High-scoring college forward will visit Kentucky basketball and Mark Pope next week

Former Montana State and Utah State forward Great Osobor is taking a recruiting visit this week to Kentucky basketball. Osobor is one of the most sought-after players in the NCAA transfer portal.

One of the top-scoring college basketball forwards in the NCAA transfer portal will be taking a recruiting visit to Mark Pope and the Kentucky Wildcats.

On Tuesday, it was announced that Great Osobor — a 6-foot-8 forward who previously played at Montana State and Utah State — will be in Lexington from April 29 to May 1.

Osobor also is planning to take visits to Louisville (May 1-3), Texas Tech (May 4-6) and Washington (May 7-9).

After spending the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons in a reserve role at Montana State, Osobor enjoyed a breakout campaign last season with the Aggies, who earned an 8 seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament and advanced to the round of 32.

Osobor — who was born in Spain but attended prep school in England — averaged of 17.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.3 steals last season at Utah State. He averaged more than 33 minutes played per game and started all 35 contests for the Aggies. Osobor recorded 15 double-doubles.

Utah State won the regular-season Mountain West Conference championship last season. Osobor was the conference’s player of the year and its newcomer of the year.

According to college basketball statistician Evan Miyakawa, Osobor is ranked as the No. 47 overall player in the NCAA transfer portal, as of Tuesday afternoon.

According to KenPom, Osobor had a 58% effective field goal percentage and a 60.3% true shooting percentage last season. Some of Osobor’s other standout statistics related to how well he drew fouls and went to the free-throw line: He ranked 22nd in the nation in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (6.8 fouls) and eighth in the country in free-throw rate, which measures a player’s ability to get the line relative to how often he attempts to score.

“Staying aggressive, being a physical player. If you play hard, the game will reward you,” Osobor said during the Mountain West Tournament this season about his ability to draw fouls.

Osobor made 63.4% of his free throws last season. He’s not a 3-point shooting threat, having only attempted 18 career 3-pointers across three college seasons.

Osobor has played all three of his previous college basketball seasons for Danny Sprinkle, who was the head coach at both Montana State and Utah State while Osobor was on those rosters. Sprinkle left Utah State to become the new head coach at Washington.

Osobor entered the NCAA transfer portal in early April.

Sprinkle and the Huskies will get Osobor’s final recruiting visit out of the transfer portal next month.

Osobor has also played in each of the last three NCAA tournaments, having won consecutive Big Sky Tournament titles with Montana State in 2022 and 2023 before receiving an at-large bid with Utah State last season.

Utah State’s final game this season was a round-of-32 NCAA Tournament defeat to eventual national runner-up Purdue. Prior to that game Sprinkle shared that a lot of what Utah State ran, and a lot of what made Osobor such an effective player, was borrowed from the Boilermakers.

“Our post guys, we’ve been kind of guarded probably how — maybe not to the extent of (Zach) Edey, but Great’s been double- and triple-teamed and swarmed all year,” Sprinkle said. “A lot of the offensive sets, like, we steal a lot of sets from (Purdue coach Matt Painter) and his staff. We did at Montana State too... We try to feed the post top down, too, just like they do 90% of the time.”

An important connection exists with relation to Kentucky’s chance of securing Osobor as a major transfer portal addition.

Osobor is represented by agent George Langberg, who is also the agent for Amari Williams, another native of England who committed to the Wildcats out of the transfer portal from Drexel last weekend. Osobor and Williams were prep school teammates in England at Myerscough College in Preston.

Kentucky officially announced Williams as a transfer portal addition on Tuesday afternoon.

Mark Pope continues to build his first Kentucky basketball roster

It’s been a tremendously active week-plus for Pope as he continues to build his first UK basketball roster from scratch.

Aaron Bradshaw (Ohio State), Joey Hart (Ball State) and Zvonimir Ivisic (Arkansas) are players from the 2023-24 Kentucky squad that will transfer to new schools. Additionally, Jordan Burks, Adou Thiero and D.J. Wagner are still in the NCAA transfer portal.

Thiero has a return to Kentucky among his final five options. The other schools on his list are Arkansas (where he’d rejoin Calipari), Indiana, North Carolina and Pittsburgh.

Also from last season’s team, Rob Dillingham, Justin Edwards, Ugonna Onyenso and Reed Sheppard have declared for the 2024 NBA draft. Tre Mitchell and Antonio Reeves have exhausted their college eligibility.

Collin Chandler, a combo guard and former BYU signee, announced last week he would be following Pope to Kentucky. Chandler was a four-star prospect in the 2022 recruiting class before taking a two-year mission trip. Kentucky officially announced Chandler’s arrival Monday.

On Sunday afternoon, Pope made his first transfer portal addition of the offseason when Williams committed to UK.

On Monday night, Perry — the all-time leading scorer in Kentucky high school boys basketball history — confirmed his commitment to Pope and the Wildcats.

That puts the UK basketball roster for next season at three scholarship players.

College basketball players have until May 1 to enter the transfer portal. The early-entry deadline for the 2024 NBA draft is April 27, and players who enter the draft with remaining NCAA eligibility will have until May 29 to remove their names from consideration and return to school.

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