Baylor went down under again to bring more size to its men’s basketball team.
Seven-foot Australian forward Joseph Acuil made a verbal commitment to Baylor on Thursday. Acuil is entering his sophomore year at Neosho (Kan.) Community College and will be part of the Bears’ 2015 recruiting class.
Acuil will join fellow Australian Deng Deng, who will play for Baylor this season. Though both players are natives of Sudan, they knew each other as teenagers in Melbourne, Australia.
Acuil chose Baylor over LSU, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Texas A&M and Colorado.
“Quite a few big schools recruited him,” Neosho coach Jeremy Coombs said. “It eventually came down to Baylor and LSU. He’s a great kid and a good player who will fit into their system.”
During his freshman season at Neosho, Acuil averaged 11.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots per game. He shot 56 percent from the field and hit 72.2 percent of his free throws.
“Joe is a big man who can play inside and out,” Coombs said. “He’s a rim protector and rebounder and runs the floor well. He’s very skilled and can knock down the 3.”
Coombs said Acuil had to learn to play a faster style of basketball at Neosho, and is still bulking up his lanky frame.
“He came in at 195 or so, and is 210 now,” Coombs said. “He still has room to put on more weight. We play very fast here, but with his skill set and ability to run the floor, it didn’t take him long to figure it out.”
Acuil joins Dallas Triple-A Academy guard King McClure as the second verbal commitment in the Bears’ 2015 class.