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JUCO big man Emmanuel Ogbole signs with Rutgers



Photo credit Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers men’s basketball announced they have signed JUCO big man Emmanuel Ogbole on Monday. He has three years of eligibility remaining.

“Emmanuel is a terrific addition to the Rutgers basketball family,” head coach Steve Pikiell said. “Emmanuel is well-coached from a great program run by Jeff Brustad. We have added another high-character individual to our program who is humble, appreciative, and hard-working. He has great hands, terrific athleticism, great size, and his best basketball ahead of him. We’re looking forward to having him on the court in November.”

“I chose Rutgers because Coach Pikiell came to see me train and came in person last season,” Ogbole said. “When he invited me to my first visit in January, I saw how great the facilities were. I saw how great the coaching staff was, and how hard the players were working. I saw the bond and chemistry between everyone there. This is a family and it’s nice to say I am joining them.”

Ogbole is a 6’10” big man from Aune-Adoka, Nigeria who played In 24 games last season for Monroe College in the Bronx, Ogbole averaged 12.3 points while shooting 69.3% from the floor. He also grabbed 8.2 rebounds and swatted 2.1 blocks per contest. Monroe went 29-5 last season and Ogbole was second in scoring while leading them on the boards and with block shots.

Both Rutgers and Seton Hall offered Ogbole in November 2022. With an opening in the frontcourt following the decommitment of 4-star Baye Ndongo, Ogbole ultimately chose to become a Scarlet Knight.

This looks like a real steal on the recruiting trail for Steve Pikiell and Rutgers. With three years of eligibility, this gives the coaching staff a player they can develop over time. He plays with a high motor, is athletic and gives the staff a true two-way big man. Ogbole only started playing in his native Nigeria at 18 years old.

Ogbole is strong with a wide frame, he knows how to use his body, and is physically ready for the Big Ten right away. He is a physical player who willingly defends and rebounds. With coaching and time, Ogbole’s ceiling appears high.

Rutgers now has three scholarships still open for next season. Adding a backup big man was a must. Ogbole has plenty of upside for next season and beyond.  Finding at least one guard and possibly another wing are now critical following the departures of Cam Spencer and Paul Mulcahy. Here is the current roster as of now.

Frontcourt: Cliff Omoruyi, Mawot Mag, Antwone Woolfolk, Emmanuel Ogbole

Wing: Aundre Hyatt, Gavin Griffiths, Antonio Chol

Backcourt: Noah Fernandes, Derek Simpson, Jamichael Davis

To read more on Ogbole’s decision to join Rutgers, click here.

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  1. thevinman

    June 12, 2023 at 12:37 pm

    Great to see a big man who has 3 years of eligibility left. Cliff now has a fellow Nigerian on the team.

    Will Mr. Ogbole be on the team and able to go on the pre-season trip to Senegal?

    • Aaron Breitman

      June 12, 2023 at 2:10 pm

      Yes the team reports this week and he’s part of the program now.

      • thevinman

        June 15, 2023 at 11:34 am

        Thanks Aaron.

  2. RU858

    June 12, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    As it appears Wolf is no longer Cliff’s successor, it is very encouraging to add a strong candidate on board with a full year to acclimate to B1G play.

    Based on Coach Pikiell’s description, it is also very encouraging to find someone who appears to fit the Rutgers culture, not driven by NIL.

    Is it November yet?

    • Aaron Breitman

      June 12, 2023 at 2:11 pm

      Wolf was never really Cliff’s successor as he’s only 6’8″ and filled a gap when needed but is more of a 4.

      • InPikeWeTrust

        June 12, 2023 at 7:18 pm

        Wolf is going to be a really good player very soon. He’s Pike’s secret weapon. He displayed such a unique mobility and feel with so little basketball played. He just might turn into a monster for us.

        • Aaron Breitman

          June 12, 2023 at 8:42 pm

          I brought up his coast to coast layup in the Big Ten Tournament on my podcast today.

          • Biochemist01

            June 14, 2023 at 11:34 pm

            That was sweet.

        • Biochemist01

          June 14, 2023 at 11:33 pm


  3. ru68

    June 12, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    Why do you say that he is not driven by NIL (or another form of payment)?

  4. moru

    June 12, 2023 at 1:58 pm

    There putting Mr Ogbole on a really big stage in the big ten but man this fella looks incredibly athletic and a big kid. Plus an African kid that should feel right at home.

  5. RUinChiTown

    June 12, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    Sounds like Pike, et al, have been looking at him for awhile.

    If he can give 7-10” a game, and Woolfolk continues to develop, that could be a terrific front court come conference time.

    Now, about the next guard and another wing…

  6. pj43

    June 12, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Well, what do you know! You can’t teach size and he does look athletic and mobile. What I particularly liked about the tape is the way he ran the court. Once again, Pikiell’s relentless hard work (as well as his staff’s) seemingly finds a way to bolster the roster in the nick of time.

  7. DranktheRUkoolaid

    June 12, 2023 at 5:04 pm

    Big men take time to develop — but they still get five fouls!!

    This is the perfect pick-up as Cliff just needs 10-12 minutes on the bench (to respond to quick fouls or fatigue).

    In addition, as a sophomore, there’s no pressure to start; Emmanuel can be eased into the rotation when he is ready.

  8. DranktheRUkoolaid

    June 12, 2023 at 6:26 pm

    Does anyone have any idea how strong Monroe college is (with respect to basketball)?

    Do they produce a lot of Division 1 talent? I am trying to put his stats in context. His stats sound good, but what was the competition?

    Is this a situation where maybe the Juco program is less well-known, so a 6’11” kid can fly under the radar?

    • Aaron Breitman

      June 12, 2023 at 8:46 pm

      They were the 16 seed in the 24 seed/team JUCO national tournament and went 1-1. Ogbole was hurt and didn’t play. Monroe doesn’t play in a powerhouse conference, but 29-5 is a really good season including a postseason win.

      • Biochemist01

        June 14, 2023 at 11:42 pm

        Monroe College is a college in the Bronx. They award AS,BS/BA, and MBA degrees. It is not a JUCO, but they play JOCO in sports. All the outlets have called it “Monroe Community College”. It is not. Do your homework folks.

        “Monroe Community College” is in Monroe County, NY, near Rochester.

  9. Aaron Breitman

    June 15, 2023 at 5:10 am

    My articles on Egbole only refers to Monroe College only.

    • Biochemist01

      June 16, 2023 at 7:50 pm

      Agree – you got it correct Aaron.

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