian High School to a runner-up spot in the State of NY....... playing out of position for most the year, Stone who carries all of 185 pounds on his 6-5 frame, is a shut down defender on the wing.... but, because of a depleted front line, Saiquon played the center spot this season.....

There is Paul Gause, another football player.... he has decided on basketball..... who played the point for Schalick High School in South Jersey.... An outstanding shooter, Gause scored over 3000 points in his high school career....... There is Chris Lowe..... another PG...... is still being looked at.... The Mt. Vernon playmaker lately has been calling UTEP his favorite.......

Another guard who we have not heard much about...... Noel Willmore...... a 6-4 two guard from Chester, PA..... Noel, I've been told can really shoot the rock, but he needs some maturity to play at this level......

The Spring signing period starts on April 13th..... These next few weeks will help tell the story for the 2005-06 Friars...... I will answer any question that I can on the Premium Message Board.

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