Goodluck Okonoboh to UNLV: Rebels Land 5-Star C Recruit

Tim KeeneyContributor IOctober 3, 2013

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Alright, let's just get the pun everyone has on their mind out of the way now: Good luck beating UNLV in 2014. 

According to ESPN's Christian Bradley, the Runnin' Rebels secured the commitment of 5-Star center Goodluck Okonoboh, one of the most talented players in the 2014 class:

Head coach Dave Rice was able to beat out Ohio State and Indiana for the highly touted prospect from Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Wilbraham, Mass. 

According to 247Sports' composite rankings, Okonoboh ranks 24th overall in the 2014 class—fourth among centers and No. 1 out of his state. 

It's not exactly difficult to see why, either. 

At 6'9" and 213 pounds, Okonoboh is an explosive athlete. While he is still relatively raw on the offensive end—contributing mostly via pick-and-rolls, offensive rebounds and dunks—he a true difference maker defensively. 

Not only is he an electric shot-blocker who can control the paint and defend the rim arguably better than anyone else in this class, but his quickness, athleticism and agility all make him quite the impressive on-ball defender for a player his size. 

Much like Nerlens Noel with Kentucky last year, Okonoboh's defensive prowess will help him on the court right away for the Rebels in 2014.

In 2012, Rice, who has led UNLV to two 25-win seasons and two NCAA tournament appearances in two seasons as head coach, brought in a recruiting class that featured Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 pick in last June's draft. This year, three 4-stars will make their way to Las Vegas.

But with two 5-stars—Okonoboh and small forward Dwayne Morgancommitted for next season, 2014's class looks like Rice's best yet. 

You can go ahead and get used to seeing UNLV in the Top 25.