New Tulane coach Mike Dunleavy Sr. scored a double-double on Friday when he landed a pair of talented African big men from The Patrick School in Hillside, N.J.
Bul Ajang, 6-foot-9, and Buay Koka, 7-foot, both committed to Tulane following an official visit to campus last week. Both players are originally from South Sudan, and have been in the U.S. for four years.
“Both Bul Ajang and Buay Koka have committed to Tulane University,” head coach Chris Chavannes told ZAGSBLOG. “They have spent the past four summers playing and training in Mississippi.
“They enjoyed their visit and Bul Ajang loved their engineering program. They also like the like the concept of growing with the program. I think it will be a good fit for both boys. They both have yet to reach their potential. This will be great for Tulane University.”
Koran Godwin, an NBA skills trainer originally from New Jersey, worked with both players and the other Patrick School kids this week.
“I think that both of them coming, [Dunleavy] got two steals, guys that are going to come into your program, work hard and in a couple of years you’re going to be like, ‘Wow,'” he said.
As for Koka’s skillset and upset, Godwin said: “He’s extremely athletic. He’s come a long way from the time he first got here to now. He’s grown leaps and bounds. Obviously with him, he’s got to get a little bit stronger and gain weight. That’s going to be big for him. Once he gets on that weight program and he continues to develop at the speed he is, he’s going to be one of those players that guys look back on and say, ‘Wow, he was a steal.'”
As for Ajang, Godwin said: “He’s smooth, not as athletic as the other guys, but he had a nice soft touch on his jump shot so I think that he’s going to be a guy moving forward that has ability and opportunity to just keep on working on his game.”
Ajang and Koka become the third and fourth seniors from the school to commit Division 1 this year following guards Jamir Harris (Minnesota) and Marcus McClary (Monmouth). Those four will sign their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday at the school.
Nick Richards, a 6-11 center, will announce on Thursday between Kentucky, Syracuse and Arizona.
The Patrick School is ranked No. 10 nationally by USA Today.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.