As the July recruiting period gets underway, Comcast SportsNet wants to get you more acquainted with Terps basketball recruits through the "Get to Know' series. Today: Chinanu Onuaku
Weight: 250 lbs.
School: Riverdale Baptist (Md.)
Skill Set: At the moment, Onuaku is a much more polished player on the defensive end than he is at the offensive end. He can be counted on to protect the rim and rebound, but can add points on putbacks and dunks. Though his offensive game would need some work if he does ultimately suit up for the Terps, a defensive stopper is becoming increasingly more valuable in college basketball. The nation's top two shot blockers last season, Nerlens Noel of Kentucky and Chris Obekpa of St. John's, both set the tone for the defensive philosophy of their respective teams.
Schools in the Running: Simply put, Onuaku's stock is rising quickly. After his strong peformance at the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville this spring and the way he has played on the summer circuit since, most national recruiting services are giving his ranking a significant bump. Along with Maryland, Kansas State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, and a handful of others have offered him.
Where does Maryland stand?: Onuaku is one of three major low-post targets that are emerging as the best 2014 options to fill a need in the low post. He, Trayvon Reed, and Goodluck Okonoboh make up the trio that the Terps coaching staff is locked in on during this July recruiting period. Perhaps more importantly, commits Jared Nickens, Dion Wiley, and Romelo Trimble have been most active in talking to Onuaku about the possibility of playing for Maryland.
"We always joke, 'When are you going to commit?'" Wiley told CSN by phone this weekend. "I assume he wants to. If we keep on improving, we can get him."
Wiley, Trimble, and Onuaku spent time with each other for much of the NBPA Camp in Charlottesville, Wiley said, and he predicts Onuaku will make a decision by the end of the summer.
But a commitment might not come that early. For many who have seen such a rise in their stock, a later decision, perhaps in the spring, is common. Even if one school remains the front runner, players have the option to see how many schools ultimately get involved before pledging their name to one program.
It should also be noted that Onuaku and Trimble play together for the local powerhouse D.C. Assault AAU program.