Bloomington – What will Brewster Academy forward Emmanuel Negedu bring to one of the four programs he's now considering?
For starters, a smile to the face of one of those program's head coaches.
But besides a healthy dose of elation, the hottest name still available in the 2008 class has built his reputation on explosive athleticism, an ability to finish in transition and his physical presence inside. That's why he's ranked No. 71 nationally in Scout.com's final '08 rankings, and it's why Indiana, Tennessee, Memphis and Georgia Tech are doing everything they can to convince the Nigerian native that their program is the best fit.
But Negedu says it's something else that he plans to provide for one of those programs.
"I'm an energy player – I think that's what I'll bring to the team," Negedu said. "I'll go as hard as I can every time. That's what every team needs."
Only one of those four programs, though, can come away happy with the decision of the 6'7", 225-pounder who averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds on a Brewster Academy team that went 31-4 last season.
Those are the four programs that have surfaced as possibilities for Negedu, who decommitted from Arizona last month due to the turnover on the Wildcats' coaching staff. Negedu is set to take visits to each of the four programs, starting with Indiana on Tuesday. He'll follow that up with stops at Georgia Tech (June 8), Tennessee (June 10) and Memphis (June 12).
"It's been difficult because I have to get everything done in a short period of time," Negedu said. "It's going to be a difficult decision for me, but I think it's going to be alright."
One thing Negedu said he does know is that he will take all four of his visits before making a decision. Indiana would like nothing better than for the Brewster Academy standout to pledge to the Hoosiers after his trip to town Tuesday, but that sounds doubtful.
"No matter what I'm going to take all four," Negedu said. "They're scheduled, I have my flights, so I'm going to take them. After that I'll go back home and think about everything and make my decision."
That negates any advantage Indiana might have had by being the first stop for Negedu, but the Hoosiers still hope to capitalize on some familiar names on the 2008-09 roster. Fellow Indiana Elite AAU team members Kory Barnett, Matt Roth and Daniel Moore will be IU freshmen next fall, while junior college transfer Tijan Jobe is a familiar name as well since he came to the U.S. from Gambia via the same A-Hope Organization that brought Negedu stateside from Nigeria.
Negedu said he stayed in contact with his former AAU teammates since going to Brewster, and that Barnett actually made the trip to Brewster last weekend for Negedu's prep school graduation. He admits that reuniting with the group in Bloomington is an intriguing option.
"It's great that they're there because I played with them in AAU during my sophomore, freshman and junior years," Negedu said. "They're all great kids. We played together and had so much fun together. I love playing with them, the same way they love playing with me. They really want me to be there with them. I hope it works out.
"It would be cool, being with those guys again."
But there's also plenty to like about the others as well. Memphis recently added assistant coach Josh Pastner to the staff, the former Arizona assistant who played a big part in getting Negedu to commit to the Wildcats. Tennessee has an up-tempo style and was among Negedu's finalists the first time around, while Georgia Tech Coach Paul Hewitt made an impression on Negedu as well the first time he went through the recruiting process.
Negedu declined to talk about his other finalists, instead preferring to focus on Indiana as the first program up on his list of officials. Tuesday's trip to Bloomington will launch a 10-day run of trips that will bring an end to Negedu's recruitment for a second time.
"I'll be glad when it's all done because I won't have to worry about it anymore, and then I can just worry about getting ready to go to college," Negedu said.
Negedu Talks About Tuesday's IU Visit
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