ITH Super Happy Fun Time Player Profile: Bawa Muniru

  • 10/06/2009 6:00 am in

bawa061509Hoosier Hysteria is on the horizon and it’s time for Inside the Hall’s player-by-player breakdown of the 2009-2010 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Bawa Muniru.

Finding a potentially dominant big man at any level of basketball is not an easy thing to do. And even though he’d only been playing organized basketball for roughly five years, that’s exactly why high-major programs were lining up to recruit 7-0 Ghana native Bawa Muniru.

Muniru, who is awaiting word from the NCAA on his eligibility for the upcoming season, comes to Bloomington as somewhat of a mystery. He’s a solid 260 pounds with a physique that resembles a body builder more than it does a basketball player. At Madison Academy in Alabama, Muniru helped lead his school to three straight state titles before finishing his prep career at Mt. Zion Academy.

The key to Muniru’s development will be patience, hard work and persistence. Offensively, he appears to be very raw. The limited film available on him suggests he’s most comfortable receiving an entry pass deep enough where he can gather himself and go straight up for a dunk. On defense, he has the tools (a 7-3 wingspan) to become an excellent shot blocker and more importantly, a presence capable of locking down the lane.

Bottom Line: Bawa’s contagious smile and attitude will immediately make him a fan favorite. Having come from a difficult background, he seems truly excited to have an opportunity to attend IU as a basketball player and a student. He has the physical traits to be an impact guy down the line, but he’ll likely spend most of his freshman season learning and adjusting to the speed of the college game.

Quotable“This is a unique guy. He’s had a lot of pitfalls in his life. A LOT of pitfalls. But that young man wants to be very, very successful. And I have very high optimism that he will be in time. He has a great attitude. If you’ve met him you know what I’m talking about. The first 10-15 minutes you’re like, `is this kid for real? Is anyone that happy? Does anybody have a smile that wide?” – Crean on Muniru.

Bawa on Bloomington: “I really liked it. Just for visiting, I think it’s a small, busy town. A college town. I liked that about it and they love basketball. The fans give them a lot of support.” – September 26, 2008 after his official visit.

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  • hoosierclarion

    Bawa Muniru might very well be one of three players who will have the most impact in defining the IU program and possibly B10 basketball over the next four years. He is all upside and with such a short experience (or bad habits) with the sport Coach Crean and the staff's lessons to him will be absorbed quickly to enhance his physical talents into playing the Coach's style.

  • Sallad

    It's really bothered me when people have put mentioned Bawa in the same sentence as Tijan when it comes to skill. He has the physical capacity to be a strong big man. Yes, he's raw and once see a whole lot of minutes this season, but I really believe he'll make an impact during his four years here.

  • JerryCT

    He is the greatest mystery on the team . I hope when we see him he shows the upside we all want him to have. I see nothing wrong with going straight up for a dunk………….alot of times / game

  • Peter

    First we need to get by the eligibility issue!

  • GalenaScott

    Bawa is working on an outside shot per open session last Saturday. All bigs are probably practicing the same shot as seen by the work of Capo. I may be wrong but I believe Bawa has leadership qualities and probably the coaching staff is encouraging him to use his leadership which is unusual for a freshmen to exhibit. I may be wrong about Bawa's leadership responsibilities but that's what I sensed from relationships among the players on the floor. Tom Pritchard is a big fan of Bawa. They have a great relationship. If Bawa can produce just 50% of Tom Pritchard's stats in his freshman season, Bawa will have taken a huge step forward in his first season of play. If he plays equally at the level of Pritchard last year, it will be amazing. Pritchard produced stats that were on par with Goran Suton in his redshirt freshman year of Big Ten play at MSU. I am really excited about Bawa, Capo, and Pritchard. It is not a question of who starts but their talented depth. I predict that these three will become a legend at IU. Coach Roshown who I think handles the bigs can certainly enhance his coaching resume by what he does with these three players. We got talented guards but it is the bigs that control the future of this team. JMHO.

  • Name

    Looking forward to his development. Seems to be the kind of person/player I'd like representing my university.

  • GFDave

    I'm not expecting much from Bawa the first two years. I think his lack of experience will hinder him and he'll take a while to catch up to the speed of the game. But I have hopes that by the time he is a junior he'll be a strong defensive presence at the rim, get some boards and add a small number of points consistently. If he can do that, then this team can make a good run in the NCAAs because all the other pieces should be there.

  • JerryCT

    I would also like to think that when recruiting prospects come to visit Bawa impresses them as much as he does TC and the fans.

  • Kelin Blab

    If Bawa develops defensively this year he could really have a big impact for us this season. All I ask of him this year offensively is to make a lay up, get a tip in, and work with the coaches on developing his post game. I don't think he is a raw as Tijan and any guy who is strictly 'shirt, tie, sportcoat….” is alright with me…..

  • BGleas

    He is a bit of a mystery, but if Bawa develops over the next few years he could be that program changer we've all been waiting for. He seems to have the personality and work ethic to be a dynamic figure, hopefully his game catches up.

  • q95

    i'm not getting my hopes up. give me a big man who learned his skills in the midwest and i will feel a whole lot better…

  • peaychris

    i live in huntsville alabama where Bawa went to high school and have talked to people with connections to Madison Academy. they say his life story should be made into a movie! i hope his movie can have a great ending with a nice career at IU! he has got some great physical attributes and with some great coaching could turn into a great big for a team that needs one. but from what i hear this kid is super smart and a hard worker. i hope he works out!!

  • Trailrunner

    I think He would benefit considerably from a redshirt this season. More time to learn fundamentals like footwork, defensive positioning, passing, shooting, blocking out.

  • Trailrunner

    I think He would benefit considerably from a redshirt this season. More time to learn fundamentals like footwork, defensive positioning, passing, shooting, blocking out.