After his first game at the 2017 HoopSeen Atlanta Jam, AC Georgia big man Kalu Ezikpe came off the court after a win and, by all accounts, a good performance shaking his head in disappointment.
“I didn’t play very well,” Ezikpe said.
That wasn’t necessarily true.
The 6-foot-7 big man from Lawrenceville (GA) Discovery High School played just fine. In fact, he was one our Super Six players and the best big man at the tournament.
If Friday night wasn’t his best, then get ready for a strong summer ahead. Ezikpe showed off all facets of a college-ready four man. He rebounded well. He scored the buckets he is familiar scoring and he limited his game to within his capabilities.
College coaches big and small are searching high and low for size in the 2018 class, particularly in the Southern states. Ezikpe is one of the very best in the region for mid-major programs and his recruitment reflects that.
Middle Tennessee State’s Kermit Davis and Mercer’s Bob Hoffman were on hand to see Ezikpe play on the first night of the second live NCAA recruiting period.
But so were Georgia’s Mark Fox and assistant coaches from Alabama, Auburn, Cincinnati and Georgia Tech. And that was just on Friday. The high-major schools have to look at this point, just to see what other options there might be outside of the heavily marketed shoe circuits. Can you blame them?
Throughout the tournament, Georgia State’s Ron Hunter, UAB’s Rob Ehsan and Tennessee Tech’s Steve Payne came in to see him play. So did assistant coaches from Furman, Stetson, Wofford and Troy.
Ezikpe picked up a trio of offers on the same day. Coaches from Mercer, UNC Greensboro and South Alabama all ponied up free rides last week.
According to his high school coach, Clemson, Iowa State and Xavier have also called.
The big man from Gwinnett County said he hoped to leave a lasting impression with coaches during the April live period.
“It’s been good,” Ezikpe said. “I want to show that I play hard. That I make shots. That I block shots. I want to be a good player and a good teammate.”
So, what’s he looking for at the next level? Ezikpe said his process is pretty simple.
“Somehwere that I can play. Somewhere that I can get better. Somewhere that a coach can push me. I just want to get better. Somewhere that I can a family and somewhere that’s going to push me every day. I have that in my high school coach. I’d like to find somebody just like that.”