Open Period Preview: 2018 Centers

Minnesota will be adding four, or maybe five prospects in their 2018 recruiting class and already they have added four star Daniel Oturu. This weekend the open period for D1 schools begins and GI kicks off our preview of potential 2018 prospects.

The Committed.  That’s of course Daniel Oturu, the top 50-60 prospect from Stillwater, Minnesota that committed to Minnesota this past winter.  He’s a definite Gopher frontcourt player of the future.  That said, Daniel is a versatile 6-foot-9 player that moves his feet very well and faces up and uses a dribble well plus is developing a nice mid-range touch.

Oturu can play the five because he is long enough and is a great shot blocker but he’s also a four (plus weight wise he will need to add more to guard Big Ten fives).  Therefore Minnesota is still looking at several centers because they have to replace three of them (Reggie Lynch, Bakary Konate, and little used Gaston Diedhiou) plus newly added transfer Matz Stockman will only be here for the 2018-19 season (eligibility wise). 

Oturu is with Howard Pulley who will be in Virginia this weekend playing in the EYBL.

The Long Shot.  Minnesota offered Moses Brown who is ranked 6th overall in the nation and number one among centers.  He’s a five star prospect who received his first high major offer from Minnesota (second overall) but has since added offers from Kansas, UCONN, UCLA, Arizona, and so many others.  Moses has also recently had Duke, Kentucky, and others come to see him as he is the number one ranked center in the nation.  Moses did play AAU with future Gopher Isaiah Washington but he seems like an extreme long shot.

Moses will be with New Heights competing in New York City on the UAA tour.

The Locals. Oturu of CDH, Joseph Hedstrom of Hopkins, and Adam Trapp of Esko.  There is definite size in Minnesota.  Oturu is a top prospect, Trapp is 7-foot-2/7-foot-3 who earned a pair of high major offers (Purdue and Iowa although it’s unclear where their interest is now), and  6-foot-10 Hedstrom who is one of the hottest prospects in the state after a brilliant performance against the state’s best in St. Cloud.  Minnesota watched Hedstrom at an open gym yesterday and he will have Oregon State, Utah, and Northern Iowa in to see him soon as well.  Trapp is bigger than well, anybody in the country playing high school basketball (that I know of) but Hedstrom moves better.  It will be interesting to see how both perform the rest of the month and the Gophers will be watching.

Hedstrom will be with the Minnesota Comets in Dallas while Trapp will be in Virgina taking park in the EYBL with Playground Elite.

The One to Watch.   Brady Heiman is the Nebraska center that visited Minnesota this winter and really enjoyed his team here.  The Gophers are high on his list and if he plays with the Omaha Crusaders like he did this winter and like he did at the 16U level last fall I can see Minnesota and many others coming after Brady strong.  He’s very long at 6-foot-10, is every bit as active and agile as you’ve heard, and the potential is strong.

Heiman plays with the Omaha Crusaders who are in Dallas this weekend taking part in the Adidas Uprising.

Others.  Javian Fleming is a Mississippi big that Ed Conroy knows and has watched a few times.  He’s a 6-foot-9 center that is playing in the UAA league with Team Thad in New York this weekend….Arashma Parks is a 235 pound low post muscular player out of New York which is of course a place that Minnesota follows closely.  Parks plays for PSA which is a team Minnesota recruits commonly….A national up and comer is Franklin Augnanne who played with La Lumiere Prep this winter and will have people following him to see how he does on the circuit….

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