The OldGold Purdue Sports Net: SEARCH | PRIVACY | COPYRIGHT | DISCLAIMER | CONTACT | LINK EX | DONATE | ADVERTISE
Celebrating 20 years on the Internet in March of 2015 !
Boiler UP!
Hammer Down!
Covering Boilermaker
Athletics since 1995!
Current Site Visitors Online:
30 visitors
OldGoldFreePress.com
HOME
BASKETBALL
MENS HOOPS MAIN
RECRUITING (M)
BOILERS IN THE PROS
WOMEN HOOPS MAIN
RECRUITING (W)
FORUMS
FOOTBALL
FOOTBALL MAIN
RECRUITING
FORUMS
OLYMPIC SPORTS
VOLLEYBALL
SPORTS NEWS
SPORTS NEWS
SPORTS NEWS (FACEBOOK)
COLUMNISTS
SPORTS NEWS ARCHIVE
BLOGS
The Purdue 'BBB'
Brad's Boilermaker Blog
PURDUE FORUMS
MENS HOOPS
WOMENS HOOPS
FOOTBALL
FOOTBALL RECRUITING
TICKET BOARD
OLYMPIC SPORTS
COMMENTS, IDEAS,
and/or SUGGESTIONS
BIG TEN LINKS
BIG TEN SPORTS FORUMS
BIG TEN MEDIA
BIG TEN NEWSPAPERS
SPECIAL FEATURES
10 TICKETS
PURDUE PREDICTIONS
OLD GOLD STORE
JOHN PURDUE CLUB

 

OLD GOLD FREE PRESS
Purdue Men's Basketball Recruiting

 Ije Nwankwo

[Ije Nwankwo]
 CLASS OF: 2003
 SCHOOL: Detroit Country Day HS, MI
 HEIGHT AND WEIGHT: 6'7, 255lbs
 REACH AND WINGSPAN:
 POSITION: Center/Power Forward
 01-02 RATINGS: #191 (HS)
                              #4 Midwest PF (SPOT)
 00-01 RATINGS: #142 (HS)
 ACADEMICS: Yes
 STATUS: Signed with Purdue
 AAU TEAM: The Family


BIO | PHOTOS | NEWS | SCOUTING REPORTS | LINKS | SEASON STATS | HONORS | SCHEDULE

PLAYER BIO

Ije Nwankwo, a 6'7 power player from Detroit Country Day high school in Michigan, is a wide bodied banger with a host of skills that gives him the potential to become some of the players he is being compared to at the moment. Names like Elton Brand and Charles Barkley are thrown around, yet Ije is just coming into his game. A player who can put the ball on the floor and handle pressure from forwards, while also having the ability to bang with physical skill in the low post. His footwork and drop step compliment his ability to move defenders in the post, making him a solid low post scorer and above average rebounder. While occassionally still drawn off his feet, he is capable of defensing the low post with his long arms and good footwork, blocking anywhere from three to eight shots per game. His stock is climbing as he replaces a label of "undersized" with one of power and ability. Nwankwo is also nearly a year younger than his peers. Also runs cross-country for DCD.

As a senior, Nwankwo was a third team all-state selection, averaging 16.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.3 blocks for a 23-2 DCD team. DCD ended the season ranked No. 1 in Michigan Class B, but was upset in district play by Detroit Renaissance.

Purdue offered Nwankwo a scholarship offer on the Friday before the Memorial Day Nike Tournament, as he stopped by campus on the way down to the tournament. After returning home following the weekend tournament to discuss the offer, Nwankwo told the coaches he would accept just two days later. He committed committed to Purdue over a offer from Michigan. Others showing interest were Marquette, Michigan State, Toledo, Wisconsin, Iowa and Penn State.

Ije Nwankwo verbally committed to Purdue on May 29, 2002. He officially signed with Purdue during the early signing period in November of 2002.


PLAYER PHOTOS

  • Nwankwo swats a ball away


    PLAYER NEWS

    7-09-02...In watching Boiler commit Ije Nwankwo play on Sunday night, I can see why Purdue offered early for him. Although not entirely in the swing of the run and gun chaos of all-star basketball, he showed more endurance than you might expect from someone with such a large frame. Nwankwo was not officially measured by Nike because of his late arrival, but looks to be in the 6'6 range with about a 6'10 wingspan.

    Nwankwo got better as the game progressed. His first offensive attempt was whistled dead when Ije made too much use of his elbow to hook around a post player. The second attempt was slick curl move that drew a phantom whistle for traveling. His third attempt at a shot was stripped by a weakside forward on the baseline. A very quick spin got him around his defender in the low post, only to have the weakside defense waiting for him on the baseline.

    Nwankwo functioned as a power forward, yet had little help in the post. 6'7 Ndudi Ebi would collapse occassionally, but ran his game mostly from mid-range out to the perimeter leaving Ije with little post help. Plus I have to credit his opponents for some inspired boardwork. The opposing team had two 6'9 players and two 6'7 forwards. Their forwards crashed the boards very hard. You didn't see Ije blocking out much, as he was needed to go after the ball. Ije was fouled going for a rebound on his fourth attempt, and hit his only freethrow.

    The second period began with a big block from Ije, then shortly followed by a rebound and outlet to a streaking guard downcourt. Ije hit him in stride for the easy layup. Then Ije had a series of plays where he would post up, get the inlet pass, then whip the ball back out to the perimeter. He shows a nice eye for that kind of inside-outside game. He's not the kind of player that needed to be double-teamed at Nike, but I could see how he could get there by the end of his senior year in high school. If he starts to draw the double-team, lookout.

    The second half was much better than the first. A steal and solo break down the court for a layup was something not seen yet from him. The fact it came in the second half also pointed to his athleticism. He looks big, and IS big, but has good stamina. Ije also had a tip-in basket over a opposing post player.

    All in all a nice set of skills. He's strong at defending in the low post, but when he wasn't down low he tended to wander a bit on defense. It would have been interesting to see him play on a team with a good low post center. He has the ability to prevent opponents from backing him down in the post.

    5-30-02...The staff has filled the remaining scholarship for the class of 2003 by getting a verbal commitment from 6'7 Ije Nwankwo of Birmingham (Detroit) Country Day (MI). If the team remains the same as it is now, Keady is finished recruiting with the class of 2003. The advantage to being done so early is the staff can now focus on the class of 2004, a class they will have six scholarships available to offer. Two are already set aside for shooting guard Robert Vaden and point guard Desmond Gadis. The scholarship grid has been updated to reflect Nwankwo's commitment.

    5-28-02...Word out of Bloomington and this weekend's Nike Memorial Day Classic is that Keady extended a scholarship offer to 6'7 Ije Nwankwo of Birmingham (Detroit) Country Day (MI) on Friday. Nwankwo, a power forward who can post up, was rated most recently by Hoop Scoop at No. 142, but his stock has been rising as he replaces his "undersized" label with some strong play on the floor. And talk about cross-training. At a solid 265 pounds last summer, Nwankwo ran cross country in the fall and dropped 25 pounds. It now looks like he might be back up to around 255. He was a third team all-state selection last year, averaging 16.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.3 blocks. Nwankwo is also nearly a year younger than his classmates. Purdue looks to be the first major Big Ten program to offer, while Michigan and Michigan State are still evaluating.

    4-22-02...Ije was named to the All-Area second team by the Birmingham Eccentric. Head coach Kurt Keener had this to say about his star player... "He was the inside force that complimented our outside attack. I think his decision to run cross country helped his conditioning and he went through a natural maturing process that also made him a better all-around player." (4/22/02, Birmingham Eccentric).

    3-17-02...The state championship game would be held in East Lansing this year, yet getting out of Detroit would prove to be the hardest challenge for Country Day. Ranked No. 1 in Class B, DCD ran into 21-4 Detroit Renaissance in the Regional final game. The result would be a 65-48 loss. DCD pulled to within three points three minutes into the final quarter, but could get no closer as inside anchor Ije Nwankwo would foul out of his first game of the season. Ije picked up two fouls in the first quarter, and his third at the start of the second quarter that would keep him on the bench until the second half. Nwankwo was one of only four DCD players to score in the game, finishing with 12 points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots. DCD finished the season with a 23-2 record. Renaissance head coach Mark White had this to say about shutting down Nwankwo..."He's a matchup problem for us, so you try to draw some fouls on him. If he gets himself out of defensive position, like leaving his feet, then you go up and draw the foul. If he tries to close out a drive, you want to go strong at him. We didn't have any one person that can defend him. It was team defense. We started Barber on him, then went with Talley. They can't defend him alone. We needed weak-side help." (3/18/02, Detroit News)

    3-14-02...Ije Nwankwo scored 31 points and senior Kevin Nelson added 15 for Country Day (23-1), as DCD easily handled Mt. Clemens 82-61.

    3-5-02...The last time Ije Nwankwo came up against Orchard Lake's Robert Jolley, Nwankwo ended up in the parking lot on his butt. Jolley got some leverage in the low post, and bumped Nwankwo through the side exit door into the parking lot. In this opening round game of the Class B district tournament, Nwankwo would not be pushed around. He scored 23 points and his defenders, including a steal and dunk with two minutes remaining to break the game into a two possession lead for DCD. Robert Jolley was held to 12 points.

    2-14-02...Not satisfied with playing Michigan teams, Keener took DCD on another road trip to Ohio. It would be his team's third matchup with Ohio teams this season. This time to take on St. Edwards, one of the top programs in the Cleveland (OH) area. DCD put a 14-0 record on the line, and had to hit a runner at the buzzer at the end of the first overtime period to maintain their undefeated season. Nwankwo had 18 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.

    2-3-02...DCD defeated Detroit Community 62-46. Nwankwo contributed nine points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.

    1-27-02...Ije led all scorers with 23 points as DCD beat No. 5 New Haven 72-60.

    12-27-01...Nwankwo contributed eight points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots to a 65-54 victory over Hudson (OH) at the Tramonte Prep Classic held at Kent State University.

    12-23-01...Country Day defeated Orchard Lake 56-43 behind 24 points from Nwankwo. He also led DCD in rebounds (11) and blocks (3). DCD led by as many as 22 at the half, but Orchard Lake would make a fourth quarter run to get within nine. The win was revenge of sorts, since Orchard Lake bounced DCD from regionals last year.

    3-11-01...Ranked No. 1 as the defending Class B champions, Orchard Lake stopped Country Day's advancement toward a state championship by defeating the No. 4 ranked Yellowjackets 66-53. Nwankwo shared team-high scoring honors with John Andrews, both scoring 18 points. Nwankwo also had eight rebounds and three blocked shots.

    3-1-01...Ashton Aikens and Ije Nwankwo each scored 12 points and Kevin Nelson chipped in with seven as the Yellow Jackets improved to 14-4 on the year. Nwankwo added seven rebounds and blocked five shots.

    2-22-01...It took a strong fourth quarter effort to put away Western Reserve Academy (OH). Outscoring Western Reserve 22-9 in the final quarter led to a 74-61 victory. Sophomore Ije Nwankwo held up the post with a solid 11 point, 10 rebound effort.

    12-14-00...Country Day had four player in double figures ina a 69-58 win over Farmington. Ije Nwankwo was DCD's second leading scorer with 15 points, and top rebounder with 10.


    SCOUTING REPORTS

    Scouting report by Gene Keady..."Ije is an unusual player in that he is only 6-foot-7, but will probably play down low for us. For his size he has great athleticism, and he possesses good strength. He's the kind of kid who likes the physical play that is involved in the post." (11/15/02, Purdue SID)

    Scouting report by head coach Kurt Keener..."He has huge hands and long arms, hands and arms of a 7-footer. He is a wide body who outquicks tall people and outmuscles small ones. I'm sure Purdue fans remember Jarrett Stephens, who played at Penn State a couple of years ago. Ije plays a lot like Stephens. I think Ije's best basketball is in front of him. The structure at Purdue will utilize his strengths." (5/31/02, Journal and Courier)

    Scouting report by scout Vince Baldwin..."Powerful baby bull (255lbs) is a load to handle on the low block. Great hands and a bigtime drop step. His 33 point 20 rebound game last week was impressive." (5/27/02, PrepSpotlight)

    Scouting report by the Oakland Press..."Nwankwo lost 20 pounds in the offseason thanks to a diet of basketball and cross country and has transformed into a major college recruit. Elton Brand-type presence in the post. Averaged 10 points and 11 rebounds a night as a sophomore." (12/4/01, Oakland Press)


    LINKS
  • Chance encounter makes lasting impression [Old Gold Free Press]
  • Post player commits to Boilermakers [Journal and Courier]
  • Big Fella Ije Shines! [PrepSpotlite]


    SEASON TO DATE STATISTICS

    SEASON MIN PPG FG% FT% 3P% RPG APG BPG SPG RECORD
    2001→2002   16.8 .620     12.5   5.3   23-2
    2000→2001   10       11   4    



    AWARDS AND HONORS

    01-02 season
  • All-State Third Team (Detroit News)
  • All-State Honorable Mention (AP)
  • All-Metro Honorable Mention (Detroit Free Press)
  • All-North Second Team (Detroit Free Press)
  • All-Area Second Team (Birmingham Eccentric)
    00-01 season
  • All-North Honorable Mention (Detroit Free Press)



    2002-03 COUNTRY DAY SEASON SCHEDULE
    Date Day Time Opponent ---- --- ---- -------------------- 11/30/02 SAT @ Rochester Adams (scrimmage) 12/13/02 FRI 7:30P @ Brother Rice Away 12/14/02 SAT Tournament 12/17/02 TUE 6:15P @ Seaholm 12/19/02 THR 7:30P @ Orchard Lk. St. Marys 01/11/03 SAT 7:30P Martin Luther King 01/14/03 TUE 7:30P @ Williamston 01/18/03 SAT 7:30P Flat Rock 01/31/03 FRI 7:30P @ New Haven 02/07/03 FRI 7:30P Detroit Community 02/12/03 WED 7:00P AA Pioneer 02/15/03 SAT 6:00P St. Edward's (OH) 02/21/03 FRI 7:30P Covert 02/22/03 SAT 6:00P Holland Christian 02/25/03 TUE 7:00P Flint Northern

  • As news organizations move their stories to an archive, some of the links listed above may become inactive

    OldGoldFreePress COLUMNISTS
    OGFP_Staff -Career Blocked Shots Rankings
    Bob_Richards -Women's Recruiting Update: Liza Clemons No. 1
    Steve -Opponent #11: University of Wisconsin
    MDC -NCAA: (5 seed) Purdue 76 - (4 seed) Washington 74
    Capri_Small -Purdue 76, Western Illinois 44
    Jimmy_D - Gazing into the Crystal Bubble, Part III: SEC / Big Ten / PAC 10
    Brad_Jewell -Introducing Purdue Sports News via Facebook
    Bob_Sienicki -Nike Camp: Elena Delle Donne Interview
    Bob_Sternvogel -Nike Camp Report #1 (Sparks and Monarchs)
    Guest_Columnist -Gazing into the Crystal Bubble, Part III: The SEC/Big Ten/PAC 10
    Others -Purdue Sports Info
     
    Current Site Visitors Online:
    30 visitors

    Share Share

     
    OldGoldFreePress.com is organized & maintained by a group of college sports reporters with the help of Purdue sports fans everywhere. OldGoldFreePress.com is an independent and unofficial Purdue (+ Big Ten Conference/NCAA) sports news site that is not affiliated with Purdue University, the Big Ten Conference, the NCAA and/or any university athletic program.

    Current Site Visitors Online:
    30 visitors

    Share Share

    © OldGoldFreePress.com 1995-2014