View Full Version : Sdsu also looking for bigs.

07-12-2017, 03:35 AM
Sdsu also looking for bigs.....names that are new to me.....Malik Pope is still there???

The Aztecs have made offers to more than a dozen players in every position, but the focus this month is clearly on bigs. They filled the void the last two springs with fifth-year seniors, most recently 7-foot-1 Cal transfer Kameron Rooks, and the priority for new coach Brian Dutcher’s first prep recruiting class is to break that habit by landing some young posts who will be around for more than one season.

“Bigs are hard to get,” said associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Justin Hutson. “You want to make sure you get good ones. We don’t want to take a guy with size just to take a guy with size. But we really like who we’re involved with. They’re big, versatile players, and we think they can help us.”

The Aztecs have three seniors on the 2017-18 roster (Rooks, Malik Pope and Trey Kell), plus two scholarships currently open. One could go to 6-6 wing Matt Mitchell, who visited two weekends ago and is awaiting a test score to determine his NCAA academic eligibility before committing.

They are deep on the perimeter, with junior transfer Devin Watson and incoming freshmen Jordan Schakel and Adam Seiko. Jeremy Hemsley and Montaque Gill-Caesar will both be juniors, and 6-9 redshirt freshman Jalen McDaniels is versatile enough to play on the wing as well.

The good news is, the class of 2018 appears better than average for posts thanks to an influx of foreign giants. The Aztecs, in fact, have reportedly made offers to players originally from Sudan, Nigeria and two from Ghana, along with the usual complement of U.S. prospects from the West Coast.

They’re not getting all of them, of course, since a) you’re not starting five 7-footers and b) they’re not the only folks recruiting them. Getting one of these seven would be considered a success.

Bryan Penn-Johnson (7-0, 215): He played JV as a freshman, was hurt as a sophomore and sat out as a junior after transferring to Wasatch Academy in Utah. “I feel like a lot of people didn’t know about me before,” he said last spring. They do know. The major recruiting services rate him a four-star prospect, and Jerry Meyer of 24/7 Sports calls him “perhaps the biggest stock raiser of summer.” Arizona is on him, as is Cal, Washington and Utah. He’s getting calls from UCLA and Kansas. The product of a 7-3 father and 6-5 mother, he can touch the rim on his tip toes with his 7-7 wingspan while displaying remarkable athleticism for his size. To their credit, the Aztecs got involved early. But the secret is out now and the big boys are showing up at his games.

Joel Mensah (6-10, 210): He plays for JSerra High in San Juan Capistrano and is part of the African Youth Basketball Organization founded by Miramar College assistant coach (and San Marcos High alum) Kwaku “Ku” Amoaku. The program identifies basketball talents from primarily Ghana and helps get them to the United States. Mensah originally attended Redemption Christian Academy in Massachusetts before transferring to JSerra for his junior season. Scout.com rates him a three-star prospect.

Nathan Mensah (6-10, 215): Another AYBO product but no relation to Joel. Both Mensahs have taken unofficial visits to SDSU and attended a game at Viejas Arena last season. He is the higher rated of the two, with ESPN tabbing him a four-star prospect and the 17th best center in the class of 2018. SDSU’s biggest competition appears to be Oregon, although having Amoaku’s local support network is a plus for the Aztecs.

Majur Majak (7-1, 215): He’s gone from Sudan to Village Christian in the Los Angeles area to Roselle Catholic in New Jersey. The trick for schools like SDSU and Fresno State, then, is luring him back west, especially with nearby Seton Hall and Rutgers after him. Like many other foreign bigs, he’s still learning the game. But, as the saying goes, you can’t teach 7-1.

Mason Forbes (6-9, 200): He is in the mold of past SDSU posts: long, wiry, bouncy, active, underrated. The Folsom High forward has a sister, McKenzie, who has committed to Cal. Their father, Sterling, played with the Harlem Globetrotters for a decade. Mason is best known for his huge mop of hair, so much that Folsom fans warn opposing teams to “Fear the Fro.”

Andre Kelly (6-8, 235): He is shorter than the other bigs linked to SDSU but more powerful. He averaged 24.1 points and 15.2 rebounds last season for Lincoln High of Stockton and drew a three-star rating from Scout.com. Cal, Fresno State, Nevada and Washington State are among his other suitors.

Tolu Jacobs Yaffa (6-11, 270): A classic wide body center with surprising agility for his girth. He can look awkward at times but his ceiling, like most foreigners, is high. He began at King’s Ridge Christian outside Atlanta before moving to Capital Christian in Sacramento, an area the Aztecs have recruited well in recent years (Pope, Chase Tapley, Xavier Thames, Dakarai Allen, D’Erryl Williams). He’ll remain a bit of an unknown quantity, however, as an injury reportedly will sideline him for the July evaluation tournaments.

07-12-2017, 06:01 AM
Somehow I am thinking if a mystery big shows up in late August .... it won't be anyone SDSU has talked to. A blue blood? Perhaps. But not SDSU.

07-12-2017, 06:06 AM
Maybe Few can snag one from underneath their noses in retribution to their recent wins in heads-up recruiting battles over the last few years.