CONWAY — Coastal Carolina men’s basketball is losing its leading scorer from last season.
CCU rising junior guard Josh Uduje, who averaged a team-high 13.3 points per game in 2022-23, is transferring to Utah State, he recently announced on Twitter.
Uduje’s 13.3 points per game put him in a tie for 12th in the Sun Belt Conference last season. The London native was also fourth on the team in rebounds per game (3.9), was one of three players on the team to play in all 31 games, was fourth in assists per game (1.2) and second in steals per game (1.3).
“Firstly, I’d like to thank my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ for blessing me with this opportunity and guiding me to come to this decision,” Uduje said in a Twitter post. “To my family thank you for supporting through this time… With that being said I’m glad to announce I’ll be attending the Utah State Univ.”
The 6-foot-5 guard will join a Utah State team that finished runner-up in the Mountain West Conference Tournament and earned a No. 10 seed in the NCAA Division Men’s Basketball Tournament before falling to No. 7 Missouri in the first round.
Uduje will look to help the Aggies stay near the top of the Mountain West in scoring, as Utah State was second in the conference in points per game (78.6) in 2022-23, and will look to help the Aggies improve in scoring defense, as they were seventh in the Mountain West in scoring defense, allowing 69.7 points per game.
He will have two years of eligibility remaining.
This season, CCU went 11-20 overall and 5-13 in Sun Belt Conference play. The Chanticleers did not participate in a postseason tournament following their 86-69 loss to Arkansas State in the first round of the 2023 Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball Championship in Pensacola, Fla., on Feb. 28.
Uduje was one of five CCU men’s basketball players to enter the portal following the completion of the Chants’ season.
The other four were forward/center Essam Mostafa, who averaged a double-double (12.4 points and 10.0 rebounds per game) in 2022-23 and transferred to TCU; guard Linton Brown, who averaged 8.6 points and 2.3 boards per game this season; center DJ Basey, who averaged 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds per contest in 2022-23; and guard Seth Dawson, who only saw action in five games this season and transferred to Central Washington.
However, CCU men’s basketball head coach Cliff Ellis has already started to fill these holes, bringing in forward Kevin Easley Jr. and guard Brayon Freeman through the portal.
Easley comes to Conway from Duquesne, where he averaged 5.7 points per game in 2022-23 and 10.7 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per game in 2021-22. Prior to his time with the Dukes, he played at TCU for a season, and in 2018-19, he averaged career highs in points per game (14.2), rebounds per game (6.7) and assists per game (1.2) at Chattanooga.
Prior to transferring to CCU, Freeman played for two Atlantic 10 Conference schools. In 2021-22, he averaged 10.3 points per game, 3.7 assists per game and 1.3 steals per game for George Washington. In 2022-23 at Rhode Island, he was second for the Rams in scoring (14.3 ppg), tied for first in assists per game (2.8) and second in steals per game (1.2).