basketball Edit

Whispers: Bulls Tracking Emmanuel Dowuona

It is probably a bit of a long shot, and the competition is fierce, but South Florida is making a run at Miami big man Emmanuel Dowuona of Westwood Christian School. RTB spoke with Dowuona, who took an official visit to Purdue in June, to get an update on his recruitment.

“It was great, Dowuona said of the Purdue visit. “The coach (Matt Painter) was real to me. He told me everything on the phone and I kind of didn’t believe it until when I got there, and what he said was true. How he trains his big men, how he socializes with his team. He’s down to earth and he’s open to everybody and that’s what everybody wants. If I’m going to go to a team I want to go to a place I going have confidence and not be timid. I just want to be somewhere I can fit in. Coach Painter and all of his assistants were great to me.”

Related: USF Elite Camp Insider Part I

USF Elite Camp Insider Part II

USF Elite Camp Insider Part III

Dowuona, ranked No. 132 in the Rivals150, had a busy travel season showcasing his skills with Team Breakdown in the Under Armour Association (UAA) as well as attending the Under Armour All-American Camp in Philadelphia in July. Despite injuring thumb in a game in Indiana during the last weekend in April, Dowuona averaged 7.9 points, seven rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game for Team Breakdown in UAA games. In the UAA Dowuona did the majority of his work around the basket with 86 percent of his field goal attempts within five feet of the rim. He is a 63.8 percent shooter on those shots near the hoop.

At the Under Armour All-American Camp, Dowuona succumbed to his thumb injury. “My thumb wasn’t that great,” said Dowuona. “I played the first two games and I was in pain so I had to check out, I had to stop playing.”

Saturday he attended the USF Elite Camp, but his thumb injury kept him on the sidelines. It was not his first time on campus, but it was his first time on campus since Brian Gregory became head coach. “This is my second time here and it’s been great too,” Dowuona said. “I just like the atmosphere, its right next to Miami. It’s the same temperature, it’s great.”

Dowuona, who listed his measurables at 6-foot-10 ½, 225 pounds, and a 7-foot-4 wingspan, told us that Purdue, Miami, Kansas (who has yet to offer), Georgia Tech and USF are the schools he is hearing from the most. Purdue picked up a verbal commitment from four-star big man Trevion Williams last month, but he is expected to primarily play power forward for the Boilermakers.

A native of Ghana, Dowuona told us that he plans to study Civil or Construction Engineering. A degree choice that many feel give Purdue and Georgia Tech and advantage in his recruitment but Dowuona, who has not scheduled any other official visits, said that is not necessarily the case.

“No, I don’t really know because I’m still debating on what I want to do,” said Dowuona. “I’m still open. I’m still looking at stuff and where I’m going to fit in. I’m still new to all this.” He went on to tell us that he is still gathering information on the USF Civil Engineering Department.

“I haven’t done my research on that yet,” he said. “Hopefully, maybe this week I’ll probably start doing that.”

Helping him along the way are his high school coach Jose Amat, AAU coach Kenny Gillion and his guardian Jimmy Joe.

Landing a center in the 2018 class is a priority for the South Florida Men’s basketball program. Currently the Bulls have senior Isaiah Manderson and JuCo transfer Nikola Šćekić, who has two seasons of eligibility, on the roster. Dowuona is one of five centers – Michael Durr, Christian Lorng, Florent Thamba and Caleb Stokes are the others – who hold offers from USF. As we said, this could be a bit of a long shot, but the Bulls are making a concerted effort with Dowuona.