Iowa Men’s Basketball: Josh Ogundele and Ahron Ulis Enter Transfer Portal

Mar 22, 2023 - 8:27 PM
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Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Transfer SZN is BACK, and the Iowa Men’s Basketball program lost two players in rapid succession Wednesday afternoon.

First, center Josh Ogundele announced his departure from the Iowa program.

As you’ll recall, Ogundele entered the portal last year, only to reverse course and remain at Iowa. He provided some back-up depth this year and last and was serviceable against the biggest of big men in the league, such as Kofi Cockburn and Zach Edey, but conditioning was always a factor and he played in just 11 games this season, averaging 1.9 points and 1.7 rebounds a game. For his 3-year career with Iowa, Ogundele played in 38 games, averaging 1.5 points and 1.3 rebounds a game in only 4.9 minutes a contest.

Shortly after the Ogundele news, Iowa then lost starting point guard Ahron Ulis to the portal.

Ulis, the brother of former Iowa target and eventual Kentucky guard Tyler Ulis, played in 32 games for the Hawks this year, averaging 6.1 points per game to go with 1.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. His shining moment was a three-game run in the middle of the season when he scored 12, 17, and 16 points against Ohio State, Michigan State, and Rutgers, respectively. The 17 in the Breslin Center was a career-high and kept Iowa in the game, a game they lost by 2.

Unfortunately, Ulis hit double-figures just once more the remainder of the season, another 12-point outing in Iowa’s 92-75 win over Ohio State on February 16 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Despite the occasional burst in production, shooting woes were never far from Ulis, as his career splits were just 37/31/79 (that’s field goals, 3-point, free throws for the uninitiated; the free throw number dipped from 90 percent his freshman year to 70.7 percent this year on just .1 more attempts a game). For his career, Ulis made 84 appearances and 27 starts, all this year, and averaged 4.0 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game.

The departures leave Iowa’s roster with only Patrick McCaffery, Kris Murray, Tony Perkins, Riley Mulvey, Payton Sandfort, Dasonte Bowen, and Josh Dix currently on scholarship, with Ladji Dembele, Owen Freeman, Brock Harding, and Pryce Sandfort joining the program this summer. With the portal open, expect more movement in the coming weeks.

We wish both Big Jelly and Ulis - did he have a nickname? - the best of luck!

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