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Kansas State Basketball Lands Kentucky Transfer Ugonna Onyenso



MANHATTAN, Kan. ( – One of the biggest remaining prizes, literally and figuratively, in the transfer portal is no longer on the market after a visit to Kansas State was enough to convince Ugonna Onyenso to join Jerome Tang’s squad in the Big 12.

Considered a four-star transfer and a Top 30 center in 247Sports transfer rankings, Onyenso heads to Manhattan after spending two seasons in Lexington as a Kentucky Wildcat under John Calipari. He had tested the NBA Draft waters before removing his name from consideration prior to Wednesday’s deadline last week.

Rumors and reports pointed to the big man planning visits to at least North Carolina in addition to Mississippi State and even Oregon, but K-State’s staff made sure their competition did not get an opportunity to play thief in this fast-paced recruitment.

Formerly the nation’s 39th rated recruit and top player in Connecticut at Putnam Science Academy in 2022, Onyenso departed the SEC with career averages of 3.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 13.9 minutes per game. In total, the Nigerian-born talent brings 40 games of action to Manhattan including 14 career starts, all coming at the end of last season.

Considered by many national pundits to be an “elite-level shot blocker” after tying for third among Division I players in blocks per game last year (fifth in Kentucky history for a single season), the 7-foot junior-to-be also showed signs of improvement on offense by improving his percentage to 55.0% from the field.

After seeing the floor in just 14 games as a true freshman, Onyenso missed Kentucky’s first eight regular-season contests as a sophomore with a fractured foot. By late January and a six-point, four-rebound, three-block performance at Arkansas, Calipari opted to move Onyenso into the starting center role for the remainder of the season. Among the games thereafter were a career-high 13 point, 16 rebound, eight blocked shot performance versus Florida and a Kentucky-Rupp Arena record 10 block showing against Ole Miss.

The 250-pounder joins an already decorated transfer class in the Little Apple and helps vault the Wildcats into the Top 25 according to 247Sports. Onyneso becomes the fifth, four-star in a Top 5 haul among Big 12 teams, joining fellow national headliners Dug McDaniel and Achor Achor.