5-Star Center Prospect Onyeka Okongwu Commits to USC over Kansas, More

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2018

Credit: Scout.com

The USC Trojans have landed one of the top prospects in the 2019 basketball class in center Onyeka Okongwu.

The 5-star prospect announced his commitment Monday, per Evan Daniels of 247Sports.

"I'll be going to USC, and I picked USC because it's close to home. They recruited me the hardest, and I fell in love with the campus right when I got there," Okongwu said. "They could use a big man like me, and I think I fit in really well."

The 6'8" prospect is the fifth-best center and the No. 16 player overall in the country, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.

The Chino Hills product also noted USC's style of play as a major plus.

"They play positionless basketball, where bigs can bring it up the court sometimes or play on the wing," he said. "They say they can develop me. I think I'm a 4 now, and I think when they develop me, I can be a stretch 4."

Being a stretch 4 is optimistic for Okongwu, as he is still developing his game on the offensive end. He is athletic enough to score inside and has the skill set to put the ball on the floor and create a shot. However, he still needs to improve on his shot before using it as a weapon at the next level.

In the meantime, the center is an elite defensive player thanks to his length and instincts in the post. He can block shots with consistency and affect plenty more even when he doesn't get a hand on the ball.

Chimezie Metu, who entered the 2018 NBA draft out of USC, could be an ideal model for the top prospect as a defensive-minded player who rounded out his game over three years in college.

Okongwu had offers from Kansas, UCLA, Ohio State and more, but he chose to stay home with the Trojans and could end up being an impact player down the line.

USC was one of several schools named as part of the FBI investigation into college basketball, and assistant coach Tony Bland, who is no longer with the Trojans program, was charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, solicitation of bribery and gratuities, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

However, that doesn't appear to have slowed down recruitment under head coach Andy Enfield.

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