The turnaround orchestrated by Wake Forest this season can be attributed to a lot of things. A new head coach, returning talent, and five-star recruits. On the topic of five-star talent there's Nigerian-bred F Al-Farouq Aminu.
An effigy of a winner, Farouq led his High School team to 3 consecutive 5A Championships and was named the 2008 Georgia High School Player of the Year as a bi-product of his savagery.
Aminu had 12 points and 13 rebounds in the recent annual edition McDonald's All American Game, a statement of his stature and worth as college recruit.
In his first collegiate game, Aminu did something that legendary Wake Forest Alum pantheons Tim Duncan, Rodney Rodgers, and Loren Woods didn't do. Register a double-double in their NCAA debut.
Al Farouq had 21 points and 10 rebounds (28 minutes) in the season opening win for the Demon Deacons. Aminu also garnered thee blocked shots against NC Central.
Aminu shot 75 percent from the field and experimented with his range, attempting two from behind the arc. Though both were misfires, the long bomb isn't a core part of the 6-foot-9 small forward's game.
The Norcross paladin has gorgeous ball-handling for a player his size and refers to the post as his weapon of choice. Instinctively exerting power and delivering packages of malcontent into defenders' sternum, Aminu uses the distance to convert around the rim.
A fixture in the paint, Aminu is a brute on the boards utilizing his outstanding upper body strength to snatch rebounds off the glass. He also excels on defense thanks to his extensive frame (7-foot-4 wingspan) to disorientate and effectively cloak the opposition.
The 6-foot-9 forward was a giant reason of Wake Forest's 87-74 win over Baylor in 76 Classic Championship game, as he tallied 13 points and 12 rebounds. Though he displayed brief pockets of freshmen innocence (5 fouls and 5 turnovers) he also shot over forty-five percent from the field and 75 percent from the free-throw line.
Though nine of his 12 boards came off the defensive glass, his three on the offensive were perhaps the most effective. He went 2-3 and scored 4 points off those three miscues and helped distance the Demon Deacons from the Bears.
Aminu registered his second 20-10 of the season against Richmond (21 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 3 blocks) and his 4th double-double overall. Before the first mandated T.V. timeout of the game vs. Richmond, Al-Farouq had collected 2 points, 3 rebounds, a blocked shot, and two field goal attempts on his way to assembling his team-high double-digit performance in both points and boards.
Al-Farouq has the most double-doubles by a freshman in the ACC and his nine boards per game ranks third in the conference all behind upperclassmen, including his brother Alade Aminu of Georgia Tech (also 9 rebounds) and fellow Norcross youth Gani Lawal (9.7 rebounds ranks 1st in ACC).
The No. 6 Wake Forest Demon Deacons can thank Al-Farouq for their best start in school history.