Posted: 12:11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 4, 2013
By Jeremy Mauss
UNLV basketball fans were glued to their television during the Western Kentucky and Louisiana-Monroe football game. Why might one ask, well four-star center Goodluck Okonoboh (Boston/Wilbraham & Monson) was going to make his decision on where he was going to play college basketball.
Okonoboh was originally classified with the 2013 class to the 2014 class, and is now a consensus top-35 player in the 2014 class ended up picking UNLV over offers from pretty much all of college basketball blue bloods like Duke, Syracuse, Indiana, Louisville and many others. His final schools outside of UNLV were Ohio State and Indiana, he visited both schools in September before committing to UNLV on Oct. 3.
Indiana was thought to be the leader for a long time but the relationship that Okonoboh formed with current Rebel Khem Birch payed off in a big way for UNLV. Also what helped push Okonoboh was the way UNLV has developed players, including most recently sending freshman Anthony Bennett to the NBA as the No. 1 overall pick in last April's NBA Draft.
Okonoboh also mentioned the relationship with head coach Dave Rice, and the plan that was presented during his recruitment:
"Me and coach [Dave] Rice established a real good relationship," Okonoboh said. "They play really fast, and that style of play fits me. I can go right in and do what I do defensively but also have some freedom offensively."
"The blueprint they had for me was second to none. The amount of intensity the team had in practice, how the coaches develop their big men, and, again, just the blueprint they had for me personally," Okonoboh said.
Rivals.com expert Eric Bossi discusses Okonoboh style of play:
"A high end shot blocker and big time athlete with length. (He) runs the floor very well and has tools to be a big time rebounder. (He) primarily scores around the rim and has to find a way to be more consistent as he goes forward. Huge upside as he refines his offense."
UNLV is off to a great start to their 2014 recruiting class and while Okonoboh is just the schools second commit, the first commit is five-star small forward Dwayne Morgan. This UNLV class is turning into something special and could be truly great if they continue to land these four- and five-star recruits.
Of course, UNLV fans are happy with the decision.
Here are some highlights of Okonoboh: