Orlando big man Ernest Udeh, Jr. is bubbling
The recruitment of Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.) 2022 big man Ernest Udeh, Jr. is beginning to warm up.
The Bulls offered Udeh after watching him during USF’s 2019 Elite Camp. Florida jumped into the mix with an offer last week joining Florida Atlantic and Stetson. Udeh is also receiving interest from Florida Gulf Coast, Georgia, Georgia State, Louisiana, Murray State, Temple, UCF, Virginia Tech and Western Kentucky.
Udeh’s improved play this summer earned him a three-star rating in June and put him on the radar of college coaches outside of the Sunshine State. He credits the exposure he received to his Team Parsons coach.
“We really owe our coach a lot because, Coach [Anthony] Ricks, he had the Virtual Player Evaluation Series. That allowed us to still get some exposure even though there weren't events going on. Everything was shut down. That Virtual Player Evaluation Series really helped out some of the guys on the teams to get their name out there.”
We asked Udeh about USF and Florida, who he had Zoom calls with last week, as well as a couple of programs he is hearing from consistently.
USF: They've really been showing love since the very beginning. Since the first time they offered me at the camp. And I really appreciate them taking the time out to form the relationship that we have.
Florida: They watched me at the Hoop Exchange and I had the Zoom call the following week. They compared some of the plays that they run and the actions that they do with the [video] clips from the Hoop Exchange. They compared my play style and I really enjoyed that. They showed me exactly how I would fit into the program.
UCF: Coach [Kevin] Norris and coach [Robbie] Laing have always talked to me. I love the vibe that they give off. Coach Laing and I probably have the strongest relationship there. We talk time to time about education and academics, my play style, what I think I can improve on, how I approach the game, where I want to go in basketball and stuff like that.
Georgia State: Coach [Chris] Kreider reached out to me and has been talking to me a lot. He's been watching my clips and seeing how I played. So, he has a really good feel about the kind of player I am and how I play. Then head coach, Rob Lanier, we first spoke on a FaceTime call maybe a month and a half ago. He really wanted to reach out make sure that I know that they were really serious about recruiting me.
BullsInsider.com asked Dr. Phillips head coach Ben Witherspoon for his thoughts on his junior big man.
IN HIS COACH’S WORDS
There aren’t many kids like Ernest. He’s a great student, works extremely hard, very coachable, and a great, unselfish teammate. On the floor, he’s a fluid athlete with great hands and feet and has put a lot of muscle mass on in the last year. Ernest is a high motor kid and an elite shot blocker/defender and rebounder right now. He’ll be extremely valuable at the next level because of his rim protection and ability to switch and guard the ball in ball screens. He is working really hard right now to add onto his offensive skill set and has an incredibly high ceiling.
USF was smart to get Udeh on campus and offer him early. It is still early in this recruitment but with his improvement since the end of his sophomore season we expect more high major programs to extend offers to Udeh.