Daniel Edozie, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound power forward from Tyler (TX) CC, became the second Minnesota Golden Gopher verbal when he committed to head coach Tubby Smith today. Gopher Hole.com caught up with Edozie to learn the latest on his decision.
Gopher Hole: What was the main reason you decided to commit to Minnesota today?
Daniel Edozie: Three factors. The campus had everything I needed to help my reach my career. Two, coaching staff and history. Tubby Smith, of course, is well-known. Three, I loved everybody. I loved the environment and atmosphere that the coaches and the players provided.
Gopher Hole: What other schools were you down to when you made your decision?
Daniel Edozie: I was considering pretty much Minnesota. Minnesota had been there from the start and it came to at.
Gopher Hole: What were the other schools you were considering?
Daniel Edozie: Oregon and Oklahoma. Minnesota just stayed there through the whole time.
Gopher Hole: How would you describe yourself as a player to Minnesota Gopher fans? Unfortunately, since you are a junior college player, a lot of people haven’t really seen you.
Daniel Edozie: I am 6-8. I’m 240. A lot of people say that I am strong. I am strong and athletic. I am a hard worker. I do the extra little things to help the team win.
Gopher Hole: What things are you continuing to work on to improve yourself as a player?
Daniel Edozie: To be honest, to get in a little better shape. Also, post game and hook shots. My face-up 15 foot game. My mid-range game, I am still working on it.
Gopher Hole: Had you planned on deciding this early or to be honest are you a little bit surprised that you made your choice quite so early?
Daniel Edozie: No, I am not really surprised at all. I knew that I was going to make a decision soon. I was just going with the flow. I considered Minnesota very highly.
Gopher Hole: When did Minnesota start recruiting you?
Daniel Edozie: Early in July and they started coming down in September in the open period.
Gopher Hole: What have they said to you about your role for next season?
Daniel Edozie: All I know is that I have been told that they were in need of a forward, so whatever it takes. I wouldn’t know my role until I get there.
Gopher Hole: Have you seen much of Minnesota on TV or did you know much about Minnesota before they started recruiting you?
Daniel Edozie: Yes, I did know a little something about Minnesota. I heard that they made it to the championship game of the N.I.T. last year against Stanford. I saw them a little during the season last year.
Gopher Hole: Had you ever been to Minnesota before your visit?
Daniel Edozie: No. I hadn’t.
Gopher Hole: What all did you have a chance to do during your visit?
Daniel Edozie: I meet the coaching staff and players. I got to go around the campus andsee what it had to offer. Everything you would do on a normal visit, eat and hang out with the coaches.
Gopher Hole: What has the reaction been from your friends and family?
Daniel Edozie: I haven’t told my family yet., but I talked to my coach and he was happy for me and congratulated me.
Gopher Hole: You are a California kid. How did you end up at Tyler?
Daniel Edozie: I wanted to get out of the state, personally. Get away from home and get the out-of-state experience and also play at a high level and experience better competition. I’m not saying that there isn’t competition in California. There is. I just wanted to get an out-of-state experience and play at a high level.
Gopher Hole: What are the expectations for you guys at Tyler this year?
Daniel Edozie: I think that there are a lot of expectations. We have four sophomores and two transfers. We expect to go deeper this year than we did last year. I want to make our team as focused as I am to get to our dreams and reach our accomplishments as a team
Gopher Hole: Do you feel that deciding now takes a weight off your shoulders that you can now just concentrate on the season and not have to worry about recruitment?
Daniel Edozie: Correct. It takes a lot of the pressure off and allows me to work hard and better myself for the next level at Minnesota.
Gopher Hole: You didn’t average a lot of points and rebounds as a freshman. How much of a better player do you think you are now than you were last year?
Daniel Edozie: Last year, it was like taking a crawl as a baby and now that I know the system and what the expectations are and how the coaches want to use me and how I have gotten comfortable and worked hard in the summer, I am expecting to be at least 15 and 10, if not 20 and 10. A double-double every game.
Gopher Hole: Have you thought about what you would like to major at Minnesota?
Daniel Edozie: I want to go somewhere in the medical field, health sciences.
Gopher Hole: You were a qualifier out of high school, right.
Daniel Edozie: Yes, I was.
Gopher Hole: Who offered you out of high school? I thought that I had heard that Iowa State had offered you?
Daniel Edozie: Iowa State did not offer. I did not have an offer from them. Schools like Fresno State, Eastern Illinois, Eastern Washington and Idaho State were recruiting me.
Gopher Hole: You thought that by going the junior college route you could get some bigger schools to recruit you after two years in junior college, right?
Daniel Edozie: Yes. To play at the highest level I could possibly play.