Sean Obi had an impressive start to his collegiate career at Rice.
After transferring to Duke, Obi barely played during his two years with the school. Now the Nigerian forward will transfer once again and is set to visit Maryland on Monday.
As Rothstein alluded to in his tweet, Obi will be eligible immediately because he’s graduating this spring. That is arguably the most appealing part of a team like the Terrapins pursuing Obi.
If Obi were to come to Maryland, it would be the second player in the past three years that Mark Turgeon lured to College Park as a graduate transfer. Guard Rasheed Sulaimon transferred to the Terps for the 2015-16 season.
Turgeon has had success on the transfer market in the past. He’s lured players like Logan Aronhalt, LG Gill, Evan Smotrycz, and Dez Wells to College Park in recent years.
Obi started off at Rice in the 2013-14 season and played very well. The 6’9 big man averaged 11.4 points and 9.3 rebounds playing 26.4 minutes-per-game.
His productive campaign landed him on the Conference USA All-Freshman team.
Obi played sparingly this past season, which was partially due to knee injuries. He only appeared in 2.7 minutes-per-game and played a grand total of 27 minutes throughout the entire season.
Obi is an extremely talented player when he’s healthy.
The former Rice standout is your traditional low post presence. He’s the type of guy that guards can just throw the ball down to and he can make plays on the interior.
Obi is very crafty in the paint despite not having a ton of range. He shot 59.1 percent from the floor and his only real offensive weakness is his 54.4 percent clip at the free throw line.
He scored in double figures in 17 games during the 2013-14 season. In 11 of those games, Obi recorded a double-double.
His most impressive performance came against Marshall on Jan. 23, 2014. Obi scored 22 points (11-of-13 shooting) and grabbed 17 rebounds in a 73-63 loss.
Obi’s biggest strength is definitely his ability to rebound the basketball. His 9.3 rebounds per contest and 279 total boards led Conference USA during his lone season at Rice.
The Nigerian native also secured the second-most defensive rebounds (205) in the conference.
If he’s healthy, Obi could give Maryland an offensive threat down low. Michal Cekovsky replaces Damonte Dodd as the team’s starting center and Ivan Bender and incoming freshman Bruno Fernando should also see significant minutes.
When Cekovsky was out, the Terps didn’t have a ton of size and didn’t exactly scare opposing teams from attacking the paint.
Obi may not be a seven-footer, but he has a large frame and can occupy the paint effectively. If Turgeon can convince him to come to College Park, it could be a huge boost to the team’s postseason chances in the 2017-18 season.