Paschal Chukwu (2)

Paschal Chukwu, 2014 center, breaking out this spring

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AMHERST, Mass. — In the Class of 2014, one player who should continue making a name for himself is 7-foot-2 center Paschal Chukwu. He is fresh off his junior season at Fairfield College Preparatory School (Conn.), leading the Jesuits to the championship game of the Class LL.

Chukwu is currently on the AAU circuit with Connecticut Basketball Club and the development in his offensive game has been noticeable  Standing over 7-feet, Chukwu is a natural shot blocker and will clean up on the glass, but on being a factor on the other side of the floor is what Chukwu is focused on this summer.

“I’m constantly working on my offensive game. It’s not quiet where I want it to be,” Chukwu told NBC Sports. “I want to be unstoppable. That would be my goal.”

I don’t just want to be known as a shot blocker. I want to be an all-around player.”

During the Hall of Fame Spring Classic this past weekend at Amherst College, Chukwu showed his ability to consistently score the ball. He showed his hands in the post, displayed a few moves on the block and had some solid footwork in the paint. Chukwu, who said after the game he was encouraged to do so, knocked down some mid-range jumpers. If it wasn’t for his size 18 shoe, Chukwu would have connected on a 3-pointer on Saturday in a lopsided win.

Another area Chukwu is looking to improve on in his weight. The last time he checked he weighed in a 219 pounds. Right now he is focusing on getting number up to around 225. A year from now, on his way to college, he would like to get near the 240 mark.

“To be able to play at the high level, I’ll need to add on weight,” Chukwu added. “But I’m currently working on it.”

There’s no question Chukwu has high-level Division I interest, yet it is difficult to tell from who. Chukwu is a native of Nigeria before moving  to Connecticut three years ago. His guardian family is electing to keep Chukwu’s recruiting process private, so much so that Chukwu declines to list of schools recruiting him. CBC coach Dan Donnelly respects their decision to remain quiet about recruitment and can only list off a few teams in the mix — based off what he’s heard — but knows the list is much larger.

Providence, Maryland, Georgetown, UMass, Rutgers and Rhode Island were just some of the schools to watch him play during the month of April.

Chukwu could make his college decision as early as this fall, before his senior season at Fairfield Prep.

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.