2010 (Senior):HEADER AL-FAROUQ AMINU Small Forward Wake Forest University Demon Deacons #1 6:07.3-216 Norcross, Georgia Norcross High School Wesleyan School
OVERVIEW The son of Aboubakar Aminu and Anjirlic Aminu, Al-Farouq (means "the chief has arrived") descends from a line of Nigerian kings. The younger brother of former Georgia Tech forward Alade Aminu, Al-Farouq became just the fifth underclassman in school history to leave the team for the NBA before graduating.
Rodney Rogers was the first Wake Forest underclassman to declare, as he left after his junior season in 1993, and Chris Paul left after his sophomore campaign in 2005. James Johnson and Jeff Teague both left after their sophomore seasons in 2009.
Even though he played just two seasons at Wake Forest, it was always his desire to compete for the Demon Deacons. Prior to his high school senior season, he committed verbally to Wake Forest, instantly making him one of the most heralded recruits in program history.
Blessed with an incredible wing span 7'3 1/4"), along with an array of offensive moves, Aminu's versatility allowed the coaching staff to utilize him on the wing at small forward and inside at the power forward position. The result was a mismatch nightmare for opponents, as the sophomore could post up smaller players and take on bigger players off the dribble.
After registering 10 double-double performances as a freshman, he added 19 more in 2009-10, tying Dickie Hemric (1952-53) for eighth on the school season-record list. His 29 total double-doubles topped Hemric (27, 1952-55) for sixth on Wake Forest's all-time record chart.
Even though he proved to be a sensational scoring machine for Wake Forest, hitting the 20-point mark 10 times during the 2009-10 campaign, he also excelled at crashing the boards. Early in his sophomore season, he pulled down 20 rebounds vs. William & Mary, becoming the first Demon Deacon to register 20 boards in a contest since Tim Duncan had 20 in back-to-back performances vs. North Carolina and Stanford in March, 1997.
Aminu was rated the seventh-best overall prospect in the country during his senior season at Norcross High School. A five-star recruit, according to Rivals.com, that service also rated him the best prospect in the state of Georgia. Scout.com rated him the fourth-best small forward in the prep ranks, as he became the featured player on Wake Forest's recruiting class that was rated the third-best in the nation.
Aminu was a 2008 first-team Parade All-American, helping the team capture the Class 5A state titles in 2007 and '08. He performed on the junior varsity team in 2005-06 due to state transfer rules (played at Wesleyan School as a freshman) that made him ineligible to compete for the varsity.
In 2006-07, playing alongside Georgia Tech power forward Gani Lawal, the forward tandem led Norcross to a 30-3 record, ranking 12th in the nation. In a nationally televised game vs. powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, Amini totaled 16 rebounds and 14 points.
As a senior, he was named the Atlanta Tipoff Club's 2008 Mr. Georgia Basketball, adding first-team All-State from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His highlight performance that year was a 27-point effort vs. Helen Cox High's Greg Monroe, who would later star for Georgetown University. Aminu closed out his career by averaging 23.1 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.
Aminu also starred on the summer circuit. He played ball for Norman Parker and Bo Bell on the Georgia Stars where he was a teammate with Tony Woods, helping the Under-16 team to the Boo Williams Tournament title and his Under-17 squad to the King James Tournament championship.
In 2007, he participated in the Elite 24 High School Showcase at legendary Rucker Park in New York City. He was a member of the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Youth Development Festival Red Team that finished with a 5-0 record and the gold medal, and also attended the LeBron James Skills Academy.
In 2008, he played in the McDonald's All-American game at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Starting for the East squad, he finished with four rebounds and a steal to help the East to a 107-102 win. He was also a member of the USA Junior National Select Team and played for the USA in the 2008 Nike Hoops Summit at the Rose Garden in Portland, where he scored 10 points and had five rebounds to help the USA to a 98-78 defeat of the World Select Team.
However, his prep career did have a bit of controversy. In March, 2007, Aminu was arrested for aggravated assault and trespassing for shooting a woman with a BB gun from a vehicle. He was granted first offender status because he had no criminal history and sentenced to three years of probation and 120 hours of community service.
In his first season at Wake Forest, Aminu started 30 of the 31 games he appeared in, as he averaged 12.9 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. He was named a Freshman All-American by The Sporting News, FoxSports.com, CBSSports.com and CollegeHoops.net and was the only Atlantic Coast Conference freshman to make the Sporting News' five-man team.
He finished runner-up in voting for ACC Rookie of the Year, but was named ACC Rookie of the Week five times, tying the school record previously set by Rodney Rogers and Chris Paul. He closed out his freshman season ranked second on the team in blocks (38), third in steals (30) and fourth in assists (46), as he led all ACC freshmen in rebounding, was second among the rookies in scoring and was third in minutes played (29.0 mpg).
As a sophomore, Aminu became the 14th player in Wake Forest history to earn All-American honors (third-team). He was also a first-team All-District pick by the NABC and the USBWA and a midseason candidate for the Naismith Trophy and the Wooden Award.
Named second-team All-ACC, he also received the team's Best Rebounder Award, as he went on to average 15.8 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. He would become the first Deacon to lead the ACC in rebounding since Duncan in 1997.
In April 2010, Aminu announced his intentions to declare for the 2010 NBA Draft. "This was a difficult decision," he said. "But after talking it over with my family and my coaches, I believe now is the right time for me to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA. I want to thank Wake Forest and the basketball program for all they have done for me the past two years. I have had some great experiences and will miss the friends that I have made here. I'm excited to take the next step and begin my professional career."
"After several discussions with Al-Farouq and extensive research with NBA executives, we feel that it is in his best interest to pursue an NBA career," said Wake Forest head coach Dino Gaudio. "We also believe that it is important for him to return in the future and complete his coursework to earn his college degree. I want to wish Al-Farouq all the best. I'm looking forward to following his progress in what will undoubtedly be a successful pro career."
GAME ANALYSIS 2008-09 SEASON Named Freshman All-American by The Sporting News, FoxSports.com, CBSSports.com and CollegeHoops.net...Was the only ACC freshman to make The Sporting News' five-man team...Unanimous selection to the ACC All-Freshman Team...Finished runner-up in voting for ACC Rookie of the Year...Named ACC Rookie of the Week five times, tying the school record previously set by Rodney Rogers and Chris Paul...Chosen as the ACC Freshman of the Year by CBSSports.com...Averaged 12.9 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, ranking third and second respectively on the team...Ranked second on the team in blocks (38), third in steals (30) and fourth in assists (46)...Shot 51.6%, making 146 of 283 field goals, but hit on just 7 of 39 three-point attempts (17.9%)...Led all ACC freshmen in rebounding, was second among the rookies in scoring and was third in minutes played (29.0 mpg)... Ranked fifth in the ACC in rebounding and fourth in defensive rebounds (5.9 drpg)... Posted 10 double-doubles on the season, more than doubling the combined total of all other ACC freshmen...Finished with the third-highest rebounding total (253) and third-best rebounding average (8.2) in program history for a Wake Forest freshman...Had the fifth-most blocked shots (38) ever by a Deacon freshman...Combined with James Johnson to become the fourth-best rebounding duo in program history, averaging a combined 16.7 rebounds per game...Scored in double figures 22 times and led the team in scoring seven times...Led the Deacs in rebounding in 11 games...Led the team with 45 dunks on the season.
2008-09 SEASON Made his collegiate debut with a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds vs. North Carolina Central (Nov. 14)...His 21 points were the most by a Deacon freshman in his debut since Rodney Rogers scored 24 in 1990...Recorded his second straight double-double with 12 rebounds and 11 points vs. UNC Wilmington (Nov. 19)...Scored 14 points on 6 of 9 shooting vs. Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 27)...Had 15 points and eight rebounds vs. UTEP (Nov. 28)...Posted a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds vs. Baylor (Nov. 30) in the championship game of the 76 Classic...Had 13 points, nine rebounds and four blocks vs. Indiana (Dec. 3)...Scored 14 points on 5 of 7 shooting and pulled down eight boards at Richmond (Dec. 19)...Posted his fourth double-double with game-highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds at East Carolina (Dec. 22)...Turned in his second straight double-double with 18 points and 10 boards against Radford (Dec. 30)...Had 14 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in a road win at BYU (Jan. 3)...Had nine points and six boards before fouling out in his ACC debut vs. North Carolina (Jan. 11)...Finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists at Boston College (Jan. 14)...Posted sixth double-double of season with 12 points and 10 rebounds at Clemson (Jan. 17)...Had 10 points and three steals vs. Virginia Tech (Jan. 21) despite leaving to receive stitches in his forehead in the first half...Posted double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds vs. Duke (Jan. 28)...Posted second straight double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, including 5 steals, at Georgia Tech (Jan. 31)...Scored a season-high 26 points on 8 of 9 shooting vs. Boston College (Feb. 8)... Scored 17 points vs. Florida State (Feb. 14)...Had 14 points vs. Georgia Tech (Feb. 18)... Scored 12 points at Virginia (Feb. 28)...Posted a double-double of 16 points and a season-high 14 rebounds at Maryland (Mar. 3)...Turned in a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds vs. Clemson (Mar. 8)...Had eight points and seven rebounds vs. Maryland in the ACC Tournament (Mar. 13)...Scored 17 points on 7 of 11 shooting and had six rebounds vs. Cleveland State in the NCAA Tournament (Mar. 20).
GAME ANALYSIS Opened the season with a double-double of 25 points and 13 rebounds vs. Oral Roberts (Nov. 13)...Followed with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals at East Carolina (Nov. 15) ... Named the ACC Player of the Week on Nov. 16...Posted a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds vs. High Point (Nov. 18)...Had 13 points and 4 rebounds vs. Winston-Salem State (Nov. 24)...Posted a double-double of 11 points and a career-best 20 rebounds vs. William & Mary (Nov. 28)...Turned in a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds at Purdue (Dec. 1)...Battled foul trouble at Gonzaga (Dec. 5) but still managed to put up 9 points and 5 rebounds...Finished with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds vs. Elon (Dec. 13)...Came off the bench against the Phoenix because he was late for shoot-around...Posted a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds, to go along with 3 steals, at UNC Wilmington (Dec. 16)...Led the team with 18 points and 13 rebounds vs. NC State (Dec. 20)...Finished with 23 points, 17 rebounds, 6 blocks and 3 assists in the UNC Greensboro clash (Dec. 28)...Had 16 points and 9 rebounds and went 10-for-15 at the foul line vs. Richmond (Dec. 31)...Was 6-for-8 at the foul in line in OT vs. Richmond...Posted a double-double of 26 points and 18 rebounds vs. Xavier (Jan. 3)...Went 11-for-19 from the field and had 3 blocks, 2 assists and 2 steals in 41 minutes vs. Xavier...Pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds and scored 9 points at Miami (Jan. 9)...Turned in a double-double of 24 points and 13 rebounds, in addition to 3 blocks and 2 steals, vs. Maryland (Jan. 12)... Finished with a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds at Duke (Jan. 17)...Posted a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds at North Carolina (Jan. 20)...Had a double-double of 10 points and 10 boards, along with 4 assists, vs. Virginia (Jan. 23)...Turned in 15 points and 8 rebounds at Georgia Tech (Jan. 28)...Finished with 6 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks vs. Miami (Feb. 2)...Posted a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, to go along with 3 blocks, at Virginia (Feb. 6)...Had 22 points on 8 of 12 shooting, along with 8 boards and 4 blocks vs. Boston College (Feb. 9)...Finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals vs. Georgia Tech (Feb. 13)...Scored 21 first-half points and finished with a double-double of 25 points and 11 rebounds at Virginia Tech (Feb. 16)...Had a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds at NC State (Feb. 20)...Turned in 7 points, 10 rebounds and 2 steals vs. UNC (Feb. 27)...Held scoreless for first time in his career at FSU (Mar. 3)...Posted a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds vs. Clemson (Mar. 7)...Had 11 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks vs. Miami in the ACC Tournament (Mar. 11)...Recorded a double-double with 20 points and 15 rebounds in the NCAA Tournament vs. Texas (Mar. 18)...Turned in 16 points and 8 rebounds despite being limited by foul trouble in his final collegiate game in the NCAA Tournament second round vs. Kentucky (Mar. 20).
2009-10 SEASON Became the 14th player in Wake Forest history to earn All-American honors, as he was selected third-team by CBSSports.com and FoxSports.com and honorable mention by the Associated Press...Earned All-District first-team accolades from the NABC and the USBWA...Midseason candidate for the Naismith Trophy and the Wooden Award...Added second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors from the league's coaches and first-team from The Sporting News...Received the team's Best Rebounder Award...Averaged 15.8 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, becoming the first Deacon to lead the ACC in rebounding since Tim Duncan in 1997...Was the only player in the ACC, and one of just five among the power six conferences, to average a double-double for the season...Led all power six conference players in rebounding...Led the ACC and ranked ninth nationally with 19 double-doubles...Led the ACC with 21 double-digit rebounding performances and with nine "20 & 10" games...Ended his sophomore season by hitting on 167 of 374 field goals (44.7%), including 18 of 66 from three-point range (27.3%) while making 139 of 199 free throws (69.8%)...Grabbed 332 rebounds, including 133 from the offensive glass...Had 44 blocked shots, 44 steals and 41 assists...Disqualified four times while piling up 91 personal fouls and 99 turnovers...Scored in double figures 26 times and turned in 10 20-point performances to rank seventh in the ACC...Was one of three players, along with Duke's Jon Scheyer and Maryland's Greivis Vasquez, to rank in the top 10 of the ACC in seven statistical categories.
CAREER NOTES Aminu started 60 of 62 games at Wake Forest, scoring 892 points (14.4 ppg), as he made 313 of 657 field goals (47.6%) that included 25 of 105 three-pointers (23.8%), adding 241 of 351 free throws (68.7%)...Collected 585 rebounds (9.4 rpg), with 204 coming from the offensive glass...His 332 rebounds in 2009-10 rank 12th on the school season-record list and his average of 10.7 boards per game that year rank 15th...Became the first Wake Forest player since Tim Duncan in 1997 to register 20 rebounds in a game, attaining that total early in the 2009-10 season vs. William & Mary...Credited with 87 assists, 82 blocked shots and 74 steals...Disqualified in seven games, as he was charged with 172 personal fouls and had 180 turnovers...Registered 29 double-doubles during his career, surpassing Dickie Hemric (27, 1952-55) for sixth place on the school all-time record list...His 19 double-doubles in 2009-10 tied Hemric (1952-53) for eighth on the Deacons' season-record list.
HIGH SCHOOL Attended Norcross (Ga.) High School during his sophomore through senior seasons for coach Eddie Martin...Enrolled at the Wesleyan School as a freshman, transferring to Norcross the following year (played with the junior varsity due to transfer rules in 2005-06)...Rated the seventh-best overall prospect in the country during his senior season...A five-star recruit, according to Rivals.com, that service also rated him the best prospect in the state of Georgia...Scout.com rated him the fourth-best small forward in the prep ranks, as he became the featured player on Wake Forest's recruiting class that was rated the third-best in the nation...Was a 2008 first-team Parade All-American, helping the team capture the Class 5A state titles in 2007 and '08...In 2006-07, playing alongside Georgia Tech power forward Gani Lawal, the forward tandem led Norcross to a 30-3 record, ranking 12th in the nation...In a nationally televised game vs. powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, Aminu totaled 16 rebounds and 14 points...As a senior, he was named the Atlanta Tipoff Club's 2008 Mr. Georgia Basketball, adding first-team All-State from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution...His highlight performance that year was a 27-point effort vs. Helen Cox High's Greg Monroe, who would later star for Georgetown University...Closed out his career by averaging 23.1 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.
OTHER TOURNAMENTS/TEAMS SUMMER BASKETBALL: Played summer basketball for Norman Parker and Bo Bell on the Georgia Stars in 2006, where he was a teammate with Tony Woods, helping the Under-16 team to the Boo Williams Tournament title and his Under-17 squad to the King James Tournament championship...In 2007, he participated in the Elite 24 High School Showcase at legendary Rucker Park in New York City...Member of the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Youth Development Festival Red Team that finished with a 5-0 record and the gold medal, and also attended the LeBron James Skills Academy...In 2008, he played in the McDonald's All-American game at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee...Starting for the East squad, he finished with four rebounds and a steal to help the East to a 107-102 win...Was also a member of the USA Junior National Select Team and played for the USA in the 2008 Nike Hoops Summit at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon, where he scored 10 points and had five rebounds to help the USA to a 98-78 defeat of the World Select Team.
PERSONAL Communications major...Older brother, Alade Aminu, was a power forward for Georgia Tech...Son of Aboubakar Aminu and Anjirlic Aminu...Descends from a line of Nigerian kings...His name, Al-Farouq, means "the chief has arrived"...Born 9/21/90 in Atlanta.
SCOUTING REPORT Positives: Has a lean frame, but there is room for him to add at least another 20 pounds of bulk without impacting his overall quickness...Possesses excellent length (7' 3 1/4" wing span) and reach (9' 0 1/2"), along with minimal body fat (8.2%)...Rare winger with the ability to put the ball on the floor and generally will beat his man with very quick burst and hesitation moves when in the post...Has the lateral agility, reach and leaping ability to stay in front of perimeter shooters, timing his leaps to extend and alter shots... His speed allows the coaches to utilize him as a point forward vs. quicker three-types and his strength lets him combat the four-type forwards and centers when trying to establish position under the rim for the offensive rebound and put-backs (133 of his 332 rebounds last year came from the offensive glass)...Classic shot blocker who can go high above the rim to contest shots...Slippery and elusive setting screens and does a nice job of working inside (very effective in transition)...Has excellent court speed, vision and stamina, along with the ability to push the ball on fast breaks...Uses his length and upper-body strength to consistently finish around the basket and while his frame looks wiry, he has that natural strength and anchor to make it hard for bigger forwards to try to push him out of the paint or box him out...Does a great job of drawing contact on the way to the basket, getting to the foul line 351 times in 62 games (made 68.7% of those shots)...Still a work in progress when it comes to making his shot coming off the dribble, but has developed into a very physical defender, using his body well to pressure and his arm length to generate steals (had 74 thefts in 62 games, including 44 last season)...Capitalizes on his ability to draw contact and get to the free throw line, as he has a smooth release and high arch...Still lacks an advanced offensive game, but for a player of his age, he continues to improve and shows great court vision and adequate passing skills...Has a decent jump shot, but lacks range from the perimeter, compensating with a strong drive going to the basket, getting most of his points with a solid inside game...Looks like Boston's Paul Pierce when he executes a nice spin move to sink his hook shot and for his quickness, length and excellent elevation on his shots (just lacks Pierce's perimeter skills)...Attacks the rim with good urgency and shows good strength defending on the perimeter...His long legs allow him to take big strides to the basket and his flexibility then comes into play, as he will execute a scoop shot on a reverse spin move...The thing you see on film is his ability to come off screens or spot up with consistency...Has the range and quickness to defend vs. the smaller guards and does a very good job of taking his man off the dribble...Has had good success vs. the smaller defenders, showing the ability to take them in the post...Still a work in progress handling the ball with his right hand, but can deliver an effective floater or jump shot from his left...When he gets in a rhythm, he is capable of pulling up and firing from mid-range with good consistency (gets a little sloppy when pressured on the perimeter though)...Has developed into a solid offensive rebounder, doing a nice job of timing his leaps to the rim and also shows efficiency on put-backs (204 of 585 rebounds came off the offensive glass)...Has natural hand strength to secure the ball off the boards and has a strong charge cutting to the basket, as his court vision allows him to quickly find the open lanes (needs to do this more often though).
Negatives: Aminu lacks confidence in his perimeter shooting, as he's made just 25 of 105 three-point attempts (23.8%) during his career (was a woeful 7 of 39 as a freshman, improving to 18 of 66 as a sophomore)...Sort of a 'tweener, as he stands a shade over 6-7 and has a wiry frame, but his body is still maturing and should fill out nicely in a few years...Not a great ball handler (high dribble) and needs to be more alert to defenders trying to attack him when he has the ball on the floor...Right-hand dominant and needs to develop a better feel for distributing and shooting from his left side (bit predictable)...Does not show consistency when having to shoot off the dribble (release point gets off kilter, as he sometimes looks to shoot from the hip or push the ball without setting his feet)...He showed marked improvement with his post game last year, but it is still a work in progress...Will need strong and unselfish point guard play, as he is not the type who is capable of creating his own shot otherwise.
Compares To: JOSH SMITH, Atlanta -- There are similarities in Aminu's game to Boston's Paul Pierce, except in one glaring area of concern - perimeter shooting. The Wake Forest product is sort of caught between the three- and four-forward spots as he waits for his body to fully develop. He has the tenacity that Smith shows working inside, especially when going for the rebound and also shows the lateral agility and shot blocking skills of another Hawks forward, Marvin Williams.