Kentucky basketball recruit: Four-star C Ugonna Kingsley Onyenso commits to the Wildcats

247 Sports

Kentucky plunged into big fish in the 2022 recruiting cycle on Monday, scoring an oral commitment from four-star 7-foot Yojona Kingsley Onensu, likely to put a bow on its next class. Onyenso, who plays for Putnam (Connecticut) Science Academy, UK chose 247Sports YouTube page over a recent group that included Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Clemson and Ocon City.

Onyenso, 39th in the 247Sports rankings, was the highest non-committal in the 2022 class, giving the UK one of the last remaining blues ahead of the 2022-23 season. At 7ft 233lbs, Onyenso just happened to fill a huge need for Big Blue too: The enlistment class before today didn’t consist of an incoming recruit who was taller than 6ft 6ft.

The Wildcats returned National Player of the Year to Oscar Chiboy, the big man who dominated the glass and paint last season, but behind him was a distinct lack of depth that was a major concern. Not anymore. Onyenso’s size, movement and defensive instincts could make him a candidate for a real new role next season.

Here’s what the UK is getting into Onyenso (via an exploratory report from Adam Finkelstein just last month):

At 7 feet tall with a wingspan of 7 feet and 5 wingspan, he not only possesses game-changing size and length, but also great defensive instincts. He was one of the most popular shot-blockers in all of middle school basketball last year, after arriving at the Putnam Academy of Sciences for his second semester. While his defense is currently well ahead of his offensive streak, he has a natural soft touch to develop and is also a lob threat and running on the edge that shifts nicely for a player of his size.

Kentucky moved from 14th to No. 6 in the 2022 enlistment rankings with the addition of Onyenso. The commitment will likely boost another top-10 class for John Calipari – 14th in a row since he took office in 2009 – but it will be the first stint in his tenure outside the top five in the national rankings.

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