Former Eastern Illinois forward Chris Olivier will graduate and transfer to Oklahoma State. Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports’ reported Olivier’s decision.
A native of Chicago, the 6’8″, 245 pound Olivier averaged 12.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per contest while shooting 52 percent from the field in two years with the Panthers. Over that stretch, the team went 29-34 (16-16 OVC) and took a trip to the CIT in 2015.
Olivier also spent a season at Northern Iowa before transferring to Eastern Illinois.
The graduate transfer will now be immediately eligible to play for an Oklahoma State Cowboys squad that has become a perennial NCAA Tournament participant under head coach Travis Ford. Since taking the helm in 2008, Ford has led the team to a record of 143-91 (60-65 Big 12), but has only gotten past the big dance’s Round of 64 once, in Ford’s inaugural season. Oklahoma State made the tournament as a No. 9 seed this past season, but lost to No. 8 Oregon in the round of 64 and will need a lot of help in the paint now that Le’Bryan Nash and Michael Cobbins are set to graduate.
Hopefully, Olivier and incoming junior college transfer Igor Ibaka can help improve the team’s defensive game under the basket and help Oklahoma State once again become the powerhouse it was under longtime coach Eddie Sutton, at least in the short term.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports