Six-foot-9, 215 pound Cretin-Derham Hall junior center Daniel Oturo is an intimidating presence. Minnesota had Oturo on campus last weekend as he’s a top priority.
With 16.8 points and 14.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore Oturo led CDH to a 20 win season a lot quicker than anybody expected with a young roster.
Playing up a level against 17U EYBL competition Daniel held his own and then some. He gave the squad a solid 6.3 rebounds (a team high) and a block a game plus scored his 4.2 points in 14 minutes per contest (shot 55 percent from the field) playing behind Marquette bound Theo John.
Oturo greatly improved through the summer with some excellent games at the Peach Jam, NY2LA Summer Jam, and Las Vegas Classic. He’s listed in some places at 6-foot-10 and just 24-28 months ago Oturo was a 6-foot-4 eighth grader.
Daniel is growing rapidly both as a player and as a physical prospect which is exactly why Minnesota was the first team to offer him a scholarship at the high major level. And why they had him on campus last weekend plan to host him again in two weeks.
“I enjoyed talking to the coaches, looking around at campus, and looking at all of the academic stuff and how they have so many resources to help out student athletes,” said Oturo. “I really liked that a lot.
“I have not been able to get over to see the team practice as of yet but I am going to the open scrimmage (homecoming weekend).”
Head Coach Richard Pitino and assistant Ben Johnson have been in contact regularly as they watch Oturo last spring, last June at camp, they saw him everywhere in July and have continued to follow everything he’s doing.
“I like the Minnesota coach staff a lot,” Daniel explained. “They look they are true to what they say. They really seem to want to build a relationship with me.
“It means a lot to me that the homestate school believes in me as a player. They seem to want what is the best for me, and they’ve made me top priority so that means a lot.”
Daniel also has offers from Georgia Tech, Memphis, Nebraska, Northern Iowa, Providence, Creighton, and of course Minnesota. Iowa and Nebraska are also showing strong interest.
“I’m not sure if I will anywhere else,” Daniel said. “I might be setting up a couple other visits but right now I’m not sure. Hopefully I can take one or two before basketball season starts.”
What’s really on Daniel’s mind is the high school season. Returning along with Oturo is double figure scorer Jake Prince, talented Ray Sean Treadwell, Griffin Gamble, and Denzel Fondungallah plus they added a big impact transfer in point guard Ryan Larson from Braham.
“We usually have 6am workouts at my high school. We have the 6am workouts every day and we have open gym twice a week.
“Getting in the gym every day helps me a lot as we prepare for the season. We are just focusing on getting better and make a state tournament run.
“My expectation is to win a state championship this year. That’s my goal and that is everybody’s goal. Everybody wants to win it but at our school we have the ability, the tools, the players, and the confidence to win a state title."