Bovine Blog: Is Great Osobor Making A Case For Mountain West’s Top Honor?

Feb 3, 2024, 1:05 PM

LOGAN, Utah – It may have been head coach Danny Sprinkle’s 100th career win, but junior wing Great Osobor owned the floor in No. 17 Utah State’s 82-61 win over San Jose State.

With the resounding win, the Aggies improved to 10-0 at home and 19-2 overall in Sprinkle’s first season in Logan.

RELATED: Osobor Scores 31, Leads No. 17 USU Over San Jose State

“I feel confident if you get me the ball, I can go one-on-one,” Osobor said after his third 30-plus-point game as an Aggie. “I let my teammates know at halftime to throw me the ball, and I’ll reward them a little bit.”

Osobor entered the week all over the Mountain West individual leaderboard. The Bradford, England native is third in scoring (18.5 PPG), third in field goal percentage (.594), and fifth in blocked shots (1.4 BPG) while playing the 14th most minutes in the league.

At 6’8 and 250 pounds, Osobor leads the MW in rebounding (9.7 RPG). He is the top defensive rebounder and checks in third on the offensive glass (2.95 ORPG), behind only SDSU’s Jaedon LeDee (3.3 ORPG) and New Mexico’s JT Toppin (3.1 ORPG).

RELATED: USU Escapes Boise With First Overtime Win Of Season

The lofty numbers are great, but Osobor’s low-post finishing, his talent for drawing fouls, and his ability to get opponents in foul trouble are his most important skills.

“Osobor is the main problem,” Spartans head coach Tim Miles said after the loss. “He does such a good job running the floor. He’s so crafty, he’s long. He’s got big hands, and he’s able to finish. He makes enough free throws… Utah State drew 16 fouls. He drew 12. That’s just unheard of. We are not a great interior defense, and people know that, but he’s a special player.”

With an innate ability to draw fouls, Osobor has made 109 of 161 free throws (.677), the 14th-best mark in the MW. Ian Martinez (69) and Josh Uduje (44) have combined to shoot 46 fewer free throws than the big man.

Nearing the midway point of conference play, LeDee, Colorado State’s Isaiah Stevens, and Osobor likely represent a trio of favorites for the Mountain West Player of the Year award. LeDee (20.9 PPG) leads the league in scoring and trails only Osobor with 8.9 rebounds a night. Stevens, the preseason POTY, is fifth in scoring (16.7 PPG) and leads the conference with 7.5 assists per game.

Earlier this week, LeDee and Osobor were named among the top 10 candidates for the 2024 Karl Malone Award. Named after Class of 2010 Hall of Famer and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Karl Malone, the annual honor, in its 10th year, recognizes the top power forward in Division I men’s college basketball.

“No matter how I play, I try to stay with that mindset and confidence that you are going to struggle to guard me. I’m a confident player, and my team put me in a good position to be successful tonight.”

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No. 17 Utah State is in San Diego on Saturday, February 3, for a road tilt against the San Diego State Aztecs. Tip-off is at 1:30 p.m. (MT). The Aggies are 8-18 all-time against SDSU in a series dating back to 1962. USU is 1-9 away from the Spectrum and has dropped the past four games against the Aztecs. Utah State’s last win in San Diego came in 1998.

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

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Bovine Blog: Is Great Osobor Making A Case For Mountain West’s Top Honor?