Macalester’s Williams, New Mexico State’s Odukale transfer to Gophers

Former Division III Macalester guard Caleb Williams and New Mexico State wing Femi Odukale announced Wednesday they will be transferring to play for the Gophers men's basketball team.

Following the news of freshman Cam Christie entering the transfer portal, Gophers coach Ben Johnson picked up two graduate transfers with a combined 160 starts in their college careers.

Odukale, a 6-6, 205-pound Brooklyn native, averaged 10.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks last season for the Aggies. He played his first three seasons at Pittsburgh and Seton Hall. He averaged a career-best 10.8 points for the Panthers two seasons ago.

Last season at NMSU, Odukale had 15 double-figure scoring games, including 18 points on 10-for-14 free throws and seven rebounds against rival New Mexico and former Gophers coach Richard Pitino. In two seasons at Pitt, Odukale had five games with at least 20 points, highlighted by 25 points and six steals vs. Virginia Tech and 28 points vs. Miami in the ACC tournament to end his freshman year in 2021.

Williams, a 6-2 grad transfer from Wild Rose, Wis., made a name for himself scoring 41 points against the Gophers in an exhibition game in November. He made his decision to commit to the Gophers after an official visit last week. He averaged 19.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists and shot 36.7% from three-point range in 80 career games, which included starting every game.

Last season Williams, Macalester's leading scorer and an All-MIAC performer, averaged 20 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 25 games. The Gophers defeated Macalester 97-73 in exhibition play last season, but Williams eclipsed the 40-point mark after shooting 14-for-31 from the field, including 5-for-12 from three-point range in 36 minutes.

The Gophers add Williams and Odukale to a backcourt that includes returning starter Mike Mitchell Jr. and Oregon transfer Brennan Rigsby, who signed last week. Four-star recruit Isaac Asuma from Cherry will be an incoming freshman. The fourth spring signee was Canisius big man Frank Mitchell, who ranked fourth in the country in rebounding.

Schedule note

The Big Ten announced opponents for the men's basketball season, which will include four new schools. The Gophers' opponents both home and away games are Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State. Their home-only opponents are Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois and Ohio State. Their road-only opponents are UCLA, USC, Indiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Iowa and Rutgers.