Thursday, May 24, 2007

Festus For The Rest Of Us

Festus Ezeli, according to Charley Walters, with a hat-tip to, is interested in coming to play for the Golden Gophers and Tubby Smith. As we're partial to interesting names here at PJS, that was enough to get us excited. But, upon further inspection, Festus could be more than a name.

According to a sports blog for The Record of Stockton, Calif., Festus is raw, but may be the real deal.

Festus Ezeli is a 6-11 freshman who did not play last season. According to, Ezeli came to the U.S. from Nigeria a few years ago and graduated from Jesuit High School at age 15. “His upside is off the charts,” Yuba College coach Doug Cornelius told JucoJunction. “He’s very raw still, but is very athletic. He’s the best 17-year-old I’ve ever seen play.”

Um, I like the sound of that, though I'm not going to say Yuba's coach has John Wooden's eye for talent.

There seems to be some discrepency in the reporting on Festus. According to Rivals, Festus is 6-8, which is obviously different than 6-11 as Walters and The Record reported. From Rivals:

The 6-foot-8 high-energy guy has yet to play any ball in college. A potential trip to prep school could be in the works. According to his NorCal Pharaohs coach Jason Barton, Ezeli has heard from Virginia, Oregon State, Northern Arizona, St. Mary's and Fresno State.

I'm unclear on how much eligibility Festus would have. If he's enrolled in junior college, but has not played, does he have four years of eligibility? I would imagine four years, if he is being recruited by ACC and Pac 10 schools. If he's 'raw,' I would imagine schools from the major conferences wouldn't invest if they only ahd two years to bring the talent out.

More on Festus as it comes.