The summer is filled with recruiting buzz, and Syracuse hoops fans may want to keep tabs on Class of ’14 big man Goodluck Okonoboh. He’s another Boston-area product like Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel that the Orange is pursuing hard. The Orange landed MCW, and were finalists for N2, so there’s some recent success up there. Okonoboh made a visit to the Dome with Noel during a game against UConn in ’12. DaJuan Coleman and SU commit Tyler Ennis were also in attendance at that game.
Okonoboh will have plenty of options. Cincinnati, UConn, Gonzaga, Indiana, Marquette, Minnesota, Missouri, N.C. State, Pitt, Providence, Seton Hall and Syracuse have all made offers to the 6’9” center from Wilbraham & Monson Academy. SU and Indiana are widely perceived to be two of the favorites, although he recently picked up an offer from Duke.
He has the potential to help Syracuse in the paint in a big way. Last season SU lacked a reliable man down low. Rakeem Christmas, Coleman, and Baye Keita all contributed, but there was no go-to guy like Arinze Onuaku or Fab Melo.
Okonoboh can do what a big man is supposed to do on defense: block. In a game against Putnam Science (Conn.), Okonoboh had 10 blocks in the first half. He can also grab rebounds. On offense, he has the size, strength and physical toughness to get the ball to him down low.
Okonoboh is a five-star recruit, according to ESPN. He is listed No. 20 on the ESPN 60 list for the Class of ’14 and #4 for his position. In an interview with Five Star Basketball, Okonoboh gave props to Jim Boeheim, saying he’s a great coach and a Hall of Famer.
Okonoboh’s future would be bright at SU. By the time he would be on the HIll, Coleman will already be a junior, while Christmas will be a senior. There’s a flood of young stars coming up over the next two years and Okonoboh could be part of the fresh new face of the Orange.
He’ll play in the Amare Stoudemire and LeBron James basketball camps over the next few months. SU fans have plenty to keep an eye on this summer. It would be nice if “Goodluck to the Orange” meant the big man chose SU.
Posted: Austin Pollack