When Danny Manning initially took over at Wake Forest, many speculated that the former collegiate superstar, NBA performer and expert big man coach would thrive recruiting frontcourt prospects to Winston-Salem.
Indeed, Samuel Japhet-Mathias’ early commitment serves as another piece of evidence that the optimism was warranted. The 6-11, 280-pound big man impressed as a sophomore last season at events such as the Hoop Hall Classic, where he performed so well at that event he immediately drew an offer from Connecticut.
He played nine games with the PSA Cardinals’ 17-under squad this past summer, and though his production was modest he showed flashes at the Peach Jam. Japhet-Mathias will need Manning’s coaching — and patience from fans — but with terrific size and building blocks for offensive and defensive excellence, by the time he arrives on campus in 2017 he could bring an immediate contribution to the lineup.
Japhet-Mathias is Wake’s first commitment from the Class of 2017.