Morgan Park HS (Ill.)
Mac Irvin Fire (AAU)
6-foot-7, 180 lbs.
Shortly after an early morning victory one week ago at the Spiece Run N Slam, Josh Cunningham spoke to Purple Wildcats about the importance of making shots.
This obviously carries importance in any situation. But for Cunningham, one made shot can translate to dominant performances. That came true on the same night, when the Northwestern target lit up Team NLP for 32 points in an incredible 13-of-13 masterpiece.
He's comfortable shooting the basketball, though nothing quite matched this effort against a strong opponent. His second-half play led his team to victory. Congratulating him after the game, I asked: "Did you miss?" His response: "Don't think so." (I wasn't sure at the time, but yes, he made all of his 13 shot attempts.)
Expect Cunningham's recruitment to blow up in the coming weeks. NU quietly recruited him in the last breaths of the Carmody era, and still continues its pursuit of the impressive local forward. His athleticism would completely alter the team dynamic—with Chris Collins' player-oriented system fitting his skillset.
The versatile forward works well in transition. That led to several fast-break dunks, which no doubt gave him confidence on Saturday.
Cunningham also has excellent court awareness, and always seemed in correct position on both sides of the ball. Though he seems more comfortable at the 3-spot (don't call him a D-1 power forward just yet), he rebounded quite well for his size.
Analysts admired his complete game against NLP, with Scott Burgess calling it the best AAU performance in Cunningham's career. That extended beyond the strong shooting: When his scoring picked up, the rest of his game followed suit.
That could be the initial knock on Cunningham's game. Alongside several strong talents including Miles Reynolds and Jalen Brunson, he could often become lost in the offense. With his skillset, there's no reason for him to be tentative.
Cunningham is a very good player whose recent top-tier efforts might damage the Wildcats' chances. He's heard from Tavaras Hardy in recent weeks. He's without question deserving of an NU offer, and could be one factor in generating program enthusiasm.
Josh Cunningham holds offers including Iowa, Missouri and Oklahoma.
He spoke to Purple Wildcats HERE.