Udoh was a revelation for the Bears in his only season with the team. Baylor had what many called a Cinderella season in 2007-08 and was expecting bigger things from the 2008-09 squad, but they stumbled to a 24-15 record. The former Michigan transfer stepped right in to fill a leadership void, especially on the defensive side, going on to earn All-American recognition, in addition to being named Big Twelve Conference Newcomer of the Year.
Udoh was a member of the league's All-Defensive team, as he had also earned that accolade during his time at Michigan, picking up Big Ten Conference All-Defensive team honors.
Born in Oklahoma but of Nigerian descent, Udoh's full given name (Ekpedeme), translates to "lion" in Nigerian. Udoh (pronounced You-Doe) was a McDonald's All-State selection as a senior and two-time Class 6A All-State selection, along with twice being named Metro Conference Defensive Player of the Year, in addition to receiving first-team All-League honors. He was also selected to the All-Edmond Basketball Team, All-City and Daily Oklahoman All-State squads in both 2005 and '06.
A three-year starter, Udoh averaged 12.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks during his prep career. His numbers during his final campaign consisted of averages of 15.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks, despite the fact that he was recovering from August 2005 surgery to repair a torn muscle in his right shoulder. He led Santa Fe to a 21-6 record and the top ranking in the state before losing in the semifinal of Class 6A State Championship.
As a junior, Udoh averaged 11.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks, leading his squad to a 25-4 and to the Class 6A State Championship. He also produced 11.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game as a sophomore. The team went 20-6 and reached the quarterfinal of Class 6A playoffs.
Udoh was a Texas/Oklahoma all-star game selection. He was coached by Mitch Malone for the AAU travel team, the Texas Blue Chips, and was selected to Metroplex's All-AAU team and participated in 2005 Reebok ABCD Camp.
Udoh enrolled at the University of Michigan for the 2006-07 season. He started seven times in 35 contests. He was a work in progress as a scorer, averaging just 5.0 points per game. His defensive presence was felt, however. He blocked 67 shots and pulled down 139 rebounds, adding 23 steals while doling out 28 assists.
Named to the Big Ten Conference All-Defensive Team as a sophomore, Udoh started 24 of 32 contests on the 2007-08 schedule. He improved his scoring slightly, finishing with a 6.0-point average. Even though the team struggled to a 10-22 record, he led them to five victories at the end of the season and was the recipient of the Wolverines' Wayman Britt Outstanding Defensive Player Award.
Udoh set the U-M sophomore season record with 92 blocks, which was also the second best single-season output by a Wolverine, as he led the Big Ten in that category. He snatched 5.0 rebounds per game and recorded 29 assists to go with 27 steals, while his 36 turnovers were the lowest total of any starter in the conference.
After the season, Udoh asked for his release from Michigan. He sat out the 2008-09 season under NCAA transfer rules, but the following season, he would bring Baylor back into the national spotlight. He completely dominated the offensive glass, as the Big Twelve's Defensive Player of the Year set a school season-record with 133 blocked shots, an average of 3.69 blocks per game.
Those 133 blocks beat out Kansas' Cole Aldrich, who totaled 125 last season, as both players topped the previous Big Twelve record of 116 by Kelvin Cato of Iowa State in 1996-97. How impressive were those 133 blocks? Despite playing just one season at Baylor, that mark ranks third in school annals.
Prior to facing Baylor, Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford, who had just viewed Udoh's 10-block, 18-point, 17-rebound, three-assist game vs. Morgan State on film noted, "(Ekpe) is a great player. I have talked to a couple scouts and they said he can be a top-15 or 20 pick in (the 2010) draft. He is a great player. He affects the game in so many ways. He has come a long way and he is one of the best players in the country, one of the best players in this league."
Udoh showed marked improvement with his offensive game. He more than doubled his previous season scoring average -- 13.9 points per game -- while shooting 49.0 percent from the floor. He averaged 9.8 rebounds per game, adding 97 assists and 29 steals. He was also selected to the NCAA South Regional All-Tournament team after averaging 13.0 points and 10.5 rebounds in Houston.
Positives: Udoh is a strong, physical athlete whose elite status as a shot blocker is a byproduct of his leaping ability (33 1/2-inch vertical jump), wingspan (7-feet-4 1/2) and standing reach (8-10 1/2) In addition to his athletic ability, he shows very good timing going up to block the shot and doesn't bite on hesitation moves and head-and-shoulder pump fakes Still a work in progress on offense, but is starting to become comfortable shooting when facing the basket Very light on his feet for a big player and has just an eight percent body fat content at 237 pounds Fluid moving on the court and his 97 assists in 2009-10 prove that he is not only unselfish, but would have no problem earning quality minutes in a motion offense working through the post Keeps the ball low and fires with good precision Even though he is just starting to emerge on the offensive end, he has good elevation-and-release when delivering with a mid-range jumper Best when attacking the ball and shows very good balance and above-average lateral mobility when coming out of the paint to defend in the perimeter Continues to improve all facets of his game and has become a "gym rat" who puts in the extra hours to work on those areas Has a good feel for angling to get position, then using his reach to snare the ball from the offensive glass for a putback via an emphatic dunk Has enough foot speed and body control to execute the fast break or get back on defense to shorten the court Plays with a tireless work ethic, knowing how to stay within the team concept, as he can bounce out and take shots from the perimeter or drive to the basket with force As a junior, he improved his shooting range and is capable of stepping back and firing from mid-range Has the balance and mobility to cover smaller opponents in the high post Shows good versatility and fluid moves, with a strong inside/outside game and displays a soft touch in the post Is still a work in progress from three-point range, but has gained confidence in using his jumper from 12-to-15 feet When facing up to the basket, he will attack the rim and has shown steady improvement in establishing position in the low post Proficient ball-handler and passer for a player his size, having averaged 2.7 assists per game during his Baylor tenure Shows very good court vision and solid passing skills, along with the feet to be a capable fit in an up-tempo attack Uses his size and length well to defend on the low block and is generally in position to secure the post-entry passes around the basket.
Negatives: Transfer student who will be 23 by the start of the NBA season and is still in the infancy stages of developing an NBA-like mid-range game Has good upper-body strength, but his legs look quite thin Excellent offensive rebounder with a good concept for angling, but until he improves his overall core strength, he could have problems combating big centers and power forwards in the paint at the next level Has good court vision, but needs work passing out of double-teams His turnover total came up quite a bit in 2009-10, mostly due to him trying to create shots for others Has good moves to the basket, but when he gets boxed out, the battle is over.
--Report by Dave-Te' Thomas
Compares To: JASON THOMPSON, Sacramento -- Udoh's offensive game is beginning to develop, but he will ever become a legitimate scoring option in the NBA. He is a defensive force due to his athleticism and length, but has to improve his core strength if he hopes to have success as a defensive rebounder.
Earned All-American Defensive Team (first-team) and overall All-American third-team honors from The NBA Draft Report Third-team All-American choice by Yahoo! Sports, adding fourth-team accolades from FOXSports.com and honorable mention from the Associated Press First-team USBWA All-District VII and second-team NABC All-District VIII choice Added NCAA All-Tournament Team, South Regional recognition All-Big Twelve Conference first-team choice by the Austin American-Statesman, Columbia [Mo.] Tribune and Waco Tribune-Herald, adding second-team honors from the Associated Press, the league's coaches, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Kansas City Star, San Antonio Express-News, Sporting News, The Oklahoman and Yahoo! Sports Named Big Twelve Newcomer of the Year by the Austin American-Statesman, league coaches, Columbia (Mo.) Tribune, Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Kansas City Star, San Antonio Express-News, Waco Tribune-Herald and Yahoo! Sports Chosen Big Twelve Defensive Player of the Year by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The NBA Draft Report and The Sporting News
Was a member of the Big Twelve All-Defensive and All-Rookie teams (league's media and coaches) Started all 36 games in his first season at Baylor, setting school and league season-records with 133 blocked shots, which ranked fifth in the nation One of just three NCAA Division I players to record a triple-double in 2009-10 (17 rebounds, 10 blocks, 18 points vs. Morgan State) Scored a career-best 500 points (13.9 per game), making 191-of-390 field goals (49.0 percent) and 111-of-162 shots (68.5 percent) from the foul line Totaled 351 rebounds (9.8 per game), ranking 26th in the nation Handed out 97 assists (2.7 per game), the second-best total on the team Also had 29 steals Posted a team-best 16 double-doubles Tallied six 20-point games Named to the NCAA South Regional All-Tournament Team after averaging 13.0 points and 10.5 rebounds in Houston.
Sat out the 2008-09 season to satisfy the NCAA's transfer policy to retain two seasons of eligibility.
Played in all 35 games with seven starts Recipient of Michigan's "Sixth Man" Award Had 67 blocked shots with 23 steals, 28 assists and 139 rebounds in 710 minutes of court action Averaged 5.0 points per game (176 total), making 76-of-162 field goals (46.9 percent) and 24-of-41 free throws (58.5 percent).
For his collegiate career, Udoh started 67-of-103 games -- 31 starts in 67 contests at Michigan and all 36 games he appeared in at Baylor For his career, he scored 867 points (8.4 points per game), making 343-of-726 field goals (47.2 percent) and 168-of-259 free throws (64.9 percent) Had 292 blocked shots (2.8 per game), 79 steals (0.8 per game) and 154 assists (1.5 per game) Grabbed 650 rebounds (6.3 per game) His 92 blocked shots in 2007-08 rank as the second-best season total in school history and were the most by a sophomore in the Wolverines program since Chris Webber His 133 blocked shots in 2009-10 established the Baylor and Big Twelve Conference season-record, as both Udoh and Kansas' Cole Aldrich, who totaled 125 last season, topped the previous Big Twelve record of 116 by Kelvin Cato of Iowa State in 1996-97 Despite playing just one season at Baylor, Udoh's 133 blocks rank third on the school career-record list behind 1. Brian Skinner (346, 1994-98) and Mamadou Diene (145, 2005-09) Became the first Baylor player in the Big Twelve era named Conference Newcomer of the Year and only the third player in program history to garner top newcomer honors -- Terry Teagle (1979) and Jerome Lambert (1994) were both named Southwest Conference Newcomer of the Year Udoh's 351 rebounds for Baylor rank fourth on the school season-record list.
Udoh was a Texas/Oklahoma All-Star Game selection Coached by Mitch Malone for the AAU travel team, the Texas Blue Chips Selected to Metroplex's All-AAU team and participated in 2005 Reebok ABCD Camp.
Attended Sante Fe (Edmond, Okla.) High School, playing basketball for head coach Guy Hardaker McDonald's All-State selection as a senior and two-time Class 6A All-State selection, along with twice being named Metro Conference Defensive Player of the Year, in addition to receiving first-team All-League honors Selected to the All-Edmond Basketball Team, All-City and Daily Oklahoman All-State squads in both 2005 and '06 A three-year starter, Udoh averaged 12.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks during his prep career His numbers during his final campaign consisted of averages of 15.4 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks, despite the fact that he was recovering from August, 2005 surgery to repair a torn muscle in his right shoulder Led Santa Fe to a 21-6 record and the top ranking in the state before losing in the semifinal of Class 6A State Championship As a junior, Udoh averaged 11.0 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks, leading his squad to a 25-4 and to the Class 6A State Championship Produced 11.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game as a sophomore The team went 20-6 and reached the quarterfinal of Class 6A playoffs.
General Studies major Son of Alice and Sam Udoh Born Ekpedeme Friday Udoh (pronounced epp-AY YOU-doe) on 5/20/1987 in Edmond, Oklahoma.
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