2006 Focus: Obi Muonelo

While most college coaches were looking for guys to sign that will help them a year from now, it was hard for many to overlook one junior: Obi Muonelo.

The buzz began at the Peach Jam quietly, but got louder and louder as the games went on.

``Is he a junior or a senior?" was one of the most frequently asked questions down in Augusta.

It surrounded Edmund Santa Fe (Okla.) junior guard Obi Muonelo, who put on an offensive show just about every game at the Peach Jam with his Athletes First team.

The 6-3 ½, 210-pound Muonelo displayed a big-time pull-up jumper, the ability to get to the basket and finish and also knocked down his share of shots from the perimeter.

Muonelo went for 17 in an opening-game win against the Metro Hawks, then scorched the South Carolina Ravens for 28 the following game.

Muonelo averaged a modest, but team-leading 13.1 points per game as a sophomore a year ago. He still needs to work on his explosiveness and jumping ability, but he's got all the tools to be a big-time shooting guard at the next level. ``The thing he does that amazes me is how he dribbles in traffic," Santa Fe coach Guy Hardaker said. "I'm not sure how you teach that. He basically bullies guys. He's not the quickest or fastest guy, but he uses his body so well. He can score inside or outside and has instincts you just can't teach."

``It's been really hard for me to get exposure coming out of Oklahoma," Muonelo said. "If I went to school somewhere in Indiana, I'd already have had a bigger name."

Muonelo attended the Nike All-American Camp in early July despite not receiving the invite until a week or so before the camp started.

He showed enough in July to warrant scholarship offers from the two top in-state schools – Oklahoma and OSU. However, Muonelo is hoping to catch the eye and earn a scholarship offer from Kansas and/or North Carolina.

``I really like Roy Williams and Coach Bill Self," he said. "Plus, me and J.R. Giddens are really good friends."

Giddens is an Oklahoma City product who is currently at Kansas. Muonelo also said he's friendly with incoming freshman Darnell Jackson and another future Jayhawk, Micah Downs.

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