The Seton Hall men’s basketball program added a seven-foot certified shot-stopper to command the interior of the paint, with Jon Rothstein reporting that Ike Obiagu (pronounced: I-Key O-Bee-Ah-Gu) has committed to the Pirates, following his announcement to transfer from the Seminoles of Florida State.
Obiagu, a native of Abuja, Nigeria, was a four-star recruit, ranked as the No. 4 center and No. 47 prospect overall in the Class of 2017 by 247Sports. He came to Florida State with a trademark for blocking shots, naturally drawing comparisons to Dikembe Mutombo.
However, when he arrived in Tallahassee, the challenge presented in practice was a seven-foot, four-inch teammate in Christ Koumadje, something that brought the best out of Obiagu.
“He’s really challenging, because…okay, in my high school, I play, like, against midgets, and when I got here, I got to go against Christ [Koumadje],” Obiagu said after Florida State’s win over Boston College on March 3.
Obiagu started 14 games in 2017-18; however, the Seminoles depth forced Obiagu into a 10.7 minute-per-game role, which was tenth on the team. The freshman made the most of his minutes, though, blocking a team-high 71 shots, including 25 in the eight-game stretch run to the end of the season. In the postseason, Obiagu played a role off the bench in helping the Seminoles reach the Elite Eight as a nine-seed in the West region.
Obiagu is the first incoming transfer for the Pirates since the hire of assistant coach Tony Skinn, who is also a native of Nigeria. The move is a welcome addition in the transfer market for Seton Hall, following the losses of Jordan Walker and Philip Flory earlier this month.
Obiagu will sit out the 2018-19 season per NCAA transfer policy, but will join a Seton Hall frontcourt in the fall of 2019 that currently consists of Taurean Thompson, Sandro Mamukelashvili, Romaro Gill and Darnell Brodie.
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