The REAL Inside Info On PC's Recruits

How to properly evaluate a recruiting class or an individual recruit? It seems that every recruiting guru tells you what you want to hear, and the player's own coaches are naturally going to pump them up, so I decided to go right to the source… to the people who cover these players and compete against these athletes.

It seems as though its difficult to get a straight answer about recruits. Recruiting services tend to build everyone up and focus on the positives. If you talk to the coach who the recruit played for, chances are the coach will gloss over the negatives and tell you only how great his player is.

My thought was to try something a little different and to go directly to the most unbiased sources that I could find. And in my mind, that would naturally be coaches who had competed against the players in question, and media members who had covered, and therefore seen, a number of the recruit's games. Although biases are always going to be present, who better to give an honest appraisal of a recruit's abilities, and whether or not that recruit would be able to help Providence?

What follows are short capsules about each of the Friars' seven recruits, as told in the words of those who covered them in the media or competed against them on the court. First up is Johnnie Lacy, as told by Adam Finklestein, editor of The New England Recruiting Report, and regular New England contributor to HoopScoop.

JOHNNIE LACY – Adam Finklestein, New England Recruiting Report
Johnnie is an undersized, but super quick, point guard who excels at getting into the lane and making plays. He's very much in the mold of a Tyus Edney, T.J. Ford type in that way. He should be a good fit in Keno Davis' system because it's almost impossible for the defender to keep him in front, and when he's surrounded by shooters it really forces the defense to pick their poison.

He's coming off a great season at Notre Dame Prep where he was the leader of a team that finished the season with a record of 25-5. The ball was always in his hands in crunch time as he's got a terrific feel for the game.

Lacy's jump shot improved a good deal this year to the point where he was consistently making the three-pointer. Now, he's a guy who can score from the perimeter or inside the lane and can see the floor and pass the ball from virtually anywhere. He'll need to continue to get stronger to be able to withstand the physicality of the Big East.

Rick Harris, the head coach of CCRI's men's basketball team, who faced Lacy and Notre Dame Prep twice this season, also weighed in on Lacy.

Rick Harris, CCRI men's basketball coach
Small and quick likes to score. Notre Dame Prep beat us twice by 6 and 5. He did not stand out or hurt us much, 9 and 15 points. He certainly was not the one who beat us. Functional point guard who I guess can score but does not do a great job creating shots for his teammates.

Made three 3's in our two games. Will not push Sharaud Curry for any playing time. Good option when he is a sophomore and they want to create competition for that position. May be a solid contributor though by his junior year but how much remains to be seen and is unknown, I believe. Fair at this time defensively and did not use quickness to his advantage. Somewhat typical PC signee who is worth a chance due to playing for a solid program like Notre Dame Prep.

Next, Mike Fowler, editor of, had a number of impressions of James Still, after watching Still play numerous times for Detroit Community High and in various AAU events.

JAMES STILL – Mike Fowler,
James Still is a talented big man who will give Providence a nice presence in the high post. Still has good soft hands, catches the ball well and has a nice up and under move, a jump hook, a nice face the basket jumper inside 15 feet and seldom ventures farther from the basket than the foul line. He is very effective in that range.

Like most prep players, Still needs to get bigger and he could mix it up a little more inside against other physical players. He was the leader of a Detroit Community team but could stand to be more assertive with the kind of talent he possesses.

Still wants to be an active big man who can face the basket in the mold of Kevin Garnett, but has more success inside the circles, he knows his limitations and plays within them.

He'll be a solid contributor for Providence and once he adapts to the college game should be a double digit scorer.

Justin Christy is the basketball editor for, and watched with interest as the Paterson School dominated prep play in North Carolina. He was particularly impressed with Vincent Council.

VINCENT COUNCIL – Justin Christy,
As a senior for Lincoln, he averaged 7.9 points per game and made his mark as a playmaker, dishing out a team-high 7.8 assists a night.

The Providence signee is at his best when penetrating with the basketball.

Vincent has good quickness and effectively combines his jets with the ability to change speeds, keeping defenders off balance while easily getting to the paint. Once at the rim, he knows how to finish in traffic by adjusting in the air with his good body control.

Council's speed will be a factor on Friar fast breaks.

His quickness makes him a very good fit for up-tempo offensive attacks and he shows solid decision making while running the break. Council also has the right temperament for the point guard spot, knowing when to get his teammates involved and when to look for his own shot.

He also does a very good job of playing pressure defense, a trait that coaches look for in lead guards.

Council needs to improve his shooting as he prepares for the next level.

He will have to improve his perimeter shooting as well as work out the hitch that negatively affects his jumper at times.

Vincent should see action right away for head coach Keno Davis.

While the knock on Duke Mondy has been playing in a weak high school league, Jane Bos, sports editor of the Grand Rapids Press, has been following basketball in her area of Michigan for many years, and feels that Mondy is one of the best players to pass through the area.

DUKE MONDY – Jane Bos, The Grand Rapids Press
I have seen Duke play a handful of times, and I would say he has a huge up-side. He can penetrate, dish or finish. He has good court sense, is very quick, has a nice shooting touch. He was named to The Grand Rapids Press All-Area Dream Team, which will be released Tuesday. We pick the top five players from the area (includes about 80 schools) for the team.

During this season, Mondy led the Cougars to a share of the O-K Gold Conference title (11-3) and an overall record of 17-5. He averaged 21.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.9 steals from his spot at point guard.

He also shot 47 percent from field-goal range and 77 percent from the free-throw line.

Duke is an amazing athlete who does everything well, and I am looking forward to watching him play for years to come. He has done great things for Central's program during his time there, and they are going to miss him greatly. He was asked to do a lot while he was at Central Catholic, and he had a lot of pressure put on his shoulders. In my mind he overcame them all with flying colors.

A two-year starter on varsity, Mondy helped the Cougars win two conference titles and a district crown. He was named Class B first-team all-state this year.

Harris not only coaches CCRI, but he also has PC season tickets, so he watches recruiting with a keen eye. His CCRI squad faced Kyle Wright's powerful Monroe quintet twice this season, so Harris got an eyeful of Wright.

KYLE WRIGHT – Rick Harris, CCRI men's basketball coach
He's a Ray Allen type player. He is missing something to be in that class though but has good tools. Might be maturity or court discipline/presence. He is long at 6'5" with very good hops. Can stroke it to 26' and gets to the rim well also. Will help PC immediately. Could have started for them this past season. Jimmy Baron range but longer at 6"5".

Also a little older so he is court smart. Defense I'm not sure about. Scored 24 in both our games with four 3"s in each game. Could play for most Big East teams because of his shooting ability and athleticism. Would have been PC's best perimeter shooter this season. He's the guy that flat out beat us.

No one has seen Russ Permenter play more than Greg Wille of the Temple Daily Telegram. Wille covered Permenter both throughout his high school career and also this season as Permenter returned to play for Temple Community College.

RUSS PERMENTER – Greg Wille, The Temple Daily Telegram
Russ Permenter will give Providence a big forward who is physical enough to be strong inside and also skilled enough to be an offensive factor away from the basket. At 6-9 and 226 pounds he has a powerful upper body and excels at rebounding and blocking and/or altering shots. He has an effective jump shot at 12-15 feet and can step out to about 19 feet. He's certainly not hesitant to shoot.

On the negative side, Permenter has struggled to avoid foul trouble and at times has let his emotions get the best of him. He was ejected from a January game after receiving back-to-back technical fouls for arguing a foul call.

Permenter averaged 17.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.2 blocked shots per game as a sophomore in his only season at Temple College. Including his senior year at Temple High School and his freshman year at Texas-San Antonio, Permenter will be at his fourth school in four years when he joins the Friars.

Finally, a high school coach in Georgia whose team competed against Kadeem Batts' McEachern squad twice this season in a hot rivalry, agreed to provide comments about Batts, but requested anonymity. Since he was doing us a favor, that's the least I could do for him.

We played McEachern twice this year so I got a pretty good look at Batts. He's grown some, is probably 6-9, maybe 220, and is long. McEachern had a pretty good team but it was dominated by a guard and they had a couple of good frontcourt players who rarely got the ball. Any points that they scored came on their own effort and off rebounds.

Batts needs to develop a few more go-to moves offensively, he can stand around a little on offense and not be as involved as he should be, but he also can throw down some dunks and has a nice little jump shot. A different system should help him here.

Defensively, he's a good rebounder and shot blocker. He's got a decent nose for the ball and can get after it on the glass. Like I said, he's long and can jump and run, so that's a plus. He should challenge for early minutes at Providence based on his defense and hopefully improve offensively as he goes along.

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