DALLAS – UTEP basketball’s Efe Odigie was named to the 2019 All-Conference USA Freshman team, as announced by league officials Monday afternoon. Odigie is the first Miner to garner an All-C-USA Freshman honor since 2016.
Odigie averaged 12.7 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per contest. He is the first UTEP player to finish the season averaging a double-double since Terry White did so (10.1 ppg/10.2 rpg) in 1981-82. Odigie is one of nine Miners to average a double-double in a single season.
Odigie’s 252 rebounds in 25 games played are the second most by a UTEP freshman (Odigie missed the final four games due to an injury). Arnett Moultrie grabbed 302 boards in 37 games during the 2008-09 season. However, Odigie’s 10.1 rebounds per game will go down as the best average by a UTEP freshman, surpassing Anthony Burns’s 9.4 rebounds done in 1977-78. Odigie’s scoring average (12.7) will rank fifth best by a UTEP freshman.
The Houston product is the only C-USA player to finish the regular season averaging a double-double and currently still leads the league in rebounds per game. WKU’s Charles Bassey (15 ppg) ranks second at 9.9 rebounds per game. The last C-USA freshman to average a double-double was Charlotte’s Joseph Uchebo (13.2 points per game and 11.5 boards per contest in 2015-16).
Odigie recorded 11 double-doubles during the campaign, ranking second in C-USA and tied for third among Division I freshman. It’s the most double-doubles by a UTEP freshman in program history and the most by a UTEP player since Vince Hunter’s 13 in 2013-14.
The 6-9 big man registered five games of 15 or more rebounds during the season, including a career-high 20 rebounds at Marshall. The 20 boards were the most recorded by any player in a league contest this season. Odigie added 22 points against the Thundering Herd and became the first Miner since Jim Barnes to register a 20-20 game.
Barnes did so on Feb. 22, 1964. Odigie added 17 rebounds against ENMU and 15 against FIU. Odigie also recorded back-to-back 16-rebound performances (at UTSA, vs. UTSA) and was the first Miner to do so since Dick Gibbs did during the 1970-71 season. His five games of 15-plus rebounds were the most since White posted four in 1981-82.
Barnes amassed an impressive 11 games of 20-plus rebounds in 1963-64.
Odigie’s career high in points was a 24-point outing against UC Riverside, Odigie also set a UTEP freshman record by opening his career with 12 consecutive double-figure scoring games.
Odigie shot 48.6 percent (118-243) from the field (ranked 15th in C-USA) and 68.3 percent (82-120) from the foul line. Odigie chipped in 14 assists, 13 blocks and 15 steals.