AUBURN, Alabama — Possibly the final piece in Auburn’s incoming basketball recruiting class made his decision official today.
Matthew Atewe, a 6-foot-9, 230-pound power forward from Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., committed to Auburn Saturday, according to AuburnSports.com.
Atewe fills a big hole for the Tigers, who played without a true power forward in the lineup after junior college transfer Sharief Adamu was dismissed from the team just seven games into the season.
Freshman Jordon Granger also played the power forward spot, but he’s a developmental player who couldn’t give the Tigers many minutes, leaving Allen Payneand Noel Johnson to play out-of-position at the power forward spot.
But Auburn head coach Tony Barbee has targeted the position aggressively in the 2013 recruiting cycle, adding signee Benas Griciunas, a power forward who can stretch teams’ defenses with his shooting ability, and now Atewe, a more traditional power presence inside, to compete with Granger.
Atewe hopes to provide a shot-blocking, rebounding presence for the Tigers in the post.
Atewe is the fifth signee for the Tigers for the upcoming recruiting class, joining Griciunas, point guard Tajh Shamsid-Deen, center Ronald Delph and shooting guard Dion Wade. Barring any attrition, Auburn has filled its five open scholarships heading into next season.