Onuaku on Maryland: "They have a chance"

Onuaku on Maryland: "They have a chance"
July 23, 2013, 10:15 am
Share This Post

Just a few months ago, Chinanu Onuaku was a solid big man on a major local AAU program, a two-star prospect with some interest from select high-major schools.

Now nearing the end of July, he keeps a running list of his offers with him just in case a reporter asks. With so much interest, it has become too long to recall all of them off-hand.

Onuaku, a 6-10, 250-pound center from Riverdale Baptist (Md.), has had a strong spring and summer on the amateur circuit and remains one of the biggest priorities in Maryland's 2014 class. His combination of size, defense, and rebounding make him a strong complement on paper to Maryland's three other commits in the class, Romelo Trimble, Dion Wiley, and Jared Nickens.

All three current commits are heralded as quality outside shooters who can stretch the floor and pull the defense away from the basket.

Wiley, Trimble, and Onuaku spent a good deal of time together at the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville this spring and the two commits did their part to lobby on behalf of the Maryland program.

"They tell me that if I come there, we would be able to win a championship," Onuaku told Comcast SportsNet by phone Monday night. "Probably because of the things I can do [on the court]."

Despite his interest, Onuaku denied a recently published report that he was close to committing to the Terps after Top 100 Camp. Wiley, Trimble, Nickens, and Onuaku remain in consistent contact.

Onuaku took an unofficial visit to College Park last fall, but was unable to see much of the facilities and campus due to construction, he said. He continues to talk by phone with the staff throughout the process.

"I talk to the assistants more than Coach Turgeon," he said. "They tell me that they want me."

Other schools that remain in the mix are Miami, Virginia, Kansas State, Cincinnati, Minnesota, DePaul, Virginia Tech, George Mason, and many others.

With such a long list, he hopes to cut it down to 10 finalists by the end of the summer and work toward a decision in January or February. Among those helping him in his decision is his brother, Arinze, who starred at Syracuse and recently played with the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

The younger Onuaku was reserved in his assessment of where Maryland stands in the mix, pausing briefly and saying simply, "They have a chance."

Onuaku and D.C. Assault are heading to the Fab 48 tournament in Las Vegas on Thursday to finish out this summer's live recruiting period.