Only days away from the NCAA's final decision regarding his eligibility to play next season, elite freshman Ricardo Ledo attempted to assuage Providence fans' concerns.
Ledo told GoLocalProv.com he intends to remain at Providence even if he fails to qualify academically for this season and has to remain in school a full year without being able to practice or play.
"Even if that happens," Ledo said, "I'm going to go to school here this year and play here next year."
Those are welcome words for Providence, but it's a lot easier for the 6-foot-6 shooting guard to say them than to live up to them. After all, Ledo is a consensus five-star recruit who would be unlikely to remain in school more than a couple years and would undoubtedly have opportunities to play professionally overseas for a year.
What Providence has to hope is that the NCAA either fully clears Ledo to play or at the very least grants him the right to practice with the team.
The Providence Journal reported Ledo has moved into his dormitory and is taking classes as of Tuesday, which suggests the NCAA has initially ruled him a partial qualifier pending an appeal by the school. A partial qualifier can attend classes but can neither practice nor play for a full year.
The absence of Ledo would delay what seemed likely to be a speedy rebuilding process for Providence after coach Ed Cooley landed him and McDonald's All-American Kris Dunn as part of his first recruiting class. Dunn injured his shoulder during the offseason and will not be ready to make his college debut until January.
If Providence ever gets Dunn, Ledo, and either senior Vincent Council or NC State transfer Tyler Harris on the floor at the same time, the Friars could have the nucleus of a Big East contender.
Ledo insists that will happen. We'll find out soon whether it's next season or perhaps the year after.