The 2022 Rice basketball recruiting class added one more to their numbers this week, picking up a commitment from versatile forward Andrew Akuchie.
After retooling the roster prior to the 2021 season, the 2022 Rice Basketball recruiting class was likely slated to include a handful of players. The longest-tenured commitment comes from guard Mekhi Mason committed in January. Now, with the summer winding to a close, Rice adds the first forward in the 2022 class: Andrew Akuchie.
Akuchie hails from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Like King and Mason before him, this out-of-state product should fit in well with the Owls’ fast pace offensive style. Akuchie mentioned the Owls’ tempo and willingness to push the ball in transition was something he was particularly excited to be apart of when he gets to campus, mentioning Pera’s willingness to let his players make plays. “Anyone can push the ball in transition,” Akuchie said.
On the court, the fit makes a lot of sense. The 6-foot-8 forward can hold his own inside and has the ability to score from different levels of the court. Aligning him with the quick-trigger guard play already on campus will add an extra dimension to the Owls’ offense.
At the time of his commitment, Akuchie picks Rice over offers from Albany, Lafayette and Canisius. All four programs had offered Akuchie over the summer, Albany first in early May and Rice coming not long after in mid June. Princeton and Holy Cross were in the running down the stretch, but after some time to get to know the staff and get a better feel for Rice, Akuchie had seen all he needed to see to make his decision.
“The coaching staff [is] supportive,” he said, adding it was evident that the coaches “care a lot about their players.” That familial atmosphere was important for him. And now he’s set to be a Rice Owl.