For each of the last few seasons, Efe Ogdigie has always been rumored to be on his way out of UTEP. The Miners forward has seen his minutes and production shrink since his freshman campaign, and today, he finally decided that he was ready to move on. Odigie's name is listed in the Verbal Commits Division 1 Men's Basketball Transfer Portal. He joins guard Vuk Vulikic as the second Miner to enter into the portal.

As a freshman, Odigie played a ton of minutes for head coach Rodney Terry and he was named to the All CUSA Freshman Team. He ranked second that season in double doubles, and his 10.1 rebounds per game was a freshman record. He was also the first Miner to average double-figure rebounds since the 1981-82 season and the fourth Miner in program history to lead the conference in rebounding average.

Conference USA basketball tournament March 9-13, 2021.
Roger Steinman Photos

Odigie worked hard over the last few offseasons to lose weight and remake his body. The difference was noticeable in the fall of 2019 when he arrived at campus slimmer and more defined. However, he did not receive nearly as many in-game minutes as a sophomore and when he did play, he struggled to physically dominate inside like he did as a freshman. Instead of playing alongside Bryson Williams, Odigie became his backup and rarely shared the floor with him. Eric Vila (14 starts) and Tydus Verhoeven took his place in the low post (12 starts).

Odigie's physical transformation was even more pronounced this past season, but he played sparingly early on and then he missed nearly six weeks after sustaining a concussion in practice on Tuesday, January 19th. There were rumors that he would not return to the Miners, but instead Odigie played against Charlotte on February 27th and again over each of the last three games. He averaged just under 13 minutes over those contests and he scored in double figures in half of the games.

Eight days ago, UTEP received a verbal commitment from former San Jose State and Illinois State forward Keith Fisher III, which reignited the rumors that Odigie would leave the program. It will be interesting to see where Efe ends up and if he is able to get back to an all conference form. In the meantime, Miners fans will always wonder what if?

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