Bovine Blog: Graduate Transfer Agbonkpolo Making Plays For Utah State

Nov 20, 2023, 1:43 PM

utah state wing max agbonkpolo...

USU garduate senior wing Max Agbonkpolo attempts a shot at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

LOGAN, Utah – Graduate senior wing Max Agbonkpolo is playing the most minutes of his career and taking full advantage for the Utah State Aggies.

On his third Division 1 stop since committing to the USC Trojans out of Santa Margarita Catholic HS in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, Agbonkpolo has already made a difference for a young and relatively inexperienced Aggie team.

Bovine Blog: Utah State Needs To Find More Frontcourt Production

Agbonkpolo spent three seasons with the Trojans, averaging 4.9 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, including averaging 7.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game as a junior. After earning a degree in communications at USC, Agbonkpolo transferred to Wyoming for his senior season. The athletic 6’9 wing averaged 5.4 points and 2.8 rebounds in 16 games for the Cowboys during the 2022-23 season.

After one year in Laramie, Agbonkpolo was looking for a place to complete his Master’s Degree in Sports Management. Enter Danny Sprinkle and the Utah State Aggies.

RELATED: USU Opens Cayman Islands Classic With Balanced Effort In Win

In 26.3 minutes per game, Agbonkpolo has been a defensive menace for the Aggies, generating 1.3 steals per game. He had never averaged more than a steal per game before this season. Despite shooting just 27.8 percent from the field, Agbonkpolo has created easy scoring opportunities with his length and defensive intensity.

“He got that steal and a dunk that kind of gave us a little bit of breathing room,” USU head coach Danny Sprinkle said of Agbonkpolo’s contribution in a 23-point win over Marshall in the Cayman Islands Classic. “I thought his three steals, at the times when they happened, were huge. Early in the game and then when they were making a run.”

One of just seven upperclassmen on the roster, Agbonkpolo will have plenty of chances for his experience to shine as Sprinkle builds the program..

Aggies Relying On Defensive Pressure Early In Season

I thought our guys did a much better job of guarding the dribble than we did last Tuesday against Southern Utah,” first-year head coach Danny Sprinkle said following the Aggies 23-point win over Marshall to open the Cayman Islands Classic. “We had a film session and it wasn’t pretty. I thought our guys really responded today and defended well.”

RELATED: Aggies Fight Through First-Half Doldrums For Win Over Southern Utah

Sprinkle’s squad, led by last year’s Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year in Darius Brown II, pressured Marshall into 13 turnovers, including five steals, that turned into 17 points on the other end.

“Not only is he handling the ball and making all the decisions,” Sprinkle said of his senior point guard. “He’s got to guard the best player and that takes a lot of energy. We need other guys to step up like they did tonight.”

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

Three timely steals from Max Agbonkpolo and a trio of blocked shots from Ian Martinez helped ease some of the load that was placed on Brown II’s shoulders.

“Multiple guys having some great nights. That’s the type of team we’re going to have to be.”

Following USU With KSL Sports Zone

USU faces the Akron University Zips as they continue the Cayman Islands Classic on Monday, November 20. Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m. (MT).

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

Find KSL Sports coverage of Utah State University Athletics here. 

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Bovine Blog: Graduate Transfer Agbonkpolo Making Plays For Utah State