Ricardo Ledo won't have to travel far when he eventually makes his way to his college basketball program of choice; Ledo is a Providence native, and he officially committed to the Friars this weekend. But the path he took to get there -- and the path he may have ahead of him -- is better understood in non-geographic terms.
Really, Ledo was always a likely Providence get. He committed to the school before former coach Keno Davis was fired, and most recruiting analysts have consistently listed the Friars as Ledo's likely endpoint. But Ledo, the No. 6-ranked shooting guard in the class of 2012, introduced a healthy dose of suspense into the process. First was the decommitment. Then came the emergence of Kentucky, Connecticut, Syracuse and West Virginia as viable alternatives. The suspense got even more, um, suspenseful last week when Ledo cancelled a scheduled news conference while his high school coach said "the worst thing for him is to rush into any situation."
If Providence fans suffered a minor freakout at the news, well, you can understand why. The thought of a downtrodden, rebuilding program losing a hometown kid to one of college hoops' elite powers must have been unthinkable -- well, if you're a PC hoops fan, that probably sounds like the nightmare scenario.
But Ledo didn't surprise anyone this weekend. After a bit of conjecture and some minor speculation -- all par for the course in high-profile recruiting decisions -- the Providence guy eventually chose to stay in Providence.
The question now is how much further Ledo has to go before he can actually play basketball in a Friars uniform. Andy Katz covered Ledo's uncertain eligibility situation in his story Monday. To wit:
Ledo said he and his family are investigating all options at this juncture, even possibly getting to Providence by January.
Ledo said he still needs to take the SAT and he needs at least one more core course. He may choose the option of finishing up his work instead of going to Notre Dame Prep (Mass.) for a post-graduate year.
Ledo has been in high school for eight semesters at three different high schools, a red flag usually for the NCAA Eligibility Center to work on clearing a player.
In short, there may be some more suspense in the offing. As Katz writes, though, the most likely outcome is that Ledo joins Providence on time -- at the beginning of the 2012-13 season -- and not before. If he is eligible by then, he'll pair with Providence coach Ed Cooley's other highly touted 2012 recruit, No. 2-ranked point guard Kris Dunn.
Ledo's decision gave Providence commitments from two of the best players in the 2012 class. Given where the Friars were under Cooley's predecessor Davis -- with poor performance on the court exacerbated by ugly behavior off it -- it's remarkable how quickly this turnaround could happen. If all goes to plan, the Friars could be legitimately competitive in the Big East for the first time in years. And the recruiting-related suspense on the way there will have been totally worth it.