Former Big 12 guard signs with Kentucky basketball from transfer portal

A former starting guard from the Big 12 Conference will be a Kentucky Wildcat next season.

Former Oklahoma guard Otega Oweh — who spent the last two seasons with the Sooners — announced Saturday that he would be transferring to Kentucky.

Prior to his signing with UK, Oweh was on a recruiting visit to Kentucky on Thursday. That same day, Pope, the new UK coach, was spotted at Keeneland with legendary former UK basketball player Dan Issel.

In addition to Kentucky, Oweh had taken recruiting visits as a transfer portal player to Oregon and Texas A&M. Oweh announced his plans to enter the transfer portal on March 25.

Oweh, who stands 6-foot-5, started 37 times and made 60 career appearances for the Sooners over the last two seasons. During the 2023-24 season, Oweh made 28 starts and played in 32 games, averaging 11.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.0 assist per contest.

He was the Sooners’ second-leading scorer last season.

Per KenPom, Oweh’s steal percentage last season of 3.5% ranked among the top 100 players nationally. Steal percentage is calculated as steals divided by defensive possessions.

As a freshman two seasons ago, Oweh averaged 4.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. He played in 28 games with nine starts that season for Oklahoma.

For his college career, Oweh has shot 47.9% from the field and 36.8% on 3-pointers (from 57 total attempts).

“He’s elite at earning trips to the free-throw line and he brings a special physicality and intensity to the game,” Pope said of Oweh in a news release Saturday. “Otega spent his entire season last year picking up the point guard full court in the Big 12. His tenacity on the court is contagious and his humility off the court is going to endear himself to Big Blue Nation.”

Oweh has two years of college eligibility remaining.

Originally from Newark, New Jersey, Oweh was ranked as a four-star recruit in the 2022 recruiting class and was the No. 70 overall player in that recruiting group, per the 247Sports Composite. He is the younger brother of NFL linebacker Odafe Oweh, who plays for the Baltimore Ravens.

Otega Oweh, who transferred from Oklahoma to Kentucky, is originally from Newark, New Jersey.
Otega Oweh, who transferred from Oklahoma to Kentucky, is originally from Newark, New Jersey.

According to college basketball statistician Evan Miyakawa, Oweh was the No. 38 overall transfer portal player, as of Friday afternoon.

Oweh’s most notable performance as an Oklahoma player came last season during a December defeat to North Carolina: He had 23 points with five rebounds in that game.

Oweh is the fifth player lined up to play for new UK head coach Mark Pope next season. The others are first-year guards Collin Chandler and Travis Perry, fifth-year guard Lamont Butler and fifth-year forward Amari Williams.

Butler previously played four seasons at San Diego State. Williams previously played four seasons at Drexel in Philadelphia.

Chandler was formerly signed to play for Pope at BYU. A member of the 2022 recruiting class, Chandler is completing a two-year mission trip and will make his college basketball debut this season with the Wildcats.

Perry committed to and signed with UK last fall when former head coach John Calipari led the program. Perry has since confirmed his commitment to Pope’s UK program.

Otega Oweh averaged 11.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game for Oklahoma last season.
Otega Oweh averaged 11.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game for Oklahoma last season.


Pope — the former head coach at BYU and Utah Valley and a key member of Kentucky’s 1996 national championship team — is constructing his first UK basketball roster from scratch.

Aaron Bradshaw (Ohio State), Joey Hart (Ball State) and Zvonimir Ivisic (Arkansas) are players from the 2023-24 Kentucky squad that will transfer to new schools. Additionally, Jordan Burks, Ugonna Onyenso, Adou Thiero and D.J. Wagner are still in the NCAA transfer portal.

Thiero has a return to Kentucky among his final five options. The other schools on his list are Arkansas (where he’d rejoin Calipari), Indiana, North Carolina and Pittsburgh.

Also from last season’s team, Rob Dillingham, Justin Edwards, and Reed Sheppard have declared for the 2024 NBA draft. Tre Mitchell and Antonio Reeves have exhausted their college eligibility.

College basketball players (including graduate transfers) have until May 1 to enter the transfer portal. The early-entry deadline for the 2024 NBA draft was Saturday, and players who enter the draft with remaining NCAA eligibility will have until May 29 to remove their names from consideration and return to school.

From the 2024 Kentucky recruiting class that was assembled by former head coach John Calipari, five of the six players who were committed to UK reopened their college recruitments.

Three of them — Boogie Fland, Karter Knox and Billy Richmond — have announced plans to follow Calipari to Arkansas, where he now coaches the Razorbacks. Somto Cyril and Jayden Quaintance have yet to announce their new college plans, while the aforementioned Perry will still be in Lexington next season.

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