Firepower for 2013: Patrick Rooks, Austin Ajukwa make it official

Brad Brownell boosts Clemson's perimeter scoring with November additions

Patrick Rooks (Photo courtesy of Roy Philpott, CUTigers.com)

Patrick Rooks (Photo courtesy of Roy Philpott, CUTigers.com)

Patrick Rooks and Austin Ajukwa made it official on Wednesday, as both Clemson commitments faxed their signed national letters of intent to the Tiger men's basketball office.

The two players are expected to provide an immediate boost to Clemson's perimeter shooting from the guard and wing forward positions.

The 6-3, 180-pound Rooks, out of Charlotte (N.C.) Christian, is ranked as one of the state of North Carolina's top prep players. He has been committed to the Tigers for the past year and a half.

Ranked in the top 75 nationally as a junior by ESPN, Rooks is now ranked No. 126 overall by Rivals and as the No. 7 player in North Carolina by ESPN.

He is described by ESPN’s Dave Telep as “a shot-maker...The deep threat that Brad Brownell utilizes in his offense.”

Rooks, whose mom is a Clemson graduate and whose dad attended Southern Wesleyan University in Central, S.C., grew up in Anderson and moved to Charlotte about five years ago.

He’s a left-handed shooter who made better than 40 percent of his three-point attempts as a junior.

He was also recruited by N.C. State, Georgetown and Xavier.

Ajukwa is a 6-5 wing from Cardinal Newman School in Columbia, S.C., who picked the Tigers after a head-to-head battle between Brownell and new South Carolina coach Frank Martin.

Ajukwa is a three-star prospect according to both ESPNU and Rivals.com. The athletic wing is rated the No. 2 senior prospect in the state of South Carolina by ESPNU, and the nation’s No. 30 prospect at his position according to the same service. He has been an all-state selection the past two seasons by the High School Sports Report.

Ajukwa was named the 2011-12 Statewide SCISA Player-of-the-Year by the same publication after averaging 21 points per game. He added 9.0 rebounds per game and 2.5 steals per game defensively. Ajukwa played with the South Carolina Elite on the AAU circuit.

ESPN compares him in build and playing style to N.C. State's Lorenzo Brown, describing him as "a smooth player" who "doesn't force things...a very natural approach to the game."

Phenom Hoop Report describes Ajukwa as "a premier athletic WG...his end-to-end speed is uncanny. He has the ability to grab a rebound on the defensive end and be on the other end with a highlight dunk in a matter of seconds. He plays with passion and his energy level is top notch. He plays above the rim and finishes well in traffic. That being said, the next step in his development is to refine his perimeter skills. We were impressed with his size/length and ability to handle the ball in the open court. He is best shooting off the dribble once he gains rhythm in his shot."

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