Jalen Lindsey chooses Providence

Providence has landed its top recruiting target as Jalen Lindsey (Nashville, Tenn./Huntington Prep), No. 32 in the ESPN 100, committed to Friars coach Ed Cooley Monday night.

The 6-foot-7 small forward picked Providence over Tennessee, Memphis and Mississippi State.

"Basketball-wise, it's giving me an opportunity to play right away," Lindsey said. "Knowing that I'm playing for Coach Cooley gets me excited. I think he's a great coach, and I know we can do great things."

Lindsey won a state title last year at Christ Presbyterian in his native Tennessee before transferring to West Virginia's Huntington Prep for his senior year. Lindsey is a noted athlete and strong shooter. He was Providence's top priority and Cooley recruited him that way. The Friars attended each of Lindsey's games during the first period of the July evaluation session.

However, their dedication was made clear long before then.

"They were there when we won the state championship with CPA," Jalen's father, Walt, said. "There's no other team that put in half the work that they've put in. They've been to everything. They were in Philly, they'll be at the Global Challenge coming up this week."

Rhode Island might seem like a long way from Tennessee, but the Friars were fortunate. Lindsey's father was born and raised in Rhode Island and much of his family resides in the state. That gave the Friars a hook, but it was Cooley who completed the pitch.

"It wasn't like Providence College was the dream school because I'm from there," Walt said. "It's strictly how they recruited him. They were honest with him and they committed to him that he was their guy.

"They understand Jalen's game. They can critique him and they see a vision for him and they can work him. I think everything he can do, he can accomplish there."

Lindsey took an official visit to Providence, and the Friars were the only school to conduct an in-house visit with him. Lindsey is Providence's first 2014 recruit and third-highest pledge of Cooley's tenure. Only 2012 prospects Ricardo Ledo (No. 21) and Kris Dunn (No. 23) were more highly rated.