After securing a verbal commitment from exciting guard prospect Brycen Goodine two weeks ago, Syracuse looks to build on that momentum in the 2019 recruiting class. Last evening, assistant coach Gerry McNamara paid a visit to St. Benedict’s in Newark, extending a scholarship offer to consensus top 25-ranked small forward Precious Achiuwa.
Now listed at 6-foot-9, 206 after a growth spurt this year, Achiuwa turned heads this summer, playing for New Heights (NY) on the AAU circuit. An absolute demon in transition, Achiuwa passes the looks test with a 7-foot-2 wingspan, tremendous vertical leap, and a very solid handle. One player that Achiuwa has been compared to is former UConn and NBA great Rudy Gay. High praise indeed.
Achiuwa’s ability to throw down over defenders was on the display in June, when the Bronx native posterized 7-foot-2 center and top 5 2018 prospect Bol Bol at Pangos All-American Camp:
Achiuwa’s outside shot can best be described as a work-in-progress, though by all accounts has been getting better. The cerebral Achiuwa is a gym rat and has been focusing on his shot release and consistency from behind the arc. The results of his hard work were on display this past AAU season. Take a look at this highlight reel from this summer, which shows off Achiuwa’s eye popping skills, emerging jumper, and overall versatility:
While his exciting offense obviously garners the most attention, the Nigerian-born Achiuwa is no slouch on the defensive end. His ability to block shots and stifle opposing players is also on a high level. Achiuwa revels in his ability to impact the game on both ends, so it wasn’t surprising when Precious was named UAA 16U Defensive Player of the Year this summer.
With this sort of transcendent talent, Achiuwa will have plenty of options for his college choice. Offers have come in from the likes of Kansas, Ohio State, VCU, Oklahoma State, Seton Hall, and St. John’s. The SJU offer should not be dismissed, as Precious’ brother, God’sGift, played one season for the Red Storm and Chris Mullin has been prioritizing Achiuwa for a long time. Last week, North Carolina’s Roy Williams paid Precious a visit and Duke has shown some interest as well.
This will be a tough get. Still, Syracuse should be a major player in this recruitment. Achiuwa’s former teammate at St. Benedict’s, freshman big man Bourama Sidibe, looks poised to carve out a nice role for the Orange. Also, let’s not forget that another former St. Benedict’s Gray Bee, Tyler Ennis, did pretty well for himself at Syracuse, leading to a lucrative NBA career. Precious’ coach Mark Taylor has told me on more than one occasion that he thinks Precious’ length and athleticism would shine in the Syracuse system. Plus, McNamara was Sidibe’s main recruiter and has a solid relationship with Taylor and the rest of the staff at St. Benedict’s. That won’t hurt SU’s chances.
Currently there are no plans for Achiuwa to take a visit to Syracuse and there is no timetable for Precious to make his college selection, but there is no question the Orange are very much in the mix.