Ernest Udeh Jr. had a pretty nice weekend.
Our own Von Lozon had a chance to speak with Udeh Jr. and high school coach Anthony Ricks about the talented center, who is also excelling in the classroom as a 4.0 student.
According to 247sports, Udeh Jr. is ranked as the 10th best center in the 2022 class, as well as the 13th best Florida prospect and 58th among all prospects.
In his junior season with Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Udeh Jr. averaged nearly a double-double (10.1 ppg, 9.8 rpg) to go along with 1.9 blocks per game.
Udeh Jr. has one of the most exciting highlight packages out there, as the Hudl video below features more than a few thunderous dunks and huge blocks against other talented prep schools.
Howard sees Udeh Jr. as someone who can make an instant impact as a freshman, with that impact likely being most prevalent on the defensive end.
In the clips above, he showcases great defensive awareness. He’s not only floating on the help side to get highlight blocks; he lets guys get into him without fouling before timing their shots perfectly to snatch the shot before it gets to its peak.
He stays grounded, doesn’t fall for fakes and is a legitimate paint presence who can anchor a defense, just like Amida Brimah used to on the 2013-14 Uconn Men’s basketball team that won the National Championship.
On the offensive side, he reminds me of De’Andre Jordan when he was at his peak with the Clippers. He’s a two-hand dunker who finishes off two feet and can catch a lob with the best of them.
He’s good in the post, using his quickness to blow past and finish with either hand. He’s a great finisher under the rim, using the basket to shield defenders after grabbing offensive rebounds.
He showcased a decent right hook shot in the post in the highlights from his high school season. If he can work on another move off his other shoulder and develop a mid-range jumper, his offensive potential raises significantly.
Udeh Jr.’s rim-running can pair with Michigan’s talent guards, as I’m sure Wolverine fans would love to see him catching lobs from the likes of Kobe Bufkin and Frankie Collins.
The two-man game he could play with 2022 Michigan commit Dug McDaniel could be similar to what we saw with Zavier Simpson and Jon Teske two seasons ago, as if the pair can excel in the pick-and-roll, it can be a fixture of the Michigan offense.
It should be interesting to see how Udeh Jr., who is already in the running for being the coolest person named Ernest ever, develops heading into his senior year.
He’s got the athleticism and defensive prowess to play at the college level, and he can be a star in college basketball if he adds layers to his offensive game.
Michigan has a lot of competition for landing Udeh Jr., as he’s also received offers from Baylor, UCLA, Illinois, Kansas, Alabama and Arkansas.
If he ends up choosing Michigan, the Wolverines can expect to see him on the receiving of a lot of lobs while also being a problem for opposing offenses.