Fairfield Prep 7-footer Paschal Chukwu picked up an offer from UConn Saturday, according to Scout.com.
A native of Nigeria, Chukwu spent his first two high school seasons at Trinity Catholic, which has produced a few high-majors (Rashamel Jones and Craig Austrie to UConn; Dave McClure to Duke). Chukwu transferred to Fairfield Prep for his junior season and has led the Jesuits to the No. 1 overall ranking in the state. He recently posted 23 points, 13 rebounds and 12 blocks in a win over Career High (New Haven).
It’s unclear which other schools have offered Chukwu. National recruiting services such as Rivals.com list N.C. State, Providence, Notre Dame, St. John’s and Xavier as schools that have shown interest.
Fairfield Prep coach Leo Redgate said Sunday that “no decision will be made until another 12 months. No rush.”
If Chukwu ends up at UConn, the Huskies will have three young, athletic shotblockers. They’ve already received commitments from Kentan Facey (6-foot-9) and Amida Brimah (6-foot-11). Both will enroll next summer; Chukwu, however, is a 2014 prospect.
Kevin Ollie needs to re-stock on long centers, which were never in shortage during most of Jim Calhoun’s tenure. But following the early departures of Alex Oriakhi, Andre Drummond and Roscoe Smith (and now the indefinite suspension of Enosch Wolf), Ollie has been left with a woefully thin frontcourt. It seems his most productive center is Niels Giffey, a 6-foot-7 small forward.
In addition to Chukwu, Fairfield Prep has another player worth keeping an eye on: 6-foot-2 freshman guard Ryan Murphy, who has also been in contact with Ollie and the UConn staff.
Ranked last year as the No. 16 prospect nationally by MiddleSchoolHoops.com, Murphy listed Gonzaga, Missouri, St. John’s, Stanford, Iowa, Arizona, Rice, South Carolina and New Mexico as schools that have expressed interest. He said Gonzaga and Missouri have been the most active.