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

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

Associated Press
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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

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Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.

He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.