by Chris Johnson (@chrisdjohnsonn)
Northwestern’s frontcourt was already quite large. On Wednesday, it added another big man. Aaron Liberman – a 6-10, 215-pound forward from Los Angeles who the school officially announced as a preferred walk-on for the 2012-2013 season -- gives the Wildcats another frontcourt body to go along with a deep interior rotation. And from the sounds of it, coach Bill Carmody can barely hide his excitement. From the school’s official release:
"We are thrilled to officially announce the addition of Aaron Liberman to our 2012-13 recruiting class," Carmody said. "Aaron had a tremendous opportunity to spend a year abroad studying and playing in Israel. He has made excellent strides to develop his body and to hone his skills on the court. He will be a great addition to our revamped frontcourt."
As a senior at Valley Torah High School, Liberman averaged 17.4 points, 12.3 rebounds and 8.7 blocks per game, which ranked fifth in the nation in that category. He received the 2011 John L Wooden player of the year award while helping lead Valley Torah to a 25-5 record and the CIF Southern Section championship. In January, Liberman, who wears a Yarmulke during games, played on the United States gold medal team at the Maccabi Pan American games in Brazil. He drew interest from Boston College, Dartmouth, Yale, Pepperdine, among others, before joining the Wildcats. LarryBrownSports.Com profiled Liberman under the title “Aaron Liberman: Jewish Dwight Howard." Per JewishJournal.Com:
From NU’s perspective, it’s hard to argue with the addition. The Wildcats have long struggled to compete on the low block against bigger and deeper Big Ten frontcourts. So it’s no surprise Carmody is pursuing every angle within his reach to ensure NU has enough size to combat years of substandard low post play. In just one year’s time, the Wildcats have morphed from a size-bereft and perimeter-driven outfit to arguably the league’s biggest team. Liberman may not see the court this season, but – presuming he enters the fold in 2013, after Jared Swopshire (6-8) moves on – he gives NU another post presence alongside Nikola Cerina (6-9), Chier Ajou (7-2), Mike Turner (6-8) and Alex Olah (7’).
If Liberman can add some bulk to his slight 6-10 frame, he provides another interior depth piece for a deep rotation next season. At the very least, he promises to be an active presence off the bench with the potential for major development over the coming years as he adds more weight and settles into Carmody’s complex Princeton system.