Finally, good news.
On Wednesday, Kentucky Wildcats center Ugonna Onyenso announced his return to the school for his sophomore season. He had previously entered the transfer portal.
Onyenso broke the news via Twitter.
I’m back! pic.twitter.com/TQnlXlF584— Ugonna Kingsley Onyenso (@OnyensoUgonna) April 12, 2023
This is the first real good news Kentucky has gotten this offseason, as much of last season’s roster is either in the transfer portal, testing the NBA Draft waters, or outright gone to the pros with no chance of a return.
When the offseason began, Onyenso actually announced his return to Kentucky following the team’s loss to Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament. However, people around Onyenso convinced him to enter the transfer portal, hoping to find a new school that offered an easier path to increase playing time and more NIL money.
But after spending about a week in the portal, Onyenso announced his return to the Wildcats.
A four-star recruit in the class of 2022, Onyenso played in 16 games this past season, averaging 2.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks while shooting 52.9% from the field in 6.9 minutes per game. His last game appearance was on February 25th in the blowout win over the Auburn Tigers.
Depending on how the rest of the roster shakes out, Onyenso could be Kentucky’s starting center this fall. Incoming five-star freshman Aaron Bradshaw has been penciled into that spot if Oscar Tshiebwe leaves for the pros, but Bradshaw has stated he wants to play the 4 spot.
Whatever happens, this is wonderful news for a Kentucky program that has had very little of that since the season ended.
Adding to this excitement is the fact that head coach John Calipari claimed that the Nigerian center could be one of the best big men in America next season. While that remains to be seen, there’s no doubt Onyenso has a bright future ahead of him.
And for at least one more year, that will continue in Lexington.
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