Fairfield Prep center Paschal Chuwku heading to Providence (updated)
The 7-2 center chose Providence over St. Joseph, according to Prep coach Leo Redgate. UConn and Boston College were among the other Division I schools to offer scholarships to Chuwku, Redgate said.
“Providence and St. Joseph were there from the beginning (of the season),” Redgate said. “They never missed any games.”
Chuwku was unavailable for comment.
“It wasn’t from a lack of trying by everyone else,” Redgate said. “I knew him being in a really big school to play basketball was not in his best interest. He really wants to excel in the classroom.”
Chuwku averaged 12.8 points, 12.0 rebounds and 7.0 blocks per game for the Jesuits, leading them tho the finals of both the Southern Connecticut Conference and Class LL state finals last season. Prep finished 24-3 and second in the Register’s Top 10 basketball poll.
It was the second state final Chuwku has played in. As a freshman, he helped lead Trinity Catholic to the Class M state championship. He transferred to Prep after his sophomore season.
It’s the second state recruit Providence coach Ed Cooley has gotten in the past three seasons. Former New London guard Kris Dunn, the only two-time Register State Player of the Year, committed in August of 2011.
Analysis: This is a really good get for Cooley. When the lure of UConn is on your doorstep - and Kevin Ollie attended several games this season - it's not easy to turn them down. Look at how many state recruits in the past have gone there and ultimately transferred because they just didn't fit.
That is not to say it would have happened to Paschal. But Providence could work out well for him as he continues to develop physically. He already is a defensive terror in the middle.
He's also a pretty good free throw shooter for his size. He is better off in the "new Big East" rather than the old one, not having to see the former powerhouses year in and year out.
Also, it may be very, very hard to argue against Prep being a preseason No. 1 with Chuwku, Ryan Murphy and Tom Nolan among others back this season.