As options clear out, and new ones emerge, I thought Memorial Day Weekend would be a good time to review the roster. Let’s figure out what’s open, what a potential depth chart might look like, and what might be left on the board.
On Thursday, Cleveland State transfer post Mabor Majak committed to Missouri, and reports have said Majak will start out as a walk-on. It’s why I haven’t updated the count with his name added. If the rest of the summer passes and Missouri doesn’t fill it’s final two roster spots, I suspect Majak will be put on scholarship.
The roster is still heavily tilted towards upperclassmen. With this season being a bridge year, it seems as though Dennis Gates and his staff have focused on attempting to raise the floor from what we saw last season. Bring in the type of players who’ll play hard and set the tone, even if the ceiling on the season remains limited, the most makes sense. It also provides flexibility throughout this offseason.
Gates has added two scholarship players from his last Cleveland State roster, and now he’s also added two walk-ons from that same roster. D’Moi Hodge and Tre Gomillion are on scholarship, while Ben Sternberg and Majak are to be determined. Desiree Reed-Francios’ son Jackson is also walking on.
It’s not uncommon for a walk-on to earn a scholarship, and with two available next season it could mean any of those three could be added on scholarship through the season. Reed-Francios will be a freshman, while Majak has played two seasons. Sternberg appears to be on his Covid post-grad year.
Here’s the known roster by position, walk-ons have been italicized.
Several of these positions are a little fluid. Tre Gomillion appears to be a power forward masquerading as a combo guard. Ronnie DeGray, Kobe Brown, Aidan Shaw, and Noah Carter are all sort of that jumbo-wing position.
But one thing is for sure, Gates located ball handling. He just hasn’t been able to unlock the center he needs. Without getting repetitive, Mohamed Diarra is an exciting prospect but he may not be prepared to man the five spot full time. So it appears for now there may be a rotation of players who will handle the defensive duties on the interior.
And the staff isn’t done recruiting either, so a late addition here is possible. Even if it’s looking less likely as the days pass. Elijah Fisher was rumored to be a guy they were chasing, but he’s headed to Texas Tech. Then yesterday there was this:
UT-Arlington transfer Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu tells @On3sports he’s down to nine schools.— Joe Tipton (@TiptonEdits) May 28, 2022
6-foot-10 bouncy forward with a 47.5-inch vertical leap.
Announcing college commitment tomorrow.
Profile: https://t.co/gAIVFlFLVr pic.twitter.com/Iu4ckHjx0h
Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu. On top of having an elite level name, Akobundu-Ehiogu is an elite level athlete. He’s 6’9 or 6’10 and sports a 47.5” vertical leap. If you click on the tweet above you’ll see some screen caps from his workout video where his head appears entirely above the rim. Akobundu-Ehiogu, a transfer from UT-Arlington, appears to be a defensive specialist who can dunk the ball from anywhere close to the rim. And his highlight video is certainly fun. The overall statistical profile leaves something to be desired, but if you’re smashing dunks and swatting shots I suppose you don’t need to be able to shoot or dribble very much.
Akobundu-Ehiogu is announcing today. He’s left no real virtual trail, but I can say that Texas A&M is currently two scholarships over the limit and Arkansas has no spots available. Memphis needs a big since they were also recruiting Jamarion Sharp.
We’ll find out, I suppose. But I’d put this one as a little bit of a long shot.
So technically still two spots left. We’ll find out where Akobundu-Ehiogu is headed today and go from there.
Have a Happy Memorial Day weekend, take a moment to be thankful for those who died defending this country.