Bovine Blog: Great Osobor, Darius Brown II Raise Utah State’s Ceiling

Nov 12, 2023, 2:24 PM

Utah State point guard Darius Brown II...

Graduate senior point guard Darius Brown II takes a shot at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

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.

RELATED: Utah State Falls Short In Overtime Against Bradley Braves

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.

RELATED: Utah State Beats South Dakota Mines In Impressive Season-Opener

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.”

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.

Listed at 6’3 and 185 pounds, eye-popping athleticism has followed the guard from Costa Rica at each of his D1 stops.

RELATED: Utah State Basketball Picked Ninth In Preseason Mountain West Poll

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.”

Following The Aggies With KSL Sports Zone

Utah State returns to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum to host the Southern Utah Thunderbirds on Tuesday, November 14. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. (MT).

Listen to USU basketball games on KSL Sports Zone with Scott Garrard on the call.

KSL Sports coverage of Utah State University Athletics can be found here. 

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Bovine Blog: Great Osobor, Darius Brown II Raise Utah State’s Ceiling