Former St. John’s Red Storm center Chris Obekpa will visit the University of Minnesota this weekend. Amelia Rayno of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported the story.
Minnesota is one of four schools that Obekpa is considering, the others being N.C. State, Alabama and Arizona State, per Adam Zagoria of SNY. It’s an unfortunate circumstance for Obekpa, as he was declared ineligible for the NCAA Tournament this year to reportedly failing a drug test.
In three years with St. John’s, he averaged 4.5 points, six rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game.
He will need to sit out a year per NCAA transfer rules, but Obekpa could wind up being a solid fit with the Golden Gophers. The team already has a solid frontcourt option in Joey King, who would be a fifth-year senior in 2016-17, but keep in mind that Minnesota ranked 241st in the nation in rebounding last season and is looking to make its first NCAA Tournament under head coach Richard Pitino.
By adding the 6-foot-10, 236 pound Obekpa and his strong interior abilities, the Gophers’ rim protection would immediately improve.
Granted, this is Obekpa’s first visit that we know of and he has yet to make a decision, but Campus Sports will update his decison-making process as more information becomes available.