Metu has top five

After a strong junior season, Lawndale (Calif.) power forward Chimezie Metu has a top five, with some other schools still in the picture for the four-star prospect.

It was a productive junior season for 6-foot-8, 200-pound Lawndale (Calif.) power forward Chimezie Metu.

The 2015 prospect made a big leap as a prospect. While Metu always had the size and physical tools, his commitment to playing inside along with an expanding skill set helped him make the jump to's 50th ranked prospect in the class.

Metu's coach at Lawndale, Chris Brownlee, is pleased with the way his junior performed.

"I think he had a great season; he really improved and has gotten a lot stronger," said Brownlee. "His commitment to the weight room and conditioning was really good. He was better in the post for us - this was his best year down low - and he was good all around. He captured MVP of the league."

While Metu had a successful junior year, he'll enter the off-season with a list of goals to improve on for his senior year.

"This year I wanted to see him do a better job on the low block and also rebounding. He did better in both areas, but still has room for growth. He made some big strides though," said Brownlee.

"We want him to keep being more of a vocal leader than leading by example. That's going to be a big deal for him for his maturation as a player. Also, understanding peaks and valleys as a player and learning how to deal with both. We would also like him to be a mentor to the younger players growing up."

The four-star prospect has a top five, with a handful of other schools also still involved in the recruitment.

"USC is number one, Harvard is in there, and then Creighton, Arizona State and California round out his top five," Brownlee said. "There's still some interest from Oregon, Stanford and UCLA."

Brownlee says that USC's coaching staff has put in a lot of work in Metu's recruitment, which is the reason for the Trojans' lead.

"They've been out here the most and developed a relationship with him," said Brownlee. "A lot of people say out of sight out of mind, but this is more in sight, in mind. They've devoted a lot of time and energy into the recruitment."

Despite Metu having a top five, there is still plenty of time for others to enter the picture.

"He has a big summer ahead of him," said Brownlee. "Depending on how the summer goes, he could end up hearing from a lot more schools."

When Metu does make a decision, academics will play a role.

"He's looking for a good coaching staff that's going to help train him as a basketball player and a young man, while also giving him the opportunity to have a good career long after the ball stops bouncing," says Brownlee.

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