I Heart Okongwu

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I Heart Okongwu 

Post#1 » by Jamaaliver » Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:48 pm

Dedicated to the stud that Onyeka Okongwu is destined to become in the NBA:

NBA draft stock watch: Latest breakout players for 2020

Onyeka Okongwu | 6-9 | C | Age: 19

Overall ranking:
No. 15

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Okongwu has emerged as one of the most productive players in the NCAA...He ranks eighth in the country in player efficiency rating (39.2), with eye-popping per-40-minute averages of 26.6 points, 13.1 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 4.5 blocks while shooting 63.7% from 2 and 72.1% from the foul line. More of an acquired taste for some scouts as a 6-foot-9 center who doesn't space the floor, Okongwu has been just short of dominant through 11 games, without needing a huge offensive role to make an impact.

While the fact that he can score with his back to the basket is a big reason he has been so productive, Okongwu's true NBA intrigue lies on the defensive end. He has outstanding timing in the paint as a rim-protector and has shown the ability to switch onto guards, while also understanding how to drop in pick-and-rolls. Even at his size, he can elevate and snatch defensive rebounds in traffic. He plays hard, with the instincts and incredible quick-leaping ability to fit in the modern game -- even if he does get buried in the post by traditional centers.

Offensively, Okongwu plays a simple game. He does a lot of his damage in the paint on offensive rebounds, post-ups and at-rim finishes, with great hands and touch.

He might not have the same upside appeal as Wiseman, but it wouldn't be shocking to look back in a few years and see Okongwu as the most impactful center from this draft. Although not quite as bouncy, he holds some similar strengths and weaknesses to Bam Adebayo. -- Mike Schmitz
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#2 » by Jamaaliver » Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:52 pm

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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#3 » by King Ken » Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:33 pm

One of favorite prospects in this class. Him, Anthony Edwards, Obi Toppin, McDaniels, Ball, and Hagans.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#4 » by Marcus » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:00 pm

It was stated some time ago (and i don't remember by who) that he had a chance to be the best pro to come out of that Chino Hills Ball Brothers team.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#5 » by CP War Hawks » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:40 pm

His listed height is a concern, but he seems to play much bigger. Seems to excel as a help defender and if he shows the ability to guard the perimeter I'd expect him to be a top ten pick.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#6 » by Marcus » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:47 pm

CP War Hawks wrote:His listed height is a concern, but he seems to play much bigger. Seems to excel as a help defender and if he shows the ability to guard the perimeter I'd expect him to be a top ten pick.


that developed as a blessing in disguise being the back line for that Chino Hills press. Kid was absolutely fantastic as the last line of defense usually stopping drives, passes, and blocking shots whilst more times than not being outnumbered once the trap broke down.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#7 » by King Ken » Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:20 am

Marcus wrote:
CP War Hawks wrote:His listed height is a concern, but he seems to play much bigger. Seems to excel as a help defender and if he shows the ability to guard the perimeter I'd expect him to be a top ten pick.


that developed as a blessing in disguise being the back line for that Chino Hills press. Kid was absolutely fantastic as the last line of defense usually stopping drives, passes, and blocking shots whilst more times than not being outnumbered once the trap broke down.

He defends in space well too. That's more important for the modern NBA. To be honest, he is everything you want in a modern 5 outside of the shooting and you would prefer if he had more height but his bulk and body is very good.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#8 » by Marcus » Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:36 am

King Ken wrote:
Marcus wrote:
CP War Hawks wrote:His listed height is a concern, but he seems to play much bigger. Seems to excel as a help defender and if he shows the ability to guard the perimeter I'd expect him to be a top ten pick.


that developed as a blessing in disguise being the back line for that Chino Hills press. Kid was absolutely fantastic as the last line of defense usually stopping drives, passes, and blocking shots whilst more times than not being outnumbered once the trap broke down.

He defends in space well too. That's more important for the modern NBA. To be honest, he is everything you want in a modern 5 outside of the shooting and you would prefer if he had more height but his bulk and body is very good.


yeah i think wherever he lands he's gonna pay good dividends. even with looking at the physical progression he's made since HS he
looks like he could still add more. Would make a very useful addition throughout the painted area on both sides of the ball. Underrated passer out the post as well.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#9 » by youngWizzy » Sat Dec 28, 2019 4:55 am

Bam Adebayo
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#10 » by ThunderBolt » Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:47 pm

I liked him for the thunder but I’m afraid he’s going to be well outside of okc’s range unless they tank hard.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#11 » by TheSuzerain » Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:47 pm

How comically stacked was that Chino Hills team?
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#12 » by Jamaaliver » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:50 am

An excerpt from The Athletic:

Sam Vecenie wrote:The consensus at the [Vegas] Showcase was that USC big man Onyeka Okongwu has played himself into real lottery consideration...scouts really buy into his mix of toughness, rebounding, rim-running, athleticism, and defense. They’ve also gotten great reports on his character and background.

Evaluators look at the impact Montrezl Harrell has made across the city for the Clippers, and believe that Okongwu possesses a similar brand of production and motor that should translate well offensively to the next level. And on defense, while Okongwu is a bit undersized, they love his ability to contest and block shots. They’d like to see him pass a bit more, but he’s currently averaging 17.7 points, nine rebounds and 3.2 blocks in 28 minutes per game. His 35.1 PER is currently second among all draft-eligible prospects behind Vernon Carey at Duke.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#13 » by Marcus » Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:13 pm

TheSuzerain wrote:How comically stacked was that Chino Hills team?


3 legit pros on a non basketball program is pretty impressive.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#14 » by Ruzious » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:06 pm

I think he's a top 5 pick - in THIS draft. I like that he's made 19 of 22 FT's his last 3 games - improving to 72.5% on the season - gives me hope that he's eventually going to develop a consistent perimeter shot. Yeah, I wish he was 2 or 3 inches taller, but he's got the physicality and length to play center in the NBA. What do people think - Can he play PF in the NBA? He seems to have good defensive mobility on the perimeter - though I've seen a couple of times when he played too upright - not bending his knees. I don't think he'll be a superstar, but for teams that needs interior defense, he's a very valuable commodity.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#15 » by Stillwater » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:34 pm

some I think are slightly overvaluing him as a prospect right now based on current ability as a versatile defender.
I need to see more flashes offensively before I'd take him in the high lottery
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#16 » by nolang1 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:31 pm

Yeah a lot of his offensive game and overall efficiency seems to be based on the fact that the opposing team's top post defender has to guard his teammate and said teammate is very good at setting him up with post-to-post passes.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#17 » by mg » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:10 pm

Marcus wrote:It was stated some time ago (and i don't remember by who) that he had a chance to be the best pro to come out of that Chino Hills Ball Brothers team.


Yeah the coach over at Chino Hills wanted to feature Big O so Lavar pouted and took Lamelo out of high school. Okongwu was dominant in HS. I do have some concerns about his ball skills to be a star in the NBA although I think he has a fairly high floor. Obviously some concern about his height too. Some compare him to Bam but he's not in the same league when it comes to passing the ball. He should easily be a top 10 pick in this draft though.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#18 » by Ruzious » Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:59 am

nolang1 wrote:Yeah a lot of his offensive game and overall efficiency seems to be based on the fact that the opposing team's top post defender has to guard his teammate and said teammate is very good at setting him up with post-to-post passes.

I think that's a bit of a stretch - not seeing that either has had a positive effect on the other's stats.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#19 » by nolang1 » Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:07 pm

Ruzious wrote:
nolang1 wrote:Yeah a lot of his offensive game and overall efficiency seems to be based on the fact that the opposing team's top post defender has to guard his teammate and said teammate is very good at setting him up with post-to-post passes.

I think that's a bit of a stretch - not seeing that either has had a positive effect on the other's stats.


What? Here's like 8 baskets set up by Rakocevic in a single game. These are not passes the typical college big man is able to complete.



He rebounds and defends well enough to be worth a lottery pick, but I'm just not seeing anything 'extra' he brings on the offensive end to think of him near the very top of the draft.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#20 » by Ruzious » Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:40 pm

C'mon, Rak averages 1.8 assists a game, and those are easy passes because of Okongwu's ability to snatch them and finish. Big O is obviously not a finished product on offense, but the tools are there for him to become an outstanding player, and this is a draft that's very very light in the top 5. If anything, both get in each other's way near the hoop and clog things up for the other.
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