Oral Roberts forward Kevin Obanor won’t be transferring to Arizona.
The Houston native cut his list of finalists from 10 schools to four on Monday and the Wildcats were not among them. Obanor will now pick from Illinois, Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas Tech.
The 6-foot-8 forward is one of the best transfers left on the market. He averaged 18.7 points and 9.6 rebounds as a junior last season, while shooting 50 percent from the field and 46 percent from 3.
Obanor exploded onto the national scene during ORU’s NCAA Tournament run. He led the No. 15 seed Golden Eagles to a first round upset over Ohio State, scoring 30 points and collecting 11 rebounds. Obanor had then had 28 points and 11 rebounds in ORU’s second round win over Florida.
Him going elsewhere increases the likelihood that Arizona will roll with 11 scholarship players for the 2021-22 season. UA head coach Tommy Lloyd acknowledged a couple weeks ago it that it’s unlikely the Wildcats will reach the 13-player maximum. Ideally, Arizona can add another big man.
“Traditionally in the past, I’ve been really comfortable playing two bigs together and so having another guy might give us a little more depth and more opportunities,” Lloyd said. “But if we don’t, I feel like we have guards with good size. We could play our own version of small ball and I think we’d be pretty good at it.”
Lloyd added: “I’m not gonna bring in somebody unless I think that they really add to the mix here. There’s been a lot of changes in these guys’ lives this year and so I’m trying to be really mindful of that. And for the guys that came back to Arizona and the guys that decided just to come here, I want to do the best job I can delivering on the opportunities that we’ve talked about.”
In case you need a refresher, here are the 11 players under scholarship at Arizona for 2021-22.
- Kerr Kriisa, G
- Bennedict Mathurin, G
- Azuolas Tubelis, F
- Dalen Terry, G/F
- Christian Koloko, C
- Tautvilas Tubelis, F
- Oumar Ballo, C
- Shane Nowell, G
- Pelle Larsson, G
- Adama Bal, G
- Justin Kier, G