Since returning to the lineup for the Kentucky Wildcats against North Carolina in mid-December, Ugonna Onyenso has been making an impact on the defensive side of the ball, especially down on the low block, swatting shots at the rim.
In just seven games this season, Onyenso is averaging 2.14 blocks per game and has tallied nine blocks in his past two games against Texas A&M and Mississippi State.
Down in College Station was by far the most minutes Ugo had played this season, 32 minutes due to Aaron Bradshaw's foul trouble. The sophomore big man also added 10 rebounds against the Aggies.
While it was fair to have reservations about Ugo coming into this season, he has been proving himself to be a valuable asset off the bench, coming in for short spurts and providing some much-needed rim protection for a defense that is still trying to find its footing.
There will be a game in which Ugo wins or plays a big part in a win for Kentucky later on in the SEC season, and maybe even in the postseason.
Aaron Bradshaw on getting to play alongside Ugonna Onyenso some tonight:— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) January 18, 2024
"It felt real good. Me and Ugo have had to go through a lot... That's my brother, my right hand. We got treatment together, play together, off the court. We do everything together and we just close."
Ugonna Onyenso tells UK Radio's Jack Givens & the remaining fans at Rupp Arena "for most people, when they go through injuries ... they start thinking bad about themselves. For me, w/ help of my teammates & my trainer, I stayed positive." Says he stayed "mentally locked in."— Mark Story (@markcstory) January 18, 2024