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Recruiting rundown: Oklahoma, Providence stockpile guards

Lon Kruger

Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger directs his team in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arkansas in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011. Oklahoma won 78-63. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)


It’s apparent that when head coaches Lon Kruger and Ed Cooley took over the Oklahoma and Providence programs, recruiting guards during their first recruiting cycle was a heavy priority. With commitments in the last week, both the Sooners and Friars now have three expected incoming freshmen guards for next season.

Oklahoma landed one of the fastest rising prospects in the country in 6-4 Isaiah Cousins of Mount Vernon (N.Y.). The Sooners are expected to make the skinny Cousins a full time point guard, as they have a pair complementary pieces in combo guard Jelon Hornbeak and top notch athlete wing Buddy Hield. Cousins rose quickly in recent months, netting scholarship offers from UConn, Virginia Tech and several other high-major programs.

Likewise, Providence has an additional piece to add to their future. With arguably the most talented backcourt pair in the country locked up in 6-3 Kris Dunn and 6-5 Ricardo Ledo, the Friars added an additional piece in Ian Baker of Arlington Country Day (Fla.). Some will remember that Baker was committed to South Carolina with his teammate Carlos Morris, when the Gamecocks were headed by Darrin Horn.

Baker is a native of Washington, DC, and with development can be a factor at point guard as Dunn is versatile enough to play shooting guard, and Ledo has enough size to play small forward if necessary. Dunn was a recent participant in the McDonald’s All-American game, and Ledo, a blistering scorer, likely would have been selected to the game if he would have been eligible to be, as Ledo is a prep school student and fifth year player.

Both Oklahoma and Providence will need all hands on deck as they face next season, and it doesn’t hurt to have plenty of options in the backcourt. In the long run, Cousins can be a dandy player if he continues to gain strength and get ready for the physicality in college, and Baker is a solid supporting piece to what coach Ed Cooley already has in place for next season.

Kellon Hassenstab runs Follow him on Twitter @hoopniks.