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Tigers snag shot-swatting transfer ‘K.O.’ from UT Arlington

(WMC Action News 5)
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 9:15 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Jalen Duren was an awesome force down low for the Memphis Tigers this season, winning AAC Freshman of the Year with averages of 12 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks per game.

He was the third consecutive Memphis frontcourt player to win Freshman of the Year, and like Precious Achiuwa and Moussa Cisse before him, Duren’s not sticking around for Year 2.

So the Tigers have been fishing in the transfer portal for what felt like years but was really only two months and Sunday, they reeled one in. How big is this fish? That depends on how you frame it.

He’s Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu or “K.O.” for short.

A 6-foot-9, 200-pound transfer from UT Arlington with a 7’3 wingspan. Judging by his tape, K.O. doesn’t appear to have Duren’s sturdy center of gravity (yet), but he’s got formidable leaping ability, having swiped his coach’s I.D. card off the top of the backboard last spring in a viral video.

KO used his length to great effect this past year, blocking 2.6 shots per game, a top-20 mark nationally.

He also averaged 4.7 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game for the Mavericks. You can see a developing jump shot and post moves in his arsenal in addition to his lob-finishing and floor-running.

He’s the third transfer to join Penny Hardaway’s roster this offseason, along with transfer guards Kendric Davis and Elijah McCadden.Time will tell if K.O.’s bounce can lift the Tigers higher.

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