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October 3, 2013

Rebels get Goodluck

The Runnin' Rebels landed yet another top commitment Thursday night when Goodluck Okonoboh announced on ESPNU that he would be donning the Scarlet and Gray of UNLV. The 6-9, 220-pound defensive specialist had whittled his list to UNLV, Indiana, and Ohio State.

"UNLV had a blueprint for me," Okonoboh said on the broadcast. "Coach (Dave) Rice and I have a great relationship on and off the court."

Okonoboh was originally a member of the 2013 class, but reclassified to the class of 2014. His high school career included a stint at the Tilton School (NH) with Nerlens Noel before moving to Wilbraham and Monson (MA) after his reclassification.

UNLV entered the sweepstakes late as Indiana was considered a long time leader for his services. His relationship with junior center Khem Birch served as a perfect medium for the Rebels to get involved. It appeared that Okonoboh cooled on Indiana late and UNLV and Ohio State were battling neck and neck.

Okonoboh, who is rated as #32 nationally, joins Rivals.com 5-star standout Dwayne Morgan in what is the beginnings of a stellar class. And with Rivals.com 5-star guard Rashad Vaughn on the short list, UNLV could put together one of the top classes in the country.

The fact that the Rebels just put Anthony Bennett into the NBA as the No. 1 overall pick as a freshman had to have an impact on the big man. However, Okonoboh made it a point to not get the two confused, saying, "He's Anthony Bennett. I'm Goodluck Okonoboh."

Given his athletic style of play and high energy, Okonoboh fits the bill with UNLV's philosophies. Depending on whether Birch decides to play his senior year or test the NBA waters, Okonoboh, at worst, has an opportunity for ample early playing time.

Rivals.com recruiting expert Eric Bossi calls Okonoboh "a high end shot blocker and big time athlete with length. (He) runs the floor very well and has tools to be a big time rebounder. (He) primarily scores around the rim and has to find a way to be more consistent as he goes forward. Huge upside as he refines his offense."

Okonoboh took a flurry of official visits, first heading to Indiana the weekend of September 13. Over a four day period, he visited Ohio State, followed immediately by UNLV from September 27-30.

For more in-depth information, be sure to check out Rebel-Confidential.



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