Redshirt pulled, Onobun impresses

As soon as word spread that Chris Rodgers was no longer on the basketball team and that the health status of J.P. Prince and Jawann McClellan was still in doubt, the Fendi Onobun watch began. There were rumblings that he had been playing well in practice and with depth questions surrounding the team, folks began to wonder if his redshirt could be pulled. They did not have to wait long.

Onobun made his Wildcat debut early in the first half and showed a lot of promise. All told he played 13 minutes and scored six points on 3-4 shooting. He grabbed two rebounds, both on the offensive end.

"It is pretty obvious tonight he stepped up big time," said Lute Olson. "Imagine a freshman redshirting and coming out in this kind of game an playing the way he played."

Onobun showed off his versatility by seeing action at the three, four and five positions. He showed decent quickness and has the build and strength to be a load down low.

The freshman from Houston showed off his athleticism with an acrobatic lay-in where he went up and under while driving the baseline. He appeared to be attacking the front of the rim, bought the ball down as players collapsed on him and finished with a reverse lay-in. The move seemed to come right out of the Hassan Adams's playbook.

Onobun also had a nice put-back and drained a 15-footer to cap his scoring.

It was also nice to see that he made few mistakes. Onobun had no turnovers and committed just one offensive foul.

He had been very impressive recently in practice and the loss of both Chris Rodgers and Jawann McClellan prompted Olson to approach Onobun about the possibilities of leaving the redshirt behind. Fendi and his parents decided that the move was a good one.

Last year Kirk Walters was pulled out of his redshirt with mixed results. So far the move seems to be working out a tad better for the combo forward.

"He works hard every day," Olson said. "There is no question he is going to be a really good player."


Wildcat Authority Top Stories