There weren't exactly any questions about five-star power forward Simisola Shittu's ability to compete at the highest level. But, a great junior year and strong start to his travel ball campaign have validated Shittu's status as a big time prospect in the class of 2018.
A native of Canada, Shittu played his junior year at Vermont Academy and he gave a lot of credit to coach Alex Popp and playing in the loaded NEPSAC for helping him to prepare for hitting Nike's EYBL with the CIA Bounce.
"My game has come a long way," Shittu told Rivals.com. "Last year I wasn't really handling the ball all that well. I'm handling it a lot stronger, I'm getting more confidence in my shot and shooting the ball more. Coach Popp really developed me this year.
"Playing in the NEPSAC helped me a lot. It's probably the best league in the country and helped me a lot preparing for the EYBL."
On the recruiting front, Shittu took an unofficial visit to Connecticut in October and the Huskies have offered. Also offering already are Alabama, Louisville, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Texas, Vanderbilt and others. In the past few weeks, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Maryland have all been touch and have plans to recruit Shittu this summer.
So far, things are pretty even.
"There's not really a school that stands out to me yet," said Shittu. "Some schools talk to me often but I'm not favoring anybody."
One school that has made a concerted effort to recruit Canadian players is Oregon and the Ducks message to Shittu is that they would like for that trend to continue.
Without any favorites or a defined list, Shittu says that he is in no hurry. He's not yet sure if he will sign early or wait until the spring of his senior year and it's going to be at least a few more months before he even settles on a list of schools that he will move forward with and look to visit officially.
"Right now it will be probably after the AAU season," said Shittu. "It will maybe be September or October or something like that."