For the second time this week, Kansas University men's basketball coach Bill Self was able to make public his comments about one of his shiny, new prospects.
Earlier in the week, Self spoke publicly about No. 1 overall recruit Josh Jackson, who made his commitment to Kansas official by signing his letter of intent. Friday, Self followed that up with the acknowledgement that 7-foot center Udoka Azubuike had done the same.
As is the case with Jackson, Self is expecting big things from his new big man right away.
“We feel Udoka is as good as a big-man prospect as there is in the country,” Self said in a news release. “He’s got size, strength, explosiveness and is so young. Being only 16 years old, his best ball is well ahead of him. One fortunate thing about Udoka’s age is we know he has to be in school for at least two years due to the NBA minimum age requirements. We see him as an impact guy right off the bat with a high ceiling.”
Azubuike is the second 16-year-old in recent years to commit to Kansas, joining Ukrainian sensation Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, who will be a junior with the Jayhawks when Azubuike suits up this season.
On the prep all-star circuit earlier this year, Azubuike scored nine points and grabbed eight rebounds in the McDonald's All-American game on March 29 and also played in the Jordan Brand Classic in New York on April 15.
The native of Nigeria also competed for the World Team at the Nike Hoops Summit on April 9 in Portland.
“(Assistant coach) Norm (Roberts) was the point man in his recruitment,” Self said. “It has been an absolute pleasure in getting to know Udoka and also his guardians, Harry and Donna Coxsome. Being in the United States for a short period, we have seen so much development in his comfort level, not only with us but with the surroundings and everything that goes along with basketball in the States.”
Azubuike is ranked No. 22 overall by ESPN100, No. 27 by Rivals.com and No. 34 by Scout.com. He joins Jackson and forward Mitch Lightfoot as the official signees in KU's 2016 class.