Tubby Smith has finally secured a big man to replace the soon to be graduating Trevor Mbakwe and he went the JUCO route to find his man. Daniel Edozie will be taking his talents to Minnesota next fall.
Edozie will be taking an interesting route to Minnesota. Originally from London, Edozie moved to Los Angeles in middle school where he first started to play basketball, upon graduation he decided to go the JUCO route in Texas and next year will make the move to Minnesota. He was lightly recruited out of high school so he went down the JUCO path to try and boost his stock a bit. It worked for the young man.
As you can see in the workout video below, from Edozie's senior year of high school, he is a wide-shouldered and strong power forward. He stands at 6-8 and weights in the 235-240 range. Last season at Tyler Junior College he averaged just 5 points and 5 rebounds per game while playing behind a couple sophomore forwards who have since moved on to smaller D1schools. This season he is aiming to average a double-double.
We really do not know a ton about Edozie other than he was lightly recruited out of high school and didn't have much more than mild interest from bigger schools two years later. Maybe we secured a commitment before he had a breakout season or maybe we are giving a scholarship to someone who will never be more than a role player (see Andre Ingram). Considering many of the other power forward names we were recruiting, this would seem to be about Plan D (or E).
I do like his size and strength. I am not impressed with his 49% FG percentage from last year and 67% success rate from the free throw line. Though I'm not thrilled with this commitment, I will give it time before judging it. Edozie very well could see his stats dramatically improve with increased playing time and he could be a nice addition to the frontcourt next year.
The other concerning aspect to this commitment has nothing to do with Edozie and everything to do with signing a JUCO. Assuming no transfers or early exits for whatever reason, the graduating class of 2015 will have 6 seniors. That might make for a deep, experienced and exciting team but it is never a good thing to have nearly half of your scholarships tied up in one class.
But that is a couple years away and as we all know, a lot can happen between now and then. As we stand today the Gophers have two available scholarships remaining in this recruiting class, but most assume we will only sign one and we'll bank an extra scholarship for the loaded class of 2014.
YouTube of an Edozie workout as a high school senior.