When Alyn Breed says he was sold on the entire package the Providence Friars were selling, the combo guard from Georgia means the entire kit and caboodle.
“Even before I visited, it was a school where in my head, I saw myself going to,” said Breed when reached earlier this week. “The visit where I had the chance to meet everyone in person, from the coaches to the lunch ladies, it was real love. When I told (the current PC players) that I was coming here, they started jumping on me. Everything was genuine. No faking.”
Breed became the first Class of 2020 prospect to commit to Ed Cooley’s Friar program, doing so on his official visit last weekend. His recruitment was a bit different.
Instead of a member of Cooley’s staff serving as the point person, it was the head coach who did much of the legwork when it came to scouting and interacting with Breed.
“Providence was the first high-major school to offer me. After that, coach Cooley said, ‘You’re going to talk to me. No assistant coaches.’ We were locked in,” said Breed. “We talked every day and kept building that bond … saying that he could help me with more than just basketball and being there as an influence.
“When you talk to the assistant coach, you get a different vibe as opposed to the head coach,” Breed added.
Alpha Breed, Alyn’s father, said, “PC was consistent and persistent. They were loyal. Compared to other recruitments, they did exactly what they said they were going to do. In terms of what was available as far as his position and what they needed Alyn for, everything stayed true all the way through. They were 100 percent honest.”
The Friars consider Breed a sleeper who probably would have drawn even more high-end interest the more time went by and he remained undeclared. Last year, Breed played on a star-studded McEachern High School team that rolled en route to an undefeated season (32-0) and the Georgia state championship. Several of his McEachern teammates are now playing for Power Five schools.
Breed graduated from McEachern this past June and is presently enrolled at IMG Academy in Florida. While he certainly cherishes the memories he made with his high school running mates, Breed this upcoming season is looking forward to stepping out of their shadow and forging an identity that hopefully leads to a smooth transition to PC.
“This year is a chance for me to play more aggressively and show my abilities,” he said.
On the subject of being viewed as a 6-foot-3 guard who can play with and without the ball, Breed said, “I can be a pass-first point guard, but if someone needs me to score or serve as a lockdown defender, I can do it.”
Becoming the first 2020 recruit to verbally commit to the Friars is a badge of honor that Breed plans to fully use to his advantage when it comes to getting the word out to recruits who find themselves on PC’s radar. Breed plans to attend the Late-Night Madness festivities at The Dunk on Oct. 5. He’s also looking forward to flying up to see the Friars play a home game this winter.
“I feel like it’s a big assignment and a chance to make my mark as the first one from the Class of 2020,” said Breed. “I’m starting the wave. Hopefully we can bring in more guys.”
RIM RATTLERS: Cumberland native Tyler Kolek has cut down his list of potential suitors from 22 schools to five. The finalists are Elon, George Mason, Northeastern, Holy Cross, and Vermont. Kolek has already visited Elon, George Mason, and Northeastern and is scheduled to spend time at Holy Cross this weekend. … Providence assistant coach Brian Blaney stopped by Connecticut’s Putnam Science Academy earlier this week. The Friars have a scholarship offer out to 7-footer Josh Gray, a 2020 prospect who has drawn strong interest from West Virginia, LSU, and UConn. Additionally, Blaney checked out two additional Putnam Science players: Melvyn Obonkoli, a 6-foot-8 native of France whose ability to rebound stands out, and Jaylen Murray, a 2021 point guard. Obonkoli is a 2020 prospect. … Bryant has a scholarship offer out to Putnam Science wing Mekhi Gray, a 2020 prospect who is also hearing from Fairfield, NJIT, and Siena. “He’s a lefty who can get to the rim, which is his strength, and is improving his jumper,” said Putnam Science head coach Tom Espinosa, who believes that Gray’s ceiling could include receiving offers from Atlantic 10 schools. … On Tuesday, PC’s Blaney ventured to Massachusetts’ Brimmer & May School, the same NEPSAC school that produced current Friar sophomore A.J. Reeves. In terms of unearthing the next Brimmer & May star, head coach Tom Nelson is very bullish on 6-foot-7 wing Gianni Thompson from the Class of 2021. “He could always shoot, but now he’s putting the ball on the deck and little guards are having a hard time taking it from him,” said Nelson. “For a kid his size, he’s showing skills that you typically see in a guard. He can make plays for himself and others. Plus, he can defend … blocking shots and grabbing rebounds.” Thompson is on PC’s radar with fellow Big East rival Georgetown also expressing intrigue. The Hoyas were scheduled to stop by Brimmer & May on Friday. Right now, Thompson holds scholarship offers from several Atlantic 10 schools as well as Boston University. “He has the potential to become one of the big stock risers in the next year,” said Nelson.
Follow Brendan McGair on Twitter @BWMcGair03