Onyeka Okongwu put the college basketball world on notice with a stellar debut on Tuesday, and his head coach thinks the encore might be even better.
Okongwu, the 18-year-old freshman, showed out in the team’s season opener against Florida A&M, racking up 20 points, 13 rebounds, and a USC school record-tying eight blocked shots. The Trojans went on to win by a 77-48 final.
Afterward, USC coach Andy Enfield had a great reaction to Okongwu’s outing.
“If he wants to break the school record, do it in the next game,” said Enfield, per Thuc Nhi Nguyen of the Los Angeles Times.
“He’s relentless. When that shot goes up, he’s going to be somewhere and it’s usually towards the basketball,” Enfield continued about Okongwu. “He’s got some great skills, but it’s really the mentality. I know a lot of guys that are just as athletic as Onyeka, but when that shot goes up, he’s going to get it.”
Okongwu, who is only 6-foot-9, entered college with a lot of hype after being a five-star recruit and winning three state championships at Chino Hills High, the same high school that produced New Orleans Pelicans star Lonzo Ball.
The freshman lived up to all the hype and more on Tuesday though, and he is part of a first-year class that includes some other newsworthy talents as well.