USC basketball coach Lamont Paris and Clemson coach Brad Brownell signed their committed prospects on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period for basketball and other sports. Paris announced that 6-9 Okku Federiko and 6-6 Trent Noah will be joining his program next season.
“Both of these young men and their families absolutely epitomize what the culture of South Carolina basketball is and will continue to be about,” Paris said in a release.
Federiko, the top collegiate prospect in Finland, hails from Helsinki and was teammates with current Gamecock Morris Ugusuk at DRIVE Basketball Academy. He chose Carolina over Duquesne, Pitt and Syracuse.
He also played for the Finland National Team in the FIBA U20 European Championship, averaging 11.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. He had a double-double in the group phase against Albania with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Federiko was 4-of-4 from downtown and also dished out four assists in the game.
In four games with DRIVE this season, he’s averaged 22.8 points, 13.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 3.5 steals and 1.8 blocks per game while shooting above 50 percent.
“Okku’s appreciation and gratitude for the opportunity in front of him is incredible for a young guy,” said Paris. “On the court, his offensive versatility and athletic fluidity make him an ideal fit for me as a coach.”
Noah last season averaged 26.5 points and 12.8 rebounds per game for Harlan County. An elite shooter, he had 821 points total for the year, knocking down 66 3s.
“Trent is a ferocious competitor that has a passion and commitment to the game that is hard to find,” said Paris. “On the court, he is a supremely confident and a skilled shooter that has a great feel for the game.”
Brownell confirmed that 6-2 Del Jones, 6-2 Ace Buckner and 6-9 Dallas Thomas had signed their national letters of intent to join the Tigers next season.
“I’m excited about the addition of Dallas, Del and Ace to our basketball family,” Brownell said in a statement. “These are three talented players who help solidify our backcourt and perimeter positions. Their an athletic group whose versatility should allow them to play multiple positions and blend well with our team.”
Thomas is a 6-9, 180-pound four-star forward who averaged a double-double with 16.5 points and 9.4 rebounds along with 2.3 assists and 2.1 blocks.
“Dallas is a highly skilled forward with tremendous length that allows him to score at all three levels, Brownell said. “I love his size and versatility, which will give me the opportunity to utilize him in a variety of ways in our system. Dallas has a great feel for the game and high IQ, having the benefit of being raised by a father who was a good Division I college player and was coached in high school by Arkansas legend Scottie Thurman.”
Thomas chose Clemson over Arkansas, LSU, Memphis and Missouri.
Jones is a 6-2, 180-pound point guard.
“Del is a superfast combo guard that has played against a lot of great competition in both high school and on the EYBL circuit,” Brownell said. “Offensively, he excels in the open court by attacking the paint and creating offense for himself and others. He is an explosive athlete whose competitiveness and toughness impressed our staff. We certainly feel like he has the ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor while at Clemson.”
He played for Team Durant on the EYBL Circuit and averaged 10.8 points, 4.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. Jones chose Clemson over Arizona State, Oregon, Seton Hall and West Virginia.
Buckner is a 6-2, 175-pound combo guard who is the son of former Littlejohn Legend Greg Buckner who played for the Tigers from 1994-98. He veraged 8.8 points per game with All Ohio Red on the EYBL Circuit. Buckner boasted nearly a 2:1 assist/turnover ratio through 24 games on the circuit. He exploded for a 29-point performance at Peach Jam in July.
“Ace is another combo guard who is comfortable playing with or without the basketball in his hands,” Brownell said. “He’s an excellent on-ball defender who, with strength, will excel at that end of the floor. Offensively, he can make threes off the bounce or catch and has a quick first step which helps him play in the paint. As a legacy, he has always had a dream to play at Clemson and we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to add a player of his caliber.”
USC women’s coach Dawn Staley announced the signings of 5-5 Madisen McDaniel of Upper Marlboro, MD and 6-5 Adhel Tac of Grand Prairie, TX. Clemson women’s coach Amanda Butler announced the signings of 6-2 Morgan Miller of Andover, MN and 5-9 Imari Berry of Clarksville, TN.
One other annunced signing Wedesday was by The Citadel which inked 6-1 Eze Wali of Providence, RI