The most talked about college prospect from this year's recent Arizona Preps Fall Showcase traveled a 6-hour distance with his high school coach to take part in this year's event. Menaul High School's (NM) 6-foot-9 junior post Michael Ou is a rapidly developing post talent that most college coaches, scouts and media have not yet seen, until this year's event. That quickly changed over the two-day event as Ou impressed our staff and other regional and national scouts in attendance with his play and upside for the future.
Ou traveled to this year's event with his high school head coach and school's Athletic Director, Gary Boatman. Boatman was born in Cottonwood, Arizona, and moved to Mesa, AZ, where he attended elementary school. Boatman graduated from Mingus Union High School in 1991. After high school, Gary attended junior college in Phoenix and Cottonwood. He then graduated from Ottawa University in Phoenix, AZ, with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies in 2000, with a certification in Secondary Education. Gary’s Arizona coaching experience consists of two years at Mingus High School, five years at Skyline High School in Mesa, AZ, and four years at Mesa High School in Mesa, AZ.
Boatman understands the importance of recruiting and exposure for his players, and makes valuable sacrifices for his best prospects to benefit from such events as the Arizona Preps Fall Showcase. After Ou moved to New Mexico from China and Boatman saw his rapid development as a player, the next step was the get his post prospect some recognition for the very near future.
As a 2018 prospect, Ou is a serious recruiting target for the future - a true post player with excellent size, a nice motor, strong physicality and a competitive drive that allows him to outwork other post players. Ou has learned the American game of basketball at a nice pace, and is very unlike many other foreign post prospects that gravitate toward the perimeter. Ou is a true post player that enjoys physical contact and likes to play inside the paint. He muscles opposing post players with his developing body and competes until the play is dead.
Ou also has excellent hands and is able to catch the basketball effectively amidst defensive pressure. He also has good feet and footwork - capable of making very good low-post moves against defensive post pressure. He is solid already in the post and will only develop a great over the next 1 - 2 years. He also runs the floor very hard and has a strong motor.
Ou indicated to our staff that he will travel abroad next spring and will play for Max Ivany's D-I Ambassadors on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit, which should do wonders for his exposure to college coaches and his college recruitment, of course. This young man is a definite mid-major plus division-I prospect now, but could see higher recruitment by the spring and summer, as he continues to develop.
Ou went into this year's event with no offers as of yet, but I expect that will soon change after his perfomance throughout the two days of this year's Arizona Preps Fall Showcase.