Kyan Anderson’s future regarding whether he’ll play basketball at Providence College is still very much up in the air.
The same cannot be said for fellow recruit Markus Crider.
On Sunday night, Crider asked PC to release him of his signed letter-of-intent commitment. Though Travis Trice, Crider’s coach at Wayne High in Huber Heights, Ohio, had not yet heard back from the school as of late Monday afternoon, he confirmed that Crider, a 6-foot-5 forward, will not be a Friar. Trice said that Crider spent Saturday and Sunday in conversation with new Providence head coach Ed Cooley, and the impression that the player gathered is that he would not be an immediate contributor next season.
“It was a great conversation. We came away with great respect for Ed Cooley. He was upfront and honest about his situation,” said Trice. “[Cooley] didn’t know Markus all that well, but he had done his research with other coaches who he respects in the basketball world. One of the things he thought was that Markus would be in a situation where he may have been looking at redshirting him or asking him to go to prep school with being able to keep the scholarship at Providence. That just wasn’t something Markus was interested in doing.
There was no bitterness on the part of Crider, who like Anderson, was recruited by ex-PC coach Keno Davis and his staff.
“Markus really appreciates the honesty shown by coach Cooley. He’s trying to establish and build a program. He told us that he’s there to win a national championship and he’s ready to get started,” said Crider. “He’s going to re-open his recruiting. We’ve already had several schools express interest in the last day or so, from high to mid-majors. He loved (Providence) and loved the coaches that were there. It’s just one of those things that kind of happen when new coaches come in. They might be looking to play a different style or have a different philosophy. Whatever the case may be, it may not fit the mold of the incoming class. No hard feelings from Markus whatsoever. I have the utmost respect for Ed and I think he’s going to do a great job at PC.”
Tommy Brakel, Anderson’s coach at North Crowley High in Fort Worth, Texas, mentioned that the 5-foot-11 point guard met face-to-face with a member of Cooley’s staff last Friday. Cooley himself was scheduled to fly to Texas over the weekend, but Anderson said delays prevented that from happening. Anderson said he sent a text message to Cooley on Monday, but had not received a reply when reached later that night.
“We’re at a point in the spring that if this is still the right fit for everyone, then we need to go ahead,” said Brakel. “If not, then we need to move on as well.”
Brakel is hoping a resolution regarding Anderson’s status will arrive as early as Tuesday. “I was hoping for (Monday), to be perfectly honest with you,” he noted. “It’s a situation where it’s got to be a right match for the kid and staff. I’m glad the staff was able to talk to the family, communicate back-and-forth, and get some of those questions answered. Kyan likes Providence and was excited about going there, but whenever a new staff comes in, this is a business. It has to be a great fit because you’re going to be spending the next four years of your life there.”
The release of Crider frees up a scholarship for PC, which if you include Anderson in the mix, means a roster of 11 projected players for next season, two shy of the NCAA minimum. Cooley has been pounding the recruiting trails since coming to Providence four weeks ago, so it’s quite possible he could use the open scholarships with an eye toward the 2011-12 campaign.
RIM RATTLERS: Cooley officially announced his coaching staff Monday. Former UConn assistant Andre LaFleur will serve as the associate head coach and Bob Simon and Brian Blaney will be assistant coaches. Carmen Maciariello will be the coordinator of basketball operations. … The Friars held their end-of-season basketball banquet at the Biltmore Hotel, with Marshon Brooks named the Jimmy Walker Most Valuable Player. Other highlights included Kadeem Batts earning the John Zannini Coaches Award, Vincent Council earning the Ryan Gomes Most Improved Player Award and Gerard Coleman being named the Coca-Cola Most Promising Prospect.