Goodluck Okonoboh to visit Indiana next weekend

  • 09/07/2013 5:03 pm in


One of Indiana’s top recruiting targets in the class of 2014, Goodluck Okonoboh, will take an official visit to Indiana next weekend.

It will be the first official visit for Okonoboh, a 6-foot-9 center who plays at Wilbraham and Monson Academy, which is just outside of Springfield, Mass.

Okonoboh confirmed his visit plans late this afternoon via his Twitter account:

The premier shot blocker in the class of 2014 and a close friend of current IU freshman Noah Vonleh, Okonoboh has been a steady target for Indiana for several months.

Tom Crean and Kenny Johnson visited him last April at Wilbraham and Monson to offer him a scholarship in person and the IU staff tracked him closely throughout the July evaluation periods.

In July at the adidas Invitational in Indianapolis, Okonoboh said he talked to Vonleh frequently about the possibility of playing together in Bloomington.

“He’s always in my ear about IU,” Okonoboh said of Vonleh. “The most humble kid you’ll ever meet. He’s one of the top players in the country, but he’s just a great kid. He knows he doesn’t have to talk to me like anybody else would talk to me. We just keep it real with each other.”

In August, Okonoboh trimmed his list of schools to five finalists: Florida, Duke, Indiana, Ohio State and UNLV. His interior presence makes him a potential game changer at the next level.

“He’s the best shot blocker in the country and he protects the basket better than anybody, I think that’s a given,” Vin Pastore, Okonoboh’s AAU coach with the Mass Rivals said. “He’s 6-9 with a 7-3.5″ wing span, but he’s got impeccable timing. That’s a gift from God. He’s got great instincts. Natural instincts.”


· 2014 forward Goodluck Okonoboh trims list to five
· Goodluck Okonoboh’s recruitment following similar path to that of Noah Vonleh
· Goodluck Okonoboh on shot blocking: “It’s an art”

(Photo credit: Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

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  • Jerry Smith

    Go take a look at last years season and how it progressed. Once teams figured us out we were easily beatable. Every statistic shows that IU got worse towards the middle-end of the year.

  • SCHoosier

    All those guys were all “roster fillers” Let’s see how TC does from Zeller forward.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Not to mention that GO has no idea who Jobe and Muniru are… And even if he did I can guarantee you that he doesn’t see himself as a comparable player. That’s like saying because Bobby Capobianco didn’t pan out that Stephen Zimmerman should dismiss us from his list… I mean what are his chances of developing into a lottery pick if Bobby couldn’t? It’s silly.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Actually the schedule shows they played tougher competition as the year went along. They played 5 ranked teams in their first 27 games and then 5 ranked teams in their last 9. Funny how its tougher to win against tougher talent. In those last 9 they still beat MSU and UM on the road.

  • IUJeff

    That is clearly purdoo think Jerry.

    The main troubles with the 2014 class are who we are recruiting against for the best players in the class, and the depth that these players will be playing behind at IU.

    You need a little cool aid and patience to wash that PUke taste down.

  • IUJeff

    Not easily Jerry but yes beatable once elite coaches figured out our individual player shortcomings.

    I would say a better indicator will be to watch how this more well balanced and athletic team progresses this year.

    We lost a lot of experience and 3 pt shooting but gained depth and athleticism so we’ll see on the development side for sure.

  • hoosier1158

    One of the best smaller centers was Charles Jones for U of L in the early eighties. 6′ 8″ and he battled Ralph Sampson, Akeem Olajuwon, Sam Bowie and the Dipper and did well.

  • Ole Man

    I’ll be interested as well. I think Zeller progressed very little while here–and no, I don’t think his “development” at IU had very much to do with his being picked fourth.
    He was constantly dissed by many IU “fans”. I think this year they will truly begin to appreciate just how special he was in his two years here.

  • Ole Man

    I’m tired of the “who they will be playing behind” excuse. It’s old, trite and basically unproven.
    And I’m not picking on you Jeff. That comment is sprinkled all over the boards. Just using your comment as an opportunity to disagree with that comment.
    If you got the goods, then you come in and play. And until the team we have now lives up to the hype of it’s “potential”, except for Yogi at point and Vonleh at forward, I’d say the playing field is pretty wide open.

  • Ole Man

    What you say is true.
    However, no one was below a 3 star recruit. Watford, I believe was a four as well. Jordy was a four or five. Sheehey and Oladipo were the only threes….and here I’m speaking of those who received significant playing time.

    Also; like it or not; at the end of the season, the team underachieved.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Watford was a 4, Zeller was a 5… That’s it. (Well Creek was a 4, but never healthy)

    Jordy was a 3.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Yeah – I was fairly sure MJ had some bigs with him and played SG…. Glad to know I’m not totally losing my memory…

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I’m not saying I would be unhappy with signing Whitehead! Lol

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I think we all need to just take a deep breath and see how the last 2 classes end up playing, there were some big recruits that were highly rated. They didn’t get much playing time (besides yogi) and didn’t get time to make mistakes and play thru them. Also, now they have a year of training and playing with college level kids. If you look at the next post on Payne – he only averaged a couple of points, rebounds as a freshman and now he’s a top 5 player. I still think Jeremy and or Hanner could be studs. And this freshman class could be absolutely loaded. We will get a couple good to great players in 2014. Have faith Hoosier nation.

  • CheesyHoosier

    Wonder if the rumors that IU was his number 1 (from awhile back,) were ever true, and if he really could make an impact immediately.
    A lot of Hoosier fans thought Hanner would dominate last year, that was far from true, he’s still a work in progress.
    I think Goodluck and Johnson will commit to IU this month, and Whitehead will farther down the road. The fourth spot in our class will be Devin Robinson or a long shot Dante Exum.

  • plane1972

    Yeah, and at one time, Austin Etherington was ahead of Cody Zeller in recruiting rankings. Two stars or five stars mean very little in defining what a player will become in college. Way too much attention paid to it.

  • plane1972

    Finally, someone with a reasonable comment on Crean and his “bigs”.

  • IUJeff

    I believe it to be fact that kids look for the best opportunity at being given PT. Some do not necessarily want to earn it.

    If that is not true, Then what is your take on why we have 0 commits for 2014?

  • IUJeff

    Or met a better coached team peaking at the right time.

  • Ole Man

    Honestly, I don’t know what happened.
    Recruiting always falls upon the heads of the coaching staff; yet, it would be too easy to blame CTC.
    They are young men being treated like “adults” and “heroes”, and also being used in some instances.

    The truth lies somewhere in the middle.
    My only real observation on the matter is this:
    With the development of Oladipo, with the resurrection of the program’s status (not all the way back, but almost), and with two draft picks in the top four,

    IU should not be losing all the battles. As of now it basically is. Louisville and UNC, not UK and Duke, surprisingly have developed into our primary “competition”.

    IU should not be having all the decommits, but basically it is. IU should not be losing out on as many Indiana stars as it is.

    Finally, IU should not have to ever settle for a good class; it should always potentially be an excellent class.

    Again, I’m not blaming Crean or the young men. I’m not inside the program. I don’t know. It all is rather strange.

    I am tired of the excuses, i.e. “playing time” and “he’ll develop into another Oladipo.”

  • Ole Man

    Earlier in the season IU would have won that game by 15.

  • IUJeff

    Not if IU used the same “game plan”.

  • Ole Man

    LOL! Too true.