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 NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Top-25 guard trims list to six

Trae Young , Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images
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One of the top points guards in the Class of 2017 has trimmed his list of potential collegiate destinations to six.

Trae Young, a consensus top-25 recruit, listed Texas Tech, Kansas, Oklahoma, Washington, Oklahoma State and Kentucky as the schools he is considering as he readies to begin his senior year of high school.

The list of the 6-foot-2 point guard is largely provincial as it includes Oklahoma, whose campus is just minutes away from Young’s Norman North High School, and fellow in-state school Oklahoma. Another pair of Big 12 schools make the list in powerhouse Kansas and the Red Raiders, whose first-year coach, Chris Beard, has spent the bulk of his career working in Texas. Texas Tech is also Young’s father’s alma mater. Washington has been on a role sending its players to the pros and recently received the commitment of top-five 2017 recruit Michael Porter, Jr.

Kentucky, of course, needs no explanation as to its attractiveness to high-level players.

Top-100 guard commits to Xavier

Chris Mack has Xavier back in the Sweet 16 (AP Photo)
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Xavier has added a top-100 prospect into its 2017 recruiting class Wednesday.

Elias Harden, a shooting guard from Georgia, pledged to the Musketeers via social media to become the second member of Chris Mack’s next class.

“The recruiting process was not EASY AT ALL,” Harden wrote on Twitter. “I wanna thank all the coaches that took time to recruit me.

“WIth that being said I will continue my academic and athletic career at Xavier University.”

The 6-foot-6 guard is ranked 92nd overall by 247Sports and had offers from Auburn, Maryland, Texas Tech and Ole Miss. He joins Jared Ridder, a Missouri guard, as part of the 2017 Xavier class.

The Musketeers return the bulk of last year’s 28-6 team that narrowly missed out on the Sweet 16.

Clemson recruit to enroll early

Brad Brownell
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Clemson will get a four-star recruit on campus a year earlier than it expected, though his on-court debut for the Tigers will remain on schedule.

A.J. Oliver, a guard from South Carolina, will enroll early at Clemson and redshirt this upcoming season, he announced via social media Wednesday.

“I woke up this morning and realized that the greatest opportunity for me is to enroll early into Clemson,” he wrote on Twitter. “I will redshirt a year & start my college career early.”

Oliver, whose mother is the head women’s basketball coach at Clemson, was a consensus top-100 player in the class of 2017 who committed to the Tigers last December. Texas Tech and the College of Charleston were involved before his commitment.

A three-star shooting guard, Scott Spencer of Virginia, was previously the only member coach Brad Brownell’s 2016 class. While Oliver’s decision to redshirt will keep him off the court for the 2016-17 season, he’ll have spent a full season in the Tiger program before making his debut in 2017

The cupboard isn’t bare in 2017 for the Tigers due to Oliver’s reclassification because Clemson received a commitment from power forward Malik Williams, a consensus top-150 player, earlier Wednesday.

Kentucky used Calipari-Chaney fight in media training

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 12.41.16 PM
Kentucky Sports Radio
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Kentucky held some media training sessions yesterday, and one of the topics that head coach John Calipari used to make a point was … his blow-up with John Chaney. The moment was captured on SnapChat by a trio of Kentucky newcomers.

You remember that incident. Chaney, then the head coach at Temple, and Cal, who was coaching Atlantic 10 rival UMass at the time, nearly came to blows over the way that Cal handled officials during the game. Before the video below picks up, the two shared this exchange:

“Could I say this to you, please?” Chaney said, before the video above picks up. “You’ve got a good ball club. But what you did with the officials out there is wrong, and I don’t want to be a party to that. You understand?”

Cal responded: “You weren’t out there, Coach. You don’t have any idea.”

Chaney fired back: “You got a game given to you by officials right here with G.W. on three bad calls, O.K.? Then you send your kids out there pushing and shoving. You had the best officiating you could ever get here. And for you to ride them, I don’t want to be a party to that.”

And that led to “I’ll kill you”:

(h/t KSR)

VIDEO: Shaq’s son, Shareef O’Neal, with monster dunk in Vegas

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Shareef O’Neal is a top 50 prospect in the Class of 2018. In Vegas this past weekend, he threw down a monster put-back dunk.