The College of Charleston got a huge boost on Thursday, as Adjehi Baru was finally cleared by the NCAA to play this season.
Baru was rated as a top 60 recruit coming out of high school, and the importance of this decision cannot be understated for the Cougars. This is a team that was already losing their top three scorers — including high-scoring point guard Andrew Goudelock — to graduation before their leading returning scorer, Willis Hall, went down with a torn acl. Baru, a 6’9″ native of the Ivory Coast, plays the same position as Hall and should make up for that absence.
I know what you’re thinking.
How the heck did the College of Charleston land a commitment from a kid that was getting recruited by the likes of North Carolina and Maryland?
Its actually quite simply. As laid out by this terrific profile by Gene Sapakoff from back in February, it simply came down to the beach community that Charleston is located in. It reminded Baru of home. And since he didn’t grow up here knowing about the prestige of schools like North Carolina and Kansas, Charleston became his dream school once he laid eyes on it.
Its refreshing, really.
Baru is a real, honest-to-god student-athlete. He actually made a decision about where he wanted to play his college basketball based on what was best for his education and for his development as a person.