You may recall that Ashaolu committed to Rutgers this spring then opted to back out of his pledge July 9, the second day of the Reebok U. Camp in Philadelphia.
Rated by Scout.com as No. 96 in the Class of 2008, Ashaolu had a summer that would have slid his status into the Top 75. He would have been in the final Top 100 for 2007 but those rankings were finalized in the spring.
Regardless, he's a major addition for Louisiana Tech. There are two stories here: how Tech scored him and what allowed him to jump from 2008 to 2007?
"A lot of people will be looked at it and be shocked by it," John Ashaolu, Olu's brother said. "Over the summer a whole bunch of schools like West Virginia, Texas and Arizona would call. La Tech offers a little bit of everything. I have a long time relationship with Coach Johnson. Olu's not just another kid to him. It's a situation that could possibly help him get to the next level.
"We have a real trust factor with him. The second thing was Coach Rupp. I did my research on him and he's highly regarded in the NBA circles. Everyone talks about his work ethic and player development. The 3rd thing is Karl Malone. We met him and the thing he said was that he would help my brother and put him in the right position to succeed."
Academically, Olu was in position to graduate if he scored a pair of core classes. He had to decide whether to spend a year in high school or receive college coaching from Rupp and Co.
"It was something that we talked about. Olu brought it up earlier this year. He's been playing varsity since the 8th grade and he was looking at different things. After everything that happened to our family it put stuff in perspective for him.
"Going into the second semester if he came back for his senior year he would need 2-3 more core classes. We got to thinking about it and what would help him get his game ready for college? Playing in high school or maybe red-shirting that first year at college?"