Nigerian basketball prospect John Odoh plans to play for Johnny Jones after all.
Odoh originally signed with North Texas last year when Jones was coaching the Mean Green, then was given his release from the letter of intent he signed after Jones left for LSU after the 2011-12 season.
As he works to finish his degree requirements at Hill Junior College in Texas, Odoh, a 6-foot-10, 230-pound center, has committed to LSU basketball as part of the 2013 recruiting class.
“He just really, really liked coach Jones from the time (North Texas) started recruiting him last September,” Hill Junior College coach Swede Trenkle said. “He just really liked him and trusted him from Day 1.”
Odoh is the second commitment in LSU’s recruiting class. Sudan-born big man Deng Deng reportedly committed to the Tigers after a weekend visit.
Deng Deng is a 6-8, 215-pound forward entering his first season at Lee Junior College in the Houston area. Deng developed his game in Australia before moving to the United States.
Odoh will not play basketball this season, but plans to graduate from Hill in December and enroll at LSU the following month.
He played one year at a junior college in Illinois before transferring to Hill, where his great leaping ability and athleticism helped him average 14.9 rebounds and 4.6 blocks as a sophomore.
Odoh also averaged 12.8 points for Hill with 21 double-doubles.
“It’s hard to describe him. I always just tell people he’s a machine in the fact he just goes and goes and goes,” Trenkle said. “He never gets tired. He’s obviously a freakish-type athlete. I’ve seen him put his head up completely over the rim.”
Odoh and Deng address a major need for LSU, which lost its top three big men from last year and has none in the incoming class.