Chino Obokoh FizzCast: Dazzled by Madness, Says BJ Johnson Could Be Next

Ace Sports

He has the nickname, the stellar inside game, and now Syracuse hoops has its second verbal commitment for the class of 2013. Three-star Bishop Kearney HS Center Chinonso Obokoh (Chin-nun-so) tells The Fizz he “felt at home” while on campus Friday for Orange Madness. It was the main reason why the 6’10” 220 lb senior chose Syracuse so quickly right after his visit.

“It feels great. I’m so happy it’s over… I think I felt at home when I got there. I haven’t been on campus before, but I always came for basketball camps, but I felt at home.”

The Rochester native was deciding between SU, Villanova, Texas, Temple and James Madison. But he had too much fun with the Orange on Friday night inside the Dome.

Maybe it’s something about wild SU events that these kids can’t get enough of. “Chino” is looking forward to playing for The Per’fessor and Coach Mike Hopkins, who recruited him. He has a great relationship with Hopkins, and says he can’t wait to work with him over the next few years. But sitting in front of the thousands of screaming fans inside the Loudhouse, he couldn’t resist. Obokoh is eager to play in front of crowds of 30,000 plus.

“Absolutely. It’s kind of like a dream come true to play in that kind of an atmosphere. It’s going to be big. I haven’t experienced that kind of a big crowd, but I know it’s going to be a great thing.”

Chinonso is the second Orange commit for the class of 2013. He joins SG Tyler Ennis who commit back in August. Obokoh also loved the Syracuse Whitman Business School, which he will enroll in in 2013.

This is a huge pickup for SU. Chino is a true shot blocker, and brings length and mobility inside the paint. He will work nicely in the 2-3 zone. At just 220 lbs. he can get up and down the floor with ease. He explained to The Fizz the trademarks of his game.

“I’m a defensive player; I block shots, I rebound the ball. And also, I’m a runner, I run the floor well, and also I do some stuff that other big guys can’t do in terms of speed. I can get down the floor easily, and I can track down guards with my own speed.”

The Nigeria native averaged 14.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, and nearly five blocks a game for the Kings his junior year. He’s a double-double machine. More importantly, Obokoh also tells us he might do a little recruiting of Bishop Kearney teammate Thomas Bryant. The class of 2015 prospect is regarded as the top PF, and the 13th best prospect in the nation according to ESPN. He is getting some serious interest from SU.

Obokoh also hinted to The Fizz that more good news may be on the horizon for SU. Fellow ’13 recruit, SF BJ Johnson, the fifth best prospect in Pennsylvania who was also at Orange Madness on Friday, is making his decision on Wednesday between SU, Villanova, Rutgers and Temple. Chino said he had a good feeling about the Lower Merion HS product. Reading the tea leaves, it looks like Johnson will be choosing Syracuse.

What a week it could be for the hoops squad: two commitments in just two days. Johnson is a 6’7” 180 lb. swingman who’s game is perfect for SU and its zone. So look out, it might be Christmas in October for Orange fans.

Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald


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  1. Jimmy says:

    Good pick up, he’ll be a project early on but he’s another big man in the mold of Arinze, Rick and Rak. He’ll have some time to learn from the others and build his game up. Probably will be going to the weight room too but an offseason in there can do wonders…look at Rak now compared to last year.

  2. OrangeCrush27 says:

    Got BJ johnson!!!

  3. Carlton says:

    I know this isn’t going to be popular but its the truth. Kline thinks we only will pick up 3-4 ppl. So this is it? 2 projects that need to red shirt and ennis? Does ennis even stay? He’s gotta be a little disappointed about SU throwing out scholarships before Vonleh,Lawrence and Anya even come to campus. Keep in mind they all plan to visit soon. Do we even sign anyone else? If we don’t this is a disaster. It could be even more of a disaster if fair,MCW,Rak,DC all leave along /w the Sr’s after this season. Chino would have been a nice back up plan but to offer him before we even made a run at Anya or these other guys just sucks. I don’t have any other way to put it.

    Not trying to bash these kids just wondering what the staff is doing. We are a top 10 program that shouldn’t be settling. Anyways welcome to the Orange boys start grinding looks like we will need ya.

  4. chad says:

    Carlton, we also are in the running for Tyler Roberson. At this point, I think Anya isn’t coming to Syracuse. Seems like an indiana lean to me. But it is a little disconcerting that now we can’t get Vonleh, Roberson, and Lawrence. 2 of the 3 is obviously great, I just was dreaming of getting all three.

    However, BJ Johnson’s highlight video looks great. Seems like a CJ Fair clone. And Obokoh seems like a more skilled/better hands Baye Moussa Keita. Obokoh’s per game averages as a junior were actually better than Rakeem Christmas’ numbers a senior, for what it’s worth

  5. CoachDuff says:

    Syracuse will not even be able to get 2 of 3(Vonleh, Roberson, Lawrence). By my count Syracuse only has one more scholarship to give because they gave Nolan Hart a scholarship this year and I do not believe they wouldn’t do the same for his senior year. This means Scholarship players for the 2013-2014 season would be (Fair, Keita, Hart, MCW, Christmas, Gbinije, Cooney, Grant, Coleman, Ennis, Johnson & Obokoh). So hopefully the above mentioned recruits plan on committing in the late period after the college basketball season is over and college players have declared for the NBA draft. Then in all likelihood Syracuse will have more than one offer to give.

    Not to knock on Hart but I find it odd that he received a scholarship for his junior year. I understand rewarding a walk-on that has stuck it out till his senior year, but a junior that wont appear in meaningful minute is a bit puzzling. Especially since there are top recruits at a position(SF/PF) of need for next for next year still considering Syracuse.

  6. Carlton says:

    So to make a long story short we might as well start booking our NIT tickets after this season. Hey guess what UK lands another 5star tomorrow more then likely but hey maybe we can offer the towel boy a scholarship for all his hard work and sticking it out! smh.

  7. OrangeCrush27 says:

    Carlton, i see what your saying. ‘Cuse should be reeling in more 4-5 Stars. But Cuse has never been a school to land 5 star recruits year in and year out repeatedly.

    I’m always going to feel that Calipari is def doing some shady business in landing top 25 players every recruiting class. I won’t even argue Calipari’s track record, but these kids that are good enough (hint: Carmelo) can go anywhere and still make it to the NBA. They all dont have to go to Kentucky, unless for other reasons.

    Not to mention why should Syracuse wait on Anya, Lawrence and Vonleh to make a decision? These kids have had offers for quite sometime (maybe not Lawrence). How much time do they need to realize that Syracuse is/isn’t for them? ‘Cuse has some of the best facilities, if not the best, in the country. You play in front of +25,000 practically every home game. Your playing in an elite conference against great programs. Playing for a HOF coach, etc etc, etc….I mean the list goes on. Guys like Chin and BJ are smart to take the offers and who’s to say these 3 star rated players wont pan out to become great players (Hint: G-Mac).

  8. hedgehog says:

    I’ve got news for you, the only players leaving after this season are the seniors – Triche and Southerland. None of the other are even close to being NBA picks yet. MCW and Christmas and DC – sure they are good players but lets get real. Williams averaged a whopping 2.7 pts per game last year and he’s now jumping for the NBA? Christmas averaged slightly better at 2.8 pts per game and DC hasn’t played a college game yet. Everyone should clam down, these guys are here for the long haul. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge SU hoops fan, just being realistic. Guys like Fab (7 footer) and Waiters don’t come around ofter and don’t leave college after 2 years that often.

  9. BC says:

    CoachDuff-

    If we get 2 more commits this year and no one leaves, Nolan Hart will NOT have a scholarship for 2013-2014. Mark it down.

  10. Carlton says:

    hedgehog- Some advice for ya google 2013 mock drafts as well as look at espn top 100 prospects. I’ll use espn’s ranking for ya. MCW-18th, Fair-27th, Rak-73. Rak is the lowest but ford had this to say about him way back in April “Christmas has some scouts drooling because of his athletic abilities on the defensive end. Think the next Patric Young. Defensively he could play in the NBA right now. The big question for him will be how far he comes along on the offensive end of the ball. He has a tendency to disappear for long stretches.” Preseason rankings don’t mean much I will give ya that but to say things like not to worry just shows you have no clue the level some of the players in the program are at.

  11. Carlton says:

    OrangeCrush27, I don’t know what program you been following but SU been grabbing top 50 studs left and right for the past 5-6yrs. The issue I have is this class is lacking the center piece or pieces so to speak. We got two top 50 guys right now in Ennis and Gbinije for 13. Lawrence wants to take all his visits before he picks and Vonleh reclassified to the 13 class so he wants to take his visits to. Whats wrong /w that? Even the guys that have popped for UK went to visit other schools. It isn’t a diss at all.

  12. Nina says:

    I agreed with and was glad to see Harvey not sitatrng in the UConn game. His mood swings just isnt good enough. I think Lawrence and Theodore sharing the point guard position is just going to get better and better.The other position needing the change now is in the Center position. The UConn game shows proof again that Jon Garcia just isnt quick enough and doesnt have the Center moves to compete against the Centers in the Big East.Farrakon Hall is getting better and better and I think he should be sharing that position with Pope with Jeff Robinson coming to share the Power Forward Position with Pope. Then have Garcia come off the bench to deal with the oppositions bench Centers later in the game.He is just not Big East Good enough and is hurting the team. A couple of times you can see Garcia back away from positions underneath the basket where he could have made the easier rebound or block outs.

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