With the Aztecs men’s basketball players arriving on campus for the second summer session it is time to talk about the new Aztecs who we will see this season. First off is freshman forward Aguek Arop.
Arop attended Omaha South High School in Omaha, Nebraska. In his junior season Arop averaged 15.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.1 blocked shots per game. He shot 61.8 percent from the floor and was named to the All-Metro Conference first-team and was named as an honorary captain by the Omaha World-Herald newspaper. During his senior year, Arop had an even better season then his junior campaign. He improved his points to about 17.1 per game. Also, he increased his rebound total almost to double figures (9.8). This stellar season earned him another All-Metro first-team accolade.
During his sophomore season he committed to Nebraska, but later decommitted during his senior year to look at other options. After graduating from Omaha South, Arop decided to go to The Skill Factory, a prep school outside of Atlanta, Georgia, for one year. Arop led the team to a 44-6 record while averaging team highs in points, 21 per game, and rebounds, 12 per game, while also dishing out four assists per contest. His stellar play led to a San Diego State offer; he also had offers from Texas, Wichita State, and Eastern Michigan.
I expect Arop to make an impact with the Aztecs early on. On defense Arop will use his 7-1 wingspan to stop players out on the perimeter, but his long wingspan will also by useful when he is guarding power forwards in the paint. On the offensive side, with his improved three point shooting he will get lots of open threes from the driving and dishing of guards like Devin Watson and Jeremy Hemsley. Also, with defenses focusing on the double low threats of Jalen McDaniels and Nolan Narain he will be the man with a lot of open looks.
The expectations for Arop will be fairly high. I believe he will log between 10-15 minutes per game. Arop will get minutes at both the two and three, but I can also see him at the four when McDaniels or Narain are out of the game. With his gritty defense and improved offense game expect a lot of positive things from this kid from Nebraska.