Efe Odigie Emerging as Low Post Force for UTEP Basketball
We are just eight games into the UTEP men's basketball 2018-19 season but something is becoming increasingly obvious. Freshman forward Efe Odigie is well on his way to one of most prolific seasons ever for a first-year big man. The Houston native is currently averaging 14.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game for head coach Rodney Terry. How good are those numbers? We went back 40 years and could not find a freshman forward that ever registered stats like Odigie has so far. That includes names like Vince Hunter, Arnett Moultrie, John Tofi, Brandon Wolfram, David Van Dyke, Antonio Davis, Dave Feitl, Anthony Burns, and Gary Brewster. He has already been named C-USA Freshman of the Week for November 26th and he is currently second in C-USA in rebounding behind fellow freshman Charles Bassey from Western Kentucky.
"It’s been tough, especially the first couple months coming in to the college level,” Odigie said a few weeks back. "It’s way different from high school and getting used to the pace. But coach [Terry] has been talking to me every day about going hard in practice. Playing all these minutes makes everything easier and it’s slowing down. Being a freshman, I’m just trying to take advantage of the minutes I have now."
Odigie is playing on a shorthanded UTEP team that is sending out nine players per game, but only seven are getting substantial minutes. Next season, the Miners will welcome four Division 1 transfers, another Prop 48, and three freshman signees. Despite their increase in talent and depth, Odigie will be surrounded by a terrific supporting cast and thrive for years to come. The future is extremely bright for him and UTEP fans who are long overdue for a conference title and trip back to the NCAA Tournament.