For a young man, incoming freshman guard Rich Audu is well traveled. Born in Nigeria, Audu moved to Houston at a young age before moving north of the border to Canada at the age of 13. It was here that he developed his game, spending last year at the Regional Elite Development Academy (REDA). The equivalent of an American prep school, his time at REDA allowed Audu to hone his game and play against many prep schools in the Northeast and Eastern Seaboard.
“REDA was a really cool program”, said Audu. “It was mostly just training, working out, working on my game. It was good, they have a good coaching staff over there, a nice facility.”
While REDA helped develop Audu’s game, and allowed him to play with other incoming Division I players like Naz Long (Iowa State) and Martin Dixon Green (New Mexico State), recruiting interest began before attending the program during his sophomore season, and really heated up his junior year while attending Father Henry Carr High School.
“Creighton was the first school to offer me, and they were recruiting me pretty hard,” Audu told us. “I was actually thinking about going there, but I didn’t want to go to school all the way out in Nebraska. Then Rice offered, and I was really interested in that, because I’m from Houston, and it would have been good to go back home.”
Siena entered the recruiting picture last summer after seeing Audu play in the Caribana Classic, an NCAA approved camp designed to highlight top Canadian high school basketball talent. Siena was a known brand to Audu courtesy of their overtime victory over Ohio State in the NCAA Tournament, but it wasn’t simply a winning tradition that helped land the 6’5″ guard. Audu formed a solid relationship with Coach Tobin Anderson through the recruiting process and was impressed with the campus atmosphere.
“It wasn’t that hard when I came on my visit,” said Audu of his decision to join the Saints. “As a recruit you have to be real wary of all these different schools talking to you, because everyone’s trying to sell you something, they’re trying to pitch you something. So everything might not be as good as it sounds, you have to come to the school and actually see how they do things, and see how the people conduct themselves. When I came up here it just felt comfortable, had a real positive vibe, and I’m a real positive person so I just felt that and it felt good.”
Audu has since arrived on campus and has begun his collegiate career, currently taking his first class at Siena.He has begun hitting the weight room and states that he can feel himself getting better everyday. He’s also benefiting from competing against some of his new teammates, including last season’s freshman sensation Evan Hymes.
“He’s just so quick, he’s so crafty with the ball,” said Audu of Hymes. “So when we run I usually guard Evan and that’s just gotten me better. He pushes me. He’s always going to go hard, he’s a competitor and a great player.”
As for his own game, Audu brings plenty to the Saints that will excite the Times Union Center crowd.
“I bring energy, I play with a lot of passion,” said Audu about his game. “I love the game of basketball so I’m very meticulous about my craft. I pay attention to details, I have a high basketball IQ, I can score, I can defend, I can do anything to help the team win.”
Audu sets the bar high when it comes to winning. His expectations are inline with a fanbase hungry to return to the NCAA tournament after a two year absence.
“I want to win a MAAC Championship, thats why I came here.”
That is music to a fans ears.
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