Bovine Blog: Great Osobor, Darius Brown II Raise Utah State’s Ceiling
Nov 12, 2023, 2:24 PM
LOGAN, Utah – Picked to finish ninth in the Mountain West during the preseason, could a pair of Big Sky Conference transfers help Utah State become a force in a crowded Mountain West conference?
A 72-66 overtime loss marred Utah State’s first road game of the season, but Aggie fans have a couple of bright spots they can look forward to in junior wing Great Osobor and graduate senior guard Darius Brown II.
— USU Men's Hoops (@USUBasketball) November 7, 2023
Joining former Montana State Bobcat head coach Danny Sprinkle, the trio is transitioning to Mountain West basketball. While trying to integrate 13 new players this season, Sprinkle is likely to rely on players who are already familiar with his system.
Brown II is a graduate senior point guard who earned the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year award in his lone season under Sprinkle. Brown II was named Third-Team All-Big Sky last season, averaging 9.1 points, 4.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game.
“It’s huge,” Sprinkle said of his point guard’s impact on the game. “You don’t feel especially nervous because he’s handling the ball.
Osobor earned Big Sky Top Reserve honors last season. He averaged 10.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per Big Sky contest for the Bobcats.
At 6’8 and a stout 250 pounds, Osobor has shown the ability to score his own points or get teammates involved with his back-to-the-basket passing game. Though Sprinkle says there is plenty of room for improvement in the latter area.
“He’s a really good player. He’s got to get better at making the right decision and taking care of the basketball. Sometimes he gets sped up a little bit. We don’t need him turning the ball over five times.”
🚨🚨FREE BASKETBALL 🏀🏀🏀@USUBasketball headed to OT in Illinois against the Bradley Braves 62-62
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Brown II would play the entire game without rest while Osobor sat out four of a possible 45 minutes of play against Bradley. The Aggies two leading scorers combined to make 12-of-27 shots, grab 15 rebounds, and dish out 11 assists while providing big play, after big play down the stretch in a tough road environment,
“This place was great,” Sprinkle said of the Bradley crowd. “Playing in front of an awesome crowd. It felt like a conference game today. I told the team, ‘We will win a game down the road because of this experience.”
Former Ute Brings Experience For USU
Ian Martinez was ruled eligible to make his Aggie debut after transferring to USU from Maryland, where he had played the past two seasons. Martinez is three years removed from appearing in 24 games for the Utah Utes as a freshman.
Before the game, Martinez’s family surprised him at the team hotel.
— USU Men's Hoops (@USUBasketball) November 12, 2023
Listed at 6’3 and 185 pounds, eye-popping athleticism has followed the guard from Costa Rica at each of his D1 stops.
Martinez averaged 4.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 0.8 assists per game in two seasons at Maryland but his 87 career games make him one of the most experienced players in Danny Sprinkle’s locker room.
“He’s got a great amount of talent,” Sprinkle said of Martinez. “We look forward to seeing what he does in the next couple of weeks.”
With less than 24 hours to integrate Martinez from scout team reps to the game plan, the transition wasn’t perfect.
“It kind of threw us off a little bit. He’s been on the scout team for the last month and a half. (We’re) getting him incorporated back into the lineup.”
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