Odukale’s rise has him atop Mass’ class of 2020
This may be Femi Odukale's first season in the New England prep ranks, but he's hardly a newcomer to the region after playing travel basketball with local teams in each of the last two grassroots seasons, and to say he's brought his game to new levels since arriving at Springfield Commonwealth would be an understatement to say the least.
Odukale graduated from South Shore High School in Brooklyn last year where he had steady mid-major recruitment. This year, and in recent weeks in particular, he's pushed his recruitment to the highest levels with offers from Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, Washington State, and Virginia Tech among others. More impressive than the growth in his recruitment though, has been the progression in his game and ability to help his team win. Formerly a long and athletic wing with elite physical tools, Odukale was moved to the point this season and has flourished in that role, not just stuffing all columns of the stat sheet but also leading SCA to a big year in which they've played their way back among the top prep programs in the nation.
While Odukale has played his way into the top spot in the newly updated Massachusetts 2020 rankings, Phillips Andover guard and Penn State signee Dallion Johnson remains arguably the toughest shot-maker in the state and the second ranked overall prospect.
Justin Vander Baan and Josh Ogundele are up next and they're cut from a similar cloth. Both are committed to high-major schools in Boston College and Iowa respectively but haven't yet had the consistent production that typically accompanies a top five ranking. In essence, their future college programs are betting on upside more than their production to date. Ogundele showed flashes of it, especially last April in the EYBL, and has undeniable tools for the highest levels with his wide-frame, super soft touch and hands, and potential to both space the floor and be a low-post scoring threat. While Ogundele has been at Worcester for three years, and made steady strides in that time, Vander Baan is even earlier in his process and while BC fans shouldn't expect him to make an immediate impact next season, there reason to be optimistic long-term as he is a true 7-footer who has a relatively soft touch of him own, runs the floor and moves well for his size, has a solid fundamental foundation to his game, and really hasn't even started to build-up his body yet.
A third big man and second Springfield Commonwealth product, Isaiah Richards, rounds out the top five. Another South Shore alum, Richards is an athletic big man who doubles as a vertical spacer offensively and rim protector on the defensive end. Cushing Academy's long and athletic combo-forward, Toby Okani, who missed the first-half of his prep season with injury, checks in at six overall, while Winchendon skilled forward Sam Towns, who pledged to Ohio last week, is up next at seven. Brooks Sam Thompson and SCA's Enoch Cheeks are two players expected to make immediate contributions next season at Colgate and Robert Morris respectively while NMH big man Prince Moses, who has progressed with each stage of the season, rounds out the top ten.
In total, the updated Massachusetts 2020 rankings include 40 players. NMH's Sam Silverstein, Cushing's Malachi Ndur, Brooks' Myles Foster, Winchendon's Jay Rodgers, Worcester's Quest Harris, SCA's Aaron Gray, Worcester's Judson Martindale, NMH's Ben Callahan-Gold, Beaver Country Day's Anthony Morales, Worcester's Michael Rabinovich, WMA's John Adams, Cushing's Isaiah Gray, NMH's Zach Taylor, Pingree's Felix Kloman, and Williston's Cooper Creek round out the top 25.