Udoh Keeps Options Open

Ekpe Udoh is either going to be one hot senior prospect this spring or a young man colleges keep on their 2007 radar. The forward from Oklahoma opted to sit out the early signing period.

Sante Fe High in Oklahoma could become a popular stop on the trail for college recruiters this spring or it might not. Ekpe Udoh, a 6-foot-8 power forward and current senior, is going to sit out the initial signing period and what happens the next 6 months is anyone's guess but he's got two options: sign this spring and head to a prep school next fall.

"In all likelihood, we're about 95% sure he's going to a prep school," Udoh's traveling team coach Mitch Malone told Scout.com. "He's not going to sign early."

Udoh was beginning to show real signs of progress last summer but a shoulder injury that required surgery on August 5 slowed him down considerably. Because of the setback, prep school is in the equation.

"People haven't seen him at 100%," Malone said. "Because of that, I'm thinking he's learning towards playing next summer.

"He played at about 60% this (past) summer. He had limited range of motion. People haven't seen how well he can play. He needs to get healthy; he's got another month and a half of rehab before he gets cleared to play high school ball."

Udoh visited Michigan officially. Malone said that Pittsburgh, Wake Forest and Kansas sent out early feelers. Certainly a lot of programs are going to monitor his health and his level of play as the season progresses. Even if he grades out well in both areas, don't rule out the post graduate route.

"It would take an unbelievable situation for him to do something in the late period," Malone said. "Maybe if his shoulder was 100% and he could compete at a high level at a Top 20 school, a place where he could step in and compete at a high level. He doesn't want to have to go to school and have to get stronger. He doesn't want to have to come off the bench; he wants to come into a school where he can be the focal point."

Malone is convinced that Udoh is on the verge of showing an improved game and a level previously not yet reached by the forward. "If he can get healthy, people are going to see a kid they didn't know was that good because he was limited by the injury situation."

Scout Hoops Top Stories