Men's Basketball



4  Ugo Udezue
Ugo Udezue

Class:
Senior

Hometown:
Enugu, Nigeria

High School:
Riverdale Baptist High School, Md.

Height / Weight:
6-8 / 245

Position:
Forward/Center


2001-02 (Senior): Ugo Udezue (Pronounced: OO-go oo-DEZ-oo-way) enters his fifth season at Wyoming in exactly the position he wants to be -- healthy. The fifth-year senior from Enugu, Nigeria, has worked extremely hard to overcome two seasons of rehabilitation following knee surgery. He lost nearly 20 pounds this past off-season, has strengthened his knee and, just as importantly, has regained confidence in the stability of that knee. Udezue averaged 20.5 points per game as a sophomore in the 1998-99 season. He underwent knee surgery early in his junior season of 1999-2000 and received a medical hardship from the NCAA. Last season, Udezue started eight of the first 12 games, but it was obvious he wasn't at full strength. With a healthy Udezue, the Cowboys should be even more explosive.

2000-01 (Redshirt Junior): Udezue played in 26 of Wyoming 30 games during the 2000-01 season, starting eight. He averaged 13.7 minutes per game, scoring 100 points and pulling down 77 rebounds. Udezue was limited physically, but he did the little things all season to help the Cowboys win. Perhaps the best example of his unselfishness and team play was when he drew a charge on the final play of overtime to help seal a 70-69 road win at Colorado State on Jan. 13, 2001. His return for the 2000-01 season was highly anticipated by a number of national basketball publications. ESPN Magazine Preseason College Basketball Issue ranked Udezue No. 7 in the nation at Center, and he was named the Mountain West Conference Preseason Player of the Year. Sports Illustrated selected Udezue one of its Top Five "Hidden Gems."

1999-2000 (Junior): Udezue missed the 1999-2000 season due to knee surgery, and received a medical hardship. Udezue played in the first five games of the 1999-2000 season before undergoing surgery on his left knee to repair cartilage damage in the kneecap area. He had undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in the off-season prior to the 1999-2000 season, but continued pain in the knee resulted in full-scale surgery on Dec. 13, 1999. No ligament damage was involved in either surgery. Udezue entered the 1999-2000 season as one of the brightest young players in the country. He was named by Dick Vitale to his All-Rip Van Winkle Team -- the Top Five "Sleepers Who You'll Hear About." Vitale also ranked him among the Top 25 centers in the nation (No. 21). Lindy's College Basketball preseason magazine ranked him No. 16 nationally at power forward, and The Sporting News preseason magazine ranked him No. 19 at center.

1998-99 (Sophomore): Ugo Udezue was one of the nation's top young players. He averaged 20.5 points per game during the 1998-99 season to rank No. 29 in the nation as only a sophomore. Led the Cowboys to a team scoring average of 81.6 points per game, ranking No. 10 in the nation in scoring for the 1998-99 season. Named Second Team All-Western Athletic Conference Mountain Division as a sophomore behind future NBA draftees Lee Nailon from TCU and Shawn Marion from UNLV. Led Wyoming to a First Round NIT victory over USC, 81-77, while scoring a team high 28 points. Scored a career high 36 points vs. Colorado on Dec. 9, 1998, recording the fourth best scoring performance in Wyoming's Arena-Auditorium history. Scored 30 or more points on five occasions his sophomore season. Finished the season strong, averaging 25.5 points in his last 11 games. Also Wyoming's leading rebounder (7.4 rpg). Played amazingly consistent in his first year as a starter, scoring in double figures in 24 of 28 games and scoring 20 or more points in 15 contests. Recorded eight double-doubles on the season to lead the Cowboys in that category. Started all 28 games, and averaged 29.3 minutes per game. Scored 575 points in 821 minutes played, meaning he scored one point every 1.4 minutes. Led Wyoming in field-goal percentage (.474). Shot 50 percent or better from the field in 11 of 28 games. Shot 60 percent or better from the field on six occasions. Named WAC Player of the Week on Dec. 14 leading Wyoming to wins over Colorado (67-66) and North Texas (87-67). A clutch player, his career high 36 points in the win over Colorado included the game-winning tip-in. He hit 88.9 percent of his free throws (8 of 9) in the last three minutes of games during the season.

1997-98 (Freshman): Produced a very solid freshman season. He ranked third on the Cowboy squad in rebounding (4.2 rebounds per game). He recorded one double-figure rebounding game, grabbing 10 boards versus Norfolk State in the Cowboy Shootout Championship game -- won by Wyoming 72-65 in overtime. His best scoring performance was 12 points in a 76-44 home victory over Air Force on Jan. 29, 1998. Played in all 28 games for the Cowboys, averaging 16.5 minutes per game. Shot 46.8 percent from the field.

High School/Personal: Udezue averaged 26.3 points, 24.1 rebounds and 6.2 blocked shots per game during the 1996-97 season. He played for coach Walter Webb at Riverdale Baptist in Mitchelville, Md., where he earned All-Beltway Conference honors as a senior.

Udezue led Riverdale Baptist to a 22-14 record as a senior, with 11 of the team's 14 losses coming at the hands of nationally-ranked high school teams.

In the spring of 1997, he was ranked as the No. 2 international player available by the International Players Recruiting Service. Udezue also played for the Nigerian National Team during his youth. He is originally from Enugu, Nigeria.

Born Dec. 1, 1978, he is the son of Ojini and George Udezue. Udezue is studying communication.

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