Hereâs the latest recruiting article from Thad âthe Mummyâ Mumau. Thadâs column runs over at www.smartnewsnc.com , and he graciously allows us to reprint it here. Thanks Thad!Al-Farouq Aminu is a great catch for Wake Forest. Not only is he one of the premier prospects in the country, he is also one of the most versatile big men.
At 6-foot-9, he is rated the No. 3 power forward in the country by prepstars.com, which ranks him No. 11 overall.
But Aminu is far more than an inside player. In fact, according to his coach, he projects as a small forward for the college game.
Wake Forest is where he will play. He committed to the Deacons in July, choosing them over Georgia Tech and North Carolina, then stuck with his decision after the death of Wake coach Skip Prosser.
Aminu, who plans to sign a letter of intent in November, averaged 13.7 points, a team-leading 9.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.5 steals and two blocked shots as a junior for Norcross High School, which went 29-3 and won its second straight Georgia 5-A championship.
He pulled down 21 rebounds against Arlington Country Day and grabbed 20 vs. Oak Hill Academy. He was the Blue Devilsâ second-leading scorer (behind Georgia Tech 6-8 freshman Gani Lawal) and demonstrated an outstanding shooting touch, hitting 64 percent of his field goal attempts.
âAl-Farouq does everything well,â Norcross coach Eddie Martin said. âHe is not superb at any one thing, but he is good at everything. He has a nose for the basketball, very long arms, a good knack for seeing where the ball is coming off and he blocks out well.
âAll of those things go into making him such a good rebounder. He also handles the ball well, so well that we give him the freedom to lead the break sometimes. He is a very good passer and he shoots the ball well out to 16-18 feet.
âHe can be a matchup nightmare,â Martin said. âAt least, we are hoping he will be this season. If the other team puts a big guy on him, Al-Farouq can put the ball on the floor and go to the rim. Against a smaller, quicker defender, he can post up and score.
âAt the college level, he will be more of a three man, a combo three/four who is a whole lot more comfortable at the three. He does not have to play with his back to the basket, but he can do that. He has a nice baby hook and he can catch, face and hit the jumper.
âHe isnât a catch and drop-step power guy, but he will do that occasionally. He also runs the court extremely well. And he has soft hands and catches everything.
âLast year, we had the luxury of playing him on the perimeter quite a bit because we had Gani. Now, without him, we will have to use Al-Farouq inside more. But he will still play about 50-50 inside and outside. If itâs a two-point game, though, I can guarantee he will be close to the basket.â
Georgia Techâs roster includes Aminuâs former teammates, Lawal, as well as his brother, 6-10 junior Alade Aminu.
âI think it was a temptation for Al-Farouq to go where his brother is,â Martin said, âbut in the end, he wanted to make a name for himself instead of being known as Aladeâs brother. All the tradition and the great program at North Carolina were also attractive.
âBut a big draw for him was the smaller campus environment at Wake Forest. At the same time, Wake is big-time in athletics and academics.
âGiven his youth and skill level, his best basketball is ahead of him,â Martin said. âHe just turned 17 in August, and the light bulb has just been turned on in his head. Everything is falling into place.
âHe is a quiet guy with a great personality. You would never know what a skilled athlete he is by just talking with him. He does not talk about himself. He just goes out and plays.â