Cincinnati Basketball: Bearcats bring in Old Dominion transfer Kalu Ezikpe

The Cincinnati Bearcats basketball program recently added three players from the transfer portal. Kalu Ezikpe was the first to make his announcement on April 15. After spending four seasons and graduating from Old Dominion, the 6’8 forward will have one year of eligibility remaining with the Bearcats.

Cincinnati Basketball: Bearcats bring in Old Dominion transfer Kalu Ezikpe

Ezikpe put up 11.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game a year ago, recording a team-high 36 blocks and shooting 52.2% from the field. He also earned Conference USA Player of the Week in February following a dominant double-double, racking up 17 points and 17 rebounds, in a win against Florida Atlantic.

During his freshman season, Ezikpe played 10.6 minutes per game in 34 appearances off the bench as Old Dominion won the C-USA regular season and tournament championships. The Georgia native, who scored a career-high 22 points as a junior, increased his production every year and was named team captain at Old Dominion.

He averaged 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in 2021.

In addition to Ezikpe, the Bearcats have three graduates on the roster heading into next season. David DeJulius, John Newman III and Rob Phinisee have also played at least four years. Ezikpe is expected to compete for minutes with fellow incoming transfer Landers Nolley II and returning forwards Victor Lakhin, Jarrett Hensley and Ody Oguama.

Wes Miller has brought in three transfers that are projected to play significant minutes next season. DeJulius is going to remain in the starting lineup but Phinisee should have a consistent role off the bench. If Ezikpe and Nolley can play together then it will give the Bearcats an ability to go small and still have dependable rebounders.

Cincinnati is set to start the regular season in mid November against Northern Kentucky. Miller has added several players that should have an immediate impact in 2023 and the Old Dominion transfer is definitely one to keep an eye on.