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Why Kenneth Ogbe will shine for Utah in the future

April 10th, 2014 · No Comments

The German guard Kenneth Ogbe finished his Freshman year this spring at the University of Utah. After having played several seasons for Urspring Academy in Germany, he decided to follow his brother Dennis, who recently graduated with excellent academic results at Tennessee Tech, and committed to play for the Utes. We talked with Jim Gwilliam, managing editor of LightTheU.com who gave us his impressions on the German prospect.

Kenneth Ogbe finished the season with small numbers as he averaged only 2.9 points and 1.1 rebound per game in 9 minutes on the court. Jim however thinks that “Ogbe is a really intriguing player. It’s not often that you find a 6’6″ player who can play point guard, but also has excellent shooting form and mechanics. From that perspective, Kenneth has amazing potential.”

Because of this potential, that you could already see when Ogbe was still playing at the Urspring Academy, the expectations on him are quite high. But the 1994 born player was never really an outstanding stat-filler. However, “most Utah fans concern is that Kenneth would return to play in Europe if he doesn’t see a significant increase in minutes in 2014/15. While I don’t think that will happen, it does show how much fans value the potential of this great player.”

Even if his playing time was limited which can be explained by his freshman status, Gwilliam saw a lot of positive factors in Ogbe’s game.

Kenneth led the team in 3pt shooting at almost 48%, more than 8% higher than the next closest player on the team. He seemed to be our best shooter on the road in hostile environments. I’m not sure why, but he seemed less phased by road crowds and environments than any other player on the team. Others struggled to shoot the ball when playing away from home.

When playing in Europe, Ogbe never had a fix position as he could play PG but also help out on the wings. It looks like this is still the case now that he is playing NCAA Basketball. Gwilliam explains, “Kenneth didn’t get to be the primary ball handler very often (he was typically playing the 2, and set up shop for the corner-3pt shot).  In the little he did get to handle the ball, he was efficient. He was 6th on the team in assists per minute played, which is great for a freshman. He also was very careful with the ball, only turning over the ball 0.04 times / minute, which was 2nd best on the team.”

However, not everything is positive for the Munich native. “He had difficulty defending without making unnecessary fouls away from the basket,” outlines Gwilliam. “If he works on his strength, weight, and defense this off-season, I think he is going to see a lot more minutes. You can tell he has struggled a bit adjusting to the physicality of the college game, but I expect that he will overcome that. His defense improved quite a bit over the course of the season.”

So the future looks interesting for Kenneth Ogbe at Utah as he has all the tools to become a good player on this level. After a first year of adjustments, the time has come for him to make the next step.

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