Blake Paul said the pieces fit too perfectly to pass on the opportunity Tulane presented him with.
So the Landry-Walker power forward made his commitment to coach Ed Conroy and the Green Wave on Saturday night, choosing to stay close to home rather than attend Houston or Louisiana Tech.
“Everything just comes together with Tulane,” Paul said. “I like the coaches; I see everything they have planned. They have great academics. And they’re home. I can stay at home and become the best player that I can be.”
Paul is rated a three-star recruit and is the No. 5 prospect in Louisiana in the Class of 2015 by ESPN. The 6-foot-9, 220-pounder is transferring from East Jefferson to Landry-Walker for his senior season; he said he’ll sign with Tulane in November.
He provides many qualities the Green Wave is looking to fill as it navigates through the rugged American Athletic Conference with a guard-heavy roster. As a powerful rebounder, shot blocker and defender, Paul has the opportunity to make an immediate impact on both ends of the floor.
“I see a need, and I can fit that role,” he said. “To get a chance to play major minutes as a freshman is a big boost for me. I’m looking forward to that chance.
“My game is focused a lot of defense and playing down low and rebounding. I know the offense is going to come because I’m going to get some rebounds and do what I have to down there and do some low-post passing to find open guys.”
Paul is the second commitment to the Green Wave’s Class of 2015, joining Washington, D.C. center Taron Oliver Jr. But it’s also a statement that Conroy can keep talent close to home, and Paul said he’d like to help pave a path so Tulane becomes home to more New Orleans prospects in the future.
“I’m going to try my hardest because there’s a lot of great local talent in Louisiana and New Orleans,” Paul said. “They just have to be found and brought in. Coach has a great way to talking to everybody. Together, we can get the people we need in and get on the way to winning.”