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Scouting Paschal Chukwu

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Taking a look at Providence's Paschal Chukwu freshman year and how he might fit with MSU

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State is one of a few teams that 7’2" 226 Providence transfer Paschal Chukwu will visit. Per Jon Rothstein he plans to visit Kansas and Nebraska in early June, and the Virginia and MSU visits are TBD. Since Caleb Swanigan has decommitted from MSU, the Spartans have an extra scholarship that they can now use. While many thought Jonathan Williams III was a strong candidate for that spot, he was reported to have trimmed his list to Gonzaga, SMU, and Georgetown. With Matt Costello set to graduate after next year, the 2016-17 MSU frontcourt (as of now) will likely consist of Gavin Schilling, Deyonta Davis, and Nick Ward. While that’s not bad, adding a 4th big like Chukwu will allow Ward to not have to be forced into action during his freshman year and it gives MSU a "big" security blanket (so to speak) as MSU’s only offer to a 2017 big is 6’8" PJ Washington from Texas.


The Mathketball

Chukwu

Paschal Chukwu's KenPom stats

Looking at his advanced stats the first thing I will say is that at just 24.5% of minutes played, it’s a small sample size and it should somewhat be taken with a grain of salt. With that being said, the two stats that stand out to me are his 8.2% block% and his 7.5 FC/40. That 8.2% block rate is higher than any Spartan in the past 7 years with the exceptions of Adreian Payne as a freshman and Costello as a sophomore. The issue is that he fouls at a Schilling-esque rate (Schilling was at 8.4% as a freshman and 6.9% as a sophomore). As for his offensive stats he was an efficient scorer but it was at such a low usage that it’s hard to tell what type of player he was. Per Hoop-math he shot 90% of his shots at the rim and 75% of his makes were assisted. His 66% FG shooting is tremendous but again that was at a very low usage and that percentage coupled with his 60% FT shooting may have led to his very high 80% FTRate. If he can be a solid shot-blocker and an effective finisher off the pick-and-roll for his first year at MSU, that would be a definite plus and worth that extra scholarship.

Scholarship situation looking forward

Right now I agree with Joe in that if you can get a 7-2 high major guy with 3 years of eligibility left, you do it (he would have to sit out next season). I really like the idea using an offseason year of development on a guy who's had a year in college and knows what it's like playing against collegiate players. He was a four star player by every recruiting site (in the top 70 range) and him coming would very likely not negatively affect any MSU targets in the 2016 or 2017 classes (Ward signed thinking Swanigan would be there so this likely would not affect his decision). While MSU is still in the mix for high ranked guard Jamal Murray, he is likely a one-and-done and while getting him for 2015 would be very nice, it may negatively affect MSU’s recruitment of PG Cassius Winston and by extension, his AAU teammate Miles Bridges (This is my speculation based on connecting dots and not rooted in hard evidence or reports). With Chukwu in place, MSU would be free to focus on their 2016 and 2017 targets and have a shot-blocking presence at the center position even after Costello is gone.