ESPN’s Jeff Borzello reported on Twitter that Richmond graduate transfer Alonzo Nelson-Ododa has heard from more than 15 schools since announcing his plan to transfer on May 5th. One of the schools mentioned in Borzello’s tweet is Providence. Nelson-Ododa is a 6’9 235 pound power forward. He spent his first year at Richmond sitting out as a redshirt during the 2011-12 season.
The Atlanta native averaged a career high 6.6 points/game and pulled down 5.1 rebounds/game in 23.1 minutes/game. He also averaged 1.7 blocks/game last season and had a career average of 2.0 blocks/game during his three seasons playing for Chris Mooney and the Richmond Spiders. He leaves Richmond second on the all-time blocks list with 185 career blocks in those three seasons.
The other schools mentioned in Borzello’s tweet were Alabama, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh and Vanderbilt. This could be the first recruiting battle between Ed Cooley and former associate head coach Bob Simon. With Alex Owens’ status uncertain for next season due to both his injured knee and his pending ACT score, it seems that Cooley wants to explore bringing in another frontcourt piece to pair with rising sophomores Ben Bentil, Paschal Chukwu and Rodney Bullock. Bullock is coming off his own ACL surgery in October and could also split time between the forward positions.
The Friars currently have 1 open scholarship for the 2015-16 season and bringing in a graduate transfer would keep that scholarship open for 2016-17 and beyond. While some have speculated that Providence may be at a disadvantage in luring graduate transfer to the program due to the limited availability of graduate programs that would be different than ones at their current school, the real disadvantage is the two players I mentioned above in Bentil and Chukwu. It may be a tough sell to bring in an experienced big man to backup sophomores.
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