With four of their front court players due to be seniors next season, Tulsa is in need of some additional depth in that area. Saturday afternoon head coach Frank Haith picked up a front court commitment in Junior Etou, who will transfer to the American Athletic Conference program after playing two years at Rutgers.
Etou will have to sit out next season per NCAA transfer rules, but given Tulsa’s options that isn’t an issue. Following that he’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining, and he’ll slide into a front court rotation that loses Rashad Smith, Marquel Curtis, Brandon Swannegan and D’Andre Wright at the end of the 2015-16 season.
The 6-foot-7 Etou started all 31 games in which he played last season, averaging 7.4 points and 6.6 rebounds in 29.6 minutes of action per game. In two seasons at Rutgers Etou, who finished up his prep career at Bishop O’Connell in Virginia, averaged 6.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
In addition to Etou the Golden Hurricane, who won 23 games a season ago, add junior college wing Pat Birt and freshman guard Sterling Taplin next season. Tulsa will have an experienced group that will be led by rising senior guards James Woodard and Shaquille Harrison, and that experience should help Etou during his year in residency as he prepares to be a factor in 2016-17.