College Basketball

Kentucky basketball center Ugonna Onyenso enters NCAA transfer portal

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Kentucky basketball center Ugonna Onyenso enters NCAA transfer portal

Kentucky men’s basketball center Ugonna Onyenso is entering the NCAA transfer portal. The 7-foot freshman appeared in 16 games off the bench with the Wildcats this past season.

Onyenso averaged 2.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 6.9 minutes per game with Kentucky. Plus, the center shot 52.9% from the field and 57.1% at the foul line. For advanced statistics, the Nigeria-born standout shot 53.6% true shooting.

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In Kentucky’s 77-52 win over Duquesne on Nov. 11, the center scored a season-high nine points in 19 minutes off the bench. Along with notching 10 boards, one assist, and three blocks, Onyenso shot 4-of-7 (57.1%) from the floor and knocked down a free throw.

Furthermore, Onyenso started playing basketball at the age of 12 and went on to become the youngest player ever to compete for Nigeria’s men’s national team. At the age of 17, the young star committed to Kentucky after receiving other offers from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Tennessee.

Kentucky basketball center Ugonna Onyenso will enter the NCAA transfer portal, to transfer to UConn?

Through Onyenso’s first two career games with Kentucky, he recorded 11 blocks. The center tied Rodney Dent (1992-93) in blocks. Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis (2011-12) logged 12 blocks in his first two career games with the Wildcats. Perry Stevenson (2006-07) amassed 11.

While in high school, Onyenso was rated a 4-star recruit at Putnam Science Academy in Putham, Connecticut. The center ranked No. 36 in the nation and No. 1 in Connecticut. Director of scouting Adam Finkelstein submitted his scouting report to 247Sports last July.

“A 7-footer with a 7-foot-5 wingspan, he not only has game-changing size and length, but also terrific defensive instincts,” said Finkelstein. “He was one of the most dominant shot-blockers in all of prep school basketball last year, after arriving at Putnam Science Academy for the second semester.

“While his defense is currently ahead of his offense, he has a soft natural touch to develop and is also both a lob threat and a rim-runner who changes ends particularly well for a player his size.”

Three of Onyenso’s best destinations include Oklahoma, Georgetown, and UConn. Since the Kentucky big man played high school ball in Connecticut, a transfer to UConn seems the most logical. Sophomore guard Jordan Hawkins is a projected first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Adama Sanogo and Donovan Clingan could follow suit and declare for the draft as well.

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