Home US SportsNCAAB Seton Hall basketball adds Emmanuel Okorafor, transfer big man from Louisville

Seton Hall basketball adds Emmanuel Okorafor, transfer big man from Louisville

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The last Seton Hall basketball player who transferred from Louisville amidst a coaching change there, Dre Davis, worked out well.

The Pirates went that route again Wednesday with a commitment from 6-foot-9 forward/center Emmanuel Okorafor.

Here are three things to know about the rising junior, who has two years of eligibility left.

Nov 26, 2023; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Louisville Cardinals forward Emmanuel Okorafor (34) battles New Mexico State Aggies forward Kaosi Ezeagu (1) for the ball

Nov 26, 2023; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Louisville Cardinals forward Emmanuel Okorafor (34) battles New Mexico State Aggies forward Kaosi Ezeagu (1) for the ball

1. He hails from Nigeria and played for NBA Academy Africa in Senegal.

Okorafor, who turns 20 next week, became that academy’s 17th Division I commitment after then-Louisville coach Kenny Payne saw him play at a showcase in Las Vegas and was impressed with his rebounding. Okorafor has said he was inspired to pursue college basketball in America by the journey of fellow Nigerian Jordan Nwora, who starred at Louisville and is now in the NBA.

2. He didn’t get a ton of experience at Louisville

As a freshman he enrolled in mid-January of 2023, played in five games and showed shot-blocking potential (averaging 1.4 blocks in 14 minutes per game) before missing the final six contests with an ankle injury. As a sophomore this past winter, he appeared in 20 games, averaging 2.4 points and 2.2 rebounds in 7.0 minutes while shooting 64.5 percent from the field and .533 from the free-throw line (he did not attempt any 3-pointers). A third of his rebounds came on the offensive end of the floor.

Okorafor’s best games as a sophomore were a 6-point, 3-rebound effort against Virginia and a 5-point, 6-board showing against Clemson. Louisville finished 8-24 and cleaned house.

3. He’s fits the mold of the Hall’s frontcourt

With proven bigs at a premium, Shaheen Holloway has assembled a group of mostly inexperienced forwards and centers, with the exception of Prince Aligbe from Boston College. Media accounts out of Louisville noted how the staff there was impressed with Okorafor’s work ethic and the kind of teammate he was. For now, he’s a piece to a puzzle whose form has yet to take shape as the competition for minutes and roles among the Hall’s bigs appears wide open.

Feb 21, 2024; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Julian Roper II (1) defends Louisville Cardinals forward Emmanuel Okorafor (34)Feb 21, 2024; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Julian Roper II (1) defends Louisville Cardinals forward Emmanuel Okorafor (34)

Feb 21, 2024; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Julian Roper II (1) defends Louisville Cardinals forward Emmanuel Okorafor (34)

Projecting that Dylan Addae-Wusu returns to the fold from the transfer portal, this leaves the Hall with one open scholarship for next season.

Seton Hall’s projected 2024-25 depth chart

Guards (4): Chaunce Jenkins, Dylan Addae-Wusu (projecting he stays), Zion Harmon, Jahseem Felton.

Wings (2): Isaiah Coleman, Scotty Middleton.

Bigs (6): Prince Aligbe, Gus Yalden, David Tubek, Emmanuel Okorafor, Godswill Erheriene, Assane Mbaye.

Jerry Carino has covered the New Jersey sports scene since 1996 and the college basketball beat since 2003. He is an Associated Press Top 25 voter. Contact him at jcarino@gannettnj.com.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Seton Hall basketball adds Emmanuel Okorafor, Louisville transfer big

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