Junior Etou

Bishop O’Connell forward Junior Etou garnering interest from Miami, West Virginia, others

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READING, Pa.— You might not be able to pinpoint exactly which position would suit 2013 forward Junior Etou best, but, after watching him at Hoop Group Elite Camp Wednesday, it doesn’t seem to matter.

Etou is listed at 6-8, but could be closer to 6-6, which would make him a slightly undersized post player at the high-major level.

But what he may lack in a few vertical inches, he makes up for with athleticism, toughness, and a willingness to work in the paint.

“I play well at both small forward and power forward,” he said. “I like power forward because I can rebound, block shots. But at small forward, I can go out and handle the ball and shoot.”

In a game Wednesday at Elite Camp, Etou was matched up with 6-10 high-major prospect Chinonso Obokoh and held him in check on the defensive end. In transition, Etou blocked three shots and, offensively, showed the ability to step out toward the perimeter. To complement his inside game, an ability to handle the ball would round out his game.

“I’m working on my ball-handling, my jumpshot, playing defense,” he said.

His high-major interest comes from schools that include Miami, Cincinnati, Maryland, Memphis, and West Virginia, and he has no timetable for a decision.

Expect his list of interest to grow this summer before he returns to Bishop O’Connell (Va.) for his senior season.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

VIDEO: Duke’s Grayson Allen beats No. 7 Virginia at the buzzer

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Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia sparks come-from-behind win over No. 13 Louisville

Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot over Boston College’s Idy Diallo (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
(AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
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Demetrius Jackson scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half and Steve Vasturia scored 15 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes as Notre Dame landed a 71-66 win over No. 13 Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

The Fighting Irish trailed by as many as 11 points early in the second half, but Vasturia’s hot shooting combined with Notre Dame holding Louisville to just 15 points in the final 15 minutes made all the difference.

The Fighting Irish are not as good as they were last season, but they are built in a similar mold. Jackson, as we expected, as become one of the nation’s most dynamic point guards, impossible to slow-down in isolation and ball-screen actions. Steve Vasturia emerging as a legitimate secondary option offensively and Zach Auguste is one of the nation’s most underrated big men and one of the most dangerous as the roll-man in ball-screens.

Combine all of that with a handful of shooters creating space and Bonzie Colson’s emergence as a force on the offensive glass, and Mike Brey once again has one of the nation’s most lethal offensive attacks.

Where they struggle is on the defensive end of the floor, which is what makes the end of Saturday’s win so meaningful. The Irish entered the day ranked 232nd in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, which more or less means they’re as good as a bad mid-major program at keeping their opponents from scoring.

But they don’t have to be great to be able to win games.

They have to be good enough and they have to get important stops.

That’s precisely what happened on Saturday.

Whether or not that actually becomes a trend for this group will be something to monitor — it happened for Duke during last year’s NCAA tournament — but the bottom-line is this: Notre Dame does something better than just about anyone else in college basketball, and that’s score the ball.

On the nights they are able to gets some stops, they are going to be able to win some games. In the last eight days, they’ve proven that, beating North Carolina, Clemson on the road and Louisville.

And that makes them dangerous in March.