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Oakland ahead of the curve with forward offers

North Farmington forward Yusuf Jihad is one of the states top available 2019 prospects.

Though it’s current starting lineup only has one local recruit — Novi freshman Tray Maddox — Oakland has found success recruiting first and foremost about a 30-mile radius of its campus. Fittingly, the Grizzlies were the first to offer two of Oakland County’s best forward prospects, Yusuf Jihad a 6-7 senior from North Farmington and Peter Nwoke a 6-8 sophomore from Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.

We’ve beseeched coaches since the summer to recruit Jihad as a mid-major redshirt candidate. He’s not that he’s a late bloomer so much as a good player blossoming right on time — he’ll be 16 when he graduates. 6-7 now, it’s easy to see Yusuf ending up 6-9 given his frame and age. Reminds you, if not in ability and potential, then in how he’s just a young pup figuring it out and getting better and better, of Jaren Jackson at MSU. He’ll look awkward for a second, then suddenly is fully extending and throwing down two-handed. Jihad has a soft touch around the basket and is comfortable both facing up or shooting a half-hook from the blocks. While nothing flashy, he does a good job of not bringing the ball down.

Nwoke is another guy who has the basics down, and as a 6-8 pretty athletic 10th-grader with strong grades, that’s a mid-major floor at least. Enter the Grizzlies. Nwoke works well with good guards, and he better at St. Mary’s, as a screener who knows well enough to cash in on those chances he does see the ball. Terrific rebounder, with a good base, fundamentals, and effort. He has a good work ethic, which should allow him to remain a top 5 prospect in Michigan’s 2021 class.


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