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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  • ajlehman

    1. Robert Johson
    2. GO
    3. Whitehead/Blackmon Jr

  • Sniderdoug

    Awesome news!!

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    if we land this kid, lookout BIG. GO HOOSIERS!!

  • WisconHoosier

    My perfect class, in no order of importance:

    1. Robert Johnson.
    2. Devin Robinson
    3. Isaiah Whitehead
    4. Goodluck Okonoboh

    Two bigs, two guards. Four future starters in one class, each with at least All Conference potential. All great kids.

    Yeah yeah, we only have two scholarships. I still think it’s at least a 3 man class, maybe four.

  • HoosierTrav

    My ideal class in order of importance:
    1. Isaiah Whitehead/Dante Exum
    2. Goodluck Okonoboh
    3. Devin Robinson (he’s going to be so good)

  • PV Mike

    Another 2014 ESPN 5 star recruit out of CA, Jordan McLaughlin, narrowed down to 4 schools USC, UCLA, Kansas and IU. Only listed at 6 foot though.
    Kind of unusual as his dad says he will probably commit to a school in the next couple weeks. But unless I just missed it, I don’t recall him ever coming to Bloomington. I doubt if he goes to UCLA if Q. Snyder does. He is at USC watching football and visiting today.

  • inLinE6

    He’s not even on our recruiting board any more. I thought we got cold on him in recent months. Throwing IU in his finalists doesn’t mean much. Just made the list strong and looking good. I guess UCLA or Kansas would be his destination.

  • Kevin Tolliver

    These are all quality players and I would take any and all of them.

  • drewheck

    He’s at the very bottom in small print

  • drewheck

    He’s at the bottom in small print

  • cdog

    Put 25 pounds on him like we did with his friend Noah and we would have two twin towers with close to 7’4″ wing spans. Success is built upon having good bigs. Only MJ could win championships without a great center. He did have a pretty decent SG and PF to work with though. The best thing for IU is that Okofur goes to Duke.

  • Laffy

    How is he going to play center in college at 6’9″?

  • ScoopGeoff


  • ScoopGeoff

    Who was the SG?

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I’d take Exum if we sign 4, he’s a one and done.
    Then Okonoboh, Johnson , and Robinson.

  • ZachO

    I agree with HoosierTrav on both the recruits and their ranking of importance- nice job. Now, if they will only commit.

  • Snookafly

    Goodluck could be the key to many great things. Having a standout defensive anchor under the basket is a game changer. Partner him with Vonleh’s offense and you have two big men that open everything up for the guards.

  • Shawn Congo

    Um, easy. See Anthony Davis.

  • PDXHoosier

    If we get Exum and GO we are title contenders

  • Rie

    It’s funny because, at this point in time, he is the highest ranked recruit we are pursuing… I would be absolutely stoked about getting Jordan. That being said, obviously Exum is the best, but a lot of recruiting sites don’t rank international plays. He would be the best get in the class by a long shot, which he is.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    My recollection was that MJ was the shooting guard, worthy, Perkins, Daugherty were starters. And Perkins was a heck of a center. It still warms my heart to know IU knocked them off the next year with basically the same team.

  • AKA Hoosier Daddy

    I feel we need whitehead,goodluck,robinson,johnson and exum b/c exum is one and done the rest will stay awhile and learn to be allstars plus with what IU already has in place we would be title contenders.Bigs up front and a few great PG in this group would be a special team that of course pUKe wouldn’t want any part of…LOL.Hey maybe throw JBJ in there somewhere after he comes to his wits and understands that IU will contend and wouldn’t it be very special to be on the receiving end of all that? Keep up the great work CTC and CO…..GO GET EM cause we need EM… HOOSIERS!!! BABY DATS RIGHT BRO’S

  • Ottomatic

    I’d much rather have an athletic 6’9 guy with a 7’3 wingspan and great defensive instincts than a 7’0 stiff guarding the rim.

  • David Macer

    I don’t mean to be a debby downer, but we are making judgments on kids that have never made a play in college, let alone B1G play. Also remember, we have only two schollies available in 2014. Let’s get the best two we can to bolster IU forward. The 2013 class is going to be around for awhile.

  • Laffy

    What’s up, ‘bro?

    I see The Scoop is still hijacked by Crazy Man.

  • WisconHoosier

    Somewhat overlooked is 6’10 275 lb Stephen Hurt.

    He has an Indiana visit scheduled. He said he will decide this fall after that visit. I think he stays in Florida, but we’ll see.

  • Laffy

    Last I read, he’s no where as good as Davis, so I don’t know how it will be “easy.”

  • cdog

    Sorry. Fat fingers on the keyboard. That should have been SF (Scottie Pippen).

  • E Foy McNaughton

    That makes more sense

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I would like to see them get Johnson & Goodluck 1st and foremost – then maybe get lucky and have exum play a season for us.

  • Jeffrey Newton and Jared Jeffries got us to the national championship game with their wingspan.

  • hoosier1158

    Scottie Pippen played at Cental Arkansas. We’re talking about NCAA not NBA?

  • Shawn Congo

    Question was how? Point is, it can be done. You don’t have to be AD to do it. He’s just an easy example, however his game does resemble AD and/or Nerlens Noel, just not as dominant.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I thought college, but it appears he was thinking nba

  • Ole Man

    Actually, I’d take Whitehead.

  • Ole Man

    Vonleh may be going out the door as Goodluck’s coming in.

  • Ole Man

    He’s the JC player. Could be an interesting pickup; although I don’t know his upside.

  • Ole Man

    Whitehead and Goodluck.


    I’ll be incredibly surprised if Exum ever sees ANY college minutes for ANY college team. The closer decision time gets the more his NBA stock seems to rise and, just like almost all of us the money starts to look more and more enticing. Then there’s the little thing in the back of his head I’d imagine called, serious injury.

  • Crimson&CremeFraiche

    Yeah. Definitely Whitehead.

  • walton

    I am learning to be patient. I just want to sit back and watch recruiting unfold and have faith that everything will fall in place alright. There is still talent out there and whoever decides to play here is going to have a huge homecourt advantage and should be in a position to make the tourney every year.

  • Jerry Smith

    He’ll probably be the next Perea and if this kid is any good he won’t come to IU because we have CTC still coaching the team.

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    Couldn’t agree more……GO is the kind of player that enables deep tournament runs. Once you get to March, interior toughness and the ability to defend becomes priority #1, IMO.

  • Jerry Smith

    That’s what everyone does with CTC. They sit back and just assume he’s gonna do what’s best for the program. He has shown he’s pretty inept at coaching big time talent. Which is why we are having a hard time with the 2014 recruiting class. I agree player development is a big factor for a coach. But what good is developing players if the coach isn’t that good and can’t take teams deep in the tourney?

  • ScoopGeoff

    Hmmm… While I don’t completely disagree with you, I also think your analysis is really premature. He never recruited “big time” talent at Marquette, he developed it, then he went to a Final Four. He has only had 1 year with any real semblance of “big time” talent. 2 years ago he had a freshman big man and a bunch of 2 and 3 star recruits. Sheehey, Dipo, and Hulls became impactful players, but they had to work their butts off to get there… Creek was hurt… Watford just was what he was….

    You talk like there is some long history of ineptness with Crean. As many questions as I have about his X’s and O’s ability, there is just no basis for your statement.

    He has only been in the market for “big time” talent for 3 years at IU. If 3 years from now we are still having the conversation about why we can’t get past the Sweet 16, then you’ll have a point, but right now you have to give his “big time” recruits and talents a chance to actually do something.

    2 years ago the roster had 2 players on it that were at least 4 Star… This year we’ll have 6 or 7… Give him a chance to develop and coach those guys and then you can make any judgements you want.

  • ScoopGeoff

    I’m not sure which shows you as less of a fan…

    … Not realizing that a big man coached by Crean just went #4 in the draft, which makes IU an attractive destination for someone like GO…

    …or giving up on Perea already. He was suspended for the pre-conference schedule, never caught any rhythm or got to gain any confidence, and then was buried behind a lottery pick and a senior at the 4 and 5 spots in conference games…

    …I’m not sold on Crean’s ability, but you just seem to have an axe to grind and base your comments on illogical beliefs. At least make sense if you want to come on here and bash.

  • Jerry Smith

    I guess you have the same excuse for Jurkin, Jobe, Muniru, every big man other than Zeller that Crean has recruited.

  • walton

    I think winning the Big Ten title shows he is somewhat competent of coaching “big time” talent. Also everyone wants to win championships but for some of these players, whether they win or not, I think they are still putting themselves in a great situation to play basketball at the next level after coming to IU.

    I have concerns for Crean’s in game coaching as well, but what are we going to do? He’s pretty much done what the administration has asked him to do up to this point. Now, past aside, we will have to wait and see what he can do with the new expectations. I hope he proves a lot of us wrong.

  • cdog

    Jobe was someone CTC recruited early on to fill space when we had nothing. Nobody, including CTC expected much. Muniru was a top 150 player that turned out to be overrated. CTC cut bait and he was gone after one year. Jurkin has been injured for three years. These are really bad examples of ability to develop. The only thing in common is that they were all African born players who did not have the skills when they came to the US. All they were was big. I don’t think CTC will be getting any more of these type players.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Hmmm… I’m not sure that a 4-star recruit who spent most of his HS career in the top 50 has much in common with any of those guys. I never expected much from Jurkin, but yes, he has the same exact excuse + injury. There are only about 20 examples per year of highly recruited big guys who don’t pan out their freshman year and then make have strong careers. Big men, as a rule, take longer to develop each time they reach a new level.