The University of Tulsa's Ben Uzoh was one of 64 of college basketball's top seniors to compete in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament this past week. He led his team to a third-place finish with three solid performances, averaging over 14 points per game in front of representatives from every...[details]
2010 (Senior):HEADER BENJAMIN IZOURA UZOH Point Guard/Shooting Guard University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane #1 6:02.7-196 San Antonio, Texas Warren High School
OVERVIEW An athletic combo guard, the three-time All-Conference USA selection was a mainstay in the Golden Hurricane lineup since his freshman year, starting 140 games for Tulsa while sharing the school record by participating in 141 contests. An explosive finisher at the rim, he is the only player in school history to rank in the Top Ten in scoring (third with 1,951), rebounds (ninth with 705), assists (third with 425), steals (eighth with 162) and blocked shots (sixth with 99).
Uzoh also etched his name in the record books for free throws made (second with 461), successful field goals (fourth with 657) and three-point field goals made (fifth with 173). His impressive performance placed him third in Conference USA in free throws made, fifth in scoring and seventh in field goals made.
The talented shooter led the team in scoring 47 times, in assists 73 times, in steals 52 times and in rebounding 22 times. Just the third player in Tulsa annals to record over 400 assists, he scored in double figures 109 times during his 141-game career. He became the 32nd player in Golden Hurricane annals to become a member of the 1,000-point club, as he collected at least 20 points in 28 contests, posted eight games with at least 10 rebounds and was credited with eight double-double performances.
Prior to rewriting the Tulsa record charts, Uzoh lettered three times in basketball at Warren High School, helping his team register records of 35-5 as a junior and 30-10 his senior season. He was rated as the seventh-best player in the state of Texas by Texas Roundball and had a ranking of 24th in Texashoops.com. He was named the San Antonio Express-News Area Player of the Year and was a first-team Class 5A All-State, All-District and All-Region selection as a senior, adding MVP of District 27-5A accolades that year.
Uzoh averaged 23.0 points and 9.5 rebounds as a senior, as he also had averages of 3.0 assists and 3.0 steals. He shot 58-percent from the field, 36-percent from three-point range and 83-percent from the free throw line. That season, he led his team to the Class 5A state tournament, in only the school's fourth year of existence.
As a freshman at Tulsa, Uzoh started 30 games, averaging 9.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. The Conference USA All-Freshman team choice had 17 double-figure scoring games, leading the team in steals 10 times, blocks 10 times, scoring seven times, rebounding six times and assists three times. His 306 points scored rank as the third-highest by a Tulsa freshman.
Uzoh garnered second-team All-Conference USA honors as a sophomore. Starting all 39 games, he averaged 15.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He chipped in 88 assists with 39 steals, as the guard tallied 34 double-figure scoring games and had nine 20-plus point performances.
As a junior, Uzoh was again awarded All-Conference USA second-team accolades. In 36 games, he led Tulsa in scoring with a 14.0-point average and in assists (3.6 per game) and steals (1.5 per game), as he also averaged 4.9 rebounds per game. He posted a team-best six games with at least 20 points on the board for the Golden Hurricane.
Uzoh's game continued to elevate, and that was recognized by the league's coaches, as he was named to the All-Conference USA first-team in 2009-10. He scored 534 points (15.3 per game) with a 76.5-percent success mark from the foul line. He registered 12 20-point games while scoring in double figures 27 times. He also led the 4.7 assists and had 4.7 rebounds per game.
GAME ANALYSIS Totaled 14 points, five assists and four rebounds in 31 minutes at Kent State in the NIT...Had 18 points, five rebounds and six assists vs. #4-seed Marshall in the C-USA Tournament Quarterfinal game...Totaled 20 points, four assists and two rebounds vs. SMU in his final game at the Reynolds Center...Had 22 points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks in 40 minutes at home vs. UTEP...Scored a game-high 22 points and added four rebounds, three assists and two blocks at Marshall...Had 20 points and a career-best 10 assists in 40 minutes vs. Memphis, and missed a triple double by two rebounds as he grabbed eight boards...Had 21 points, five rebounds and four assists at Houston...Totaled 20 points, six assists and three rebounds in the C-USA opener vs. Tulane...Tallied a season-high 23 points and added three assists vs. Nebraska...Had 22 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and added two steals with zero turnovers in 27 minutes vs. Jackson State...Totaled 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists vs. Ohio...Tallied 20 points, including 17 in the second half, and added five rebounds at Missouri State...Had 22 points, a season-high 11 rebounds and added five assists vs. Loyola Marymount...Scored 20 points and added seven rebounds and four assists vs. Arkansas-Little Rock.
GAME ANALYSIS 2008-09 SEASON Played and started all 36 games, earning All-Conference USA second-team honors, as Uzoh led Tulsa in scoring with a 14.0 average (503 total), making 43.8 percent of his field goals (169-of-386), 32.8 percent of his treys (40-of-122) and 79.1 percent of his free throws (125-of-158)... Also paced the team with 128 assists (3.6 per game) and 54 steals (1.5 per game)...Tallied 175 rebounds (4.9 per game)...Led Tulsa in scoring 10 times, assists 25 times and steals 17 times, as he also produced had six 20-point scoring games.
2008-09 SEASON Had 13 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals vs. Auburn in the NIT second round...Tallied 13 points, six rebounds and four assists vs. Northwestern in the NIT first round...Had 11 points, five rebounds and four assists vs. Alabama-Birmingham in the C-USA semifinals...Had 14 points, seven assists and three steals in the C-USA Tournament quarterfinal game vs. Rice...Tallied 20 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals at SMU...Collected 12 points, eight rebounds and three assists vs. Houston...Had team-highs of 23 points, six rebounds and two steals vs. East Carolina...Had 12 points and a team-leading six rebounds, while sharing the lead for assists and steals at Marshall...Totaled 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 39 minutes at UTEP...Tied his season-high of 25 points at Tulane, and added five assists and four rebounds...Played all 40 minutes at home vs. Memphis and had 16 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and two steals...totaled 11 points, five assists, five steals and three rebounds in 38 minutes at Charlotte...Had 15 points, three assists and a career-high six steals vs. Brigham Young...Totaled a season-best 25 points, and added six assists, three rebounds and two blocks vs. Texas-Arlington...Had 15 points and 5 rebounds vs. Loyola-Marymount...Totaled 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in 36 minutes in a win over Texas A&M...Tallied 15 points, a career-high nine assists, seven rebounds and three steals vs. North Carolina Central...Had 20 points vs. both ORU and Oklahoma State.
GAME ANALYSIS 2007-08 SEASON All-Conference USA second-team choice, as he started all 39 games...Scored a career-best 608 points (15.6 per game), delivering on 208-of-426 field goals (48.8 percent), 55-of-157 three-pointers (35.0 percent) and 137-of-170 free throws (80.6 percent)...Snatched 212 rebounds (5.4 per game) to go with 29 blocked shots, 39 steals and 88 assists from the off-guard position...Scored in double figures 34 times, including nine 20-plus point performances.
2007-08 SEASON Produced 17 points and five rebounds in the final game of the CBI Championship vs. Bradley, as he also had nine points, six assists and five rebounds in the second game vs. Bradley...had a team-high 22 points, eight rebounds and three assists vs. Houston in the CBI semifinals...tallied a game-high 22 points and added four rebounds vs. Utah...had 16 points, three rebounds and three assists vs. Miami...had 13 points and three rebounds in the C-USA Championship Game vs. #2-ranked Memphis...totaled 17 points, five rebounds and two assists vs. UTEP in the C-USA semifinals...had 21 points, three assists and two steals vs. Alabama-Birmingham in the C-USA Tournament second round and scored 15 points and eight rebounds vs. East Carolina in the first round of the C-USA Tournament...had 15 points, three rebounds and two assists vs. Central Florida in the regular season finale...had 15 points, two rebounds and two blocks at UAB...totaled 14 points, six assists and four rebounds vs. Marshall...had 17 points, four assists and three rebounds at #2-ranked Memphis...had a game-high 26 points and added three rebounds and two steals, while knocking down career-highs of 10 field goals and six free throws vs. Presbyterian...tallied a game-high 15 points vs. Rice...scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds vs. Southern Miss...had 17 points, five rebounds and five assists at Houston...tallied 18 points, seven rebounds and four steals vs. SMU (2-2-08)...scored 10 points and had a team-high nine rebounds at Marshall...had his fourth career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds vs. Tulane...tallied 25 points, six boards and eight assists at UCF...scored 15 points and had five rebounds at Colorado...had 16 points vs. Mississippi Valley...tallied 18 points and four rebounds vs. South-east Missouri State...collected career-highs of 28 points and 14 rebounds vs. Central Arkansas...had 21 points and 10 rebounds vs. Arkansas-Little Rock for his second career double-double...had a game-high 20 points vs. North Florida...also had team-highs of 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists vs. Oral Roberts .
2009-10 SEASON All-Conference USA first-team selection...Started all 35 games, ranking second on the team in scoring with 534 points (15.3 per game), as he connected on 184-of-403 field goals (45.7 percent), 49-of-143 three-pointers (34.3 percent) and 117-of-153 free throws (76.5 percent)...Grabbed 163 rebounds (4.7 per game), as he had a team-high 163 assists and 34 steals...Also blocked 26 shots...Fouled out once, as he was charged with 60 personal fouls and 80 turnovers...Scored at least 20 points in 12 contests and tallied at least 10 points 27 times...Led the team in scoring 12 times, in assists 21 times, in steals 12 times, in blocked shots seven times and in rebounds three times.
2006-07 SEASON Conference USA All-Freshman team selection...Played in all 31 games and had 30 starts...Totaled 306 points (9.9 per game), the third highest point total in school history by a freshman...Also registered 155 rebounds (5.0 per game), 46 assists, 26 blocks and 35 steals...Posted 17 double-figure scoring games, as he led Tulsa in steals 10 times, blocks 10 times, scoring seven times, rebounding six times and assists three times...Delivered the best scoring performance in a freshman debut at TU since November, 1993, with his 23-point, nine rebound performance vs. St. Gregory's.
CAREER NOTES The only player in school history to rank in the top 10 in scoring, rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots, Uzoh's 1,951 points rank behind Shea Seals (2,288 points, 1993-97) and Steve Harris (2,272 points, 1981-85) in Tulsa annals and placed fifth in Conference USA history...His 464 free throws made rank third in league history and are topped by only Seals (535) on the school all-time record chart...His 657 field goals made are good for fourth on the Golden Hurricane career-record list...His 705 rebounds rank ninth in school annals and his 425 assists are surpassed by only Byron Boudreaux (457, 1983-87) and Greg Harrington (551, 1998-2002) on the Tulsa all-time record chart...Ranks eighth in school history with 162 steals and sixth with 99 blocked shots...Played in 141 games, tying Greg Harrington (1998-2002) for the school career-record...Scored in double-digits in 109 games -- 17 times as a freshman, 34 times as a sophomore, 31 games as a junior and 27 as a senior...Became the 32nd player in school history to score over 1,000 career points...Led Tulsa in scoring in 47 games, 73 times in assists, 52 times in steals and 22 times in rebounding...Produced 28 career 20-plus scoring games, as he also had seven career double-digit rebounding games and eight career double-doubles, including one for double-digit points and assists.
HIGH SCHOOL Attended Warren (San Antonio, Tex.) High School, lettering three times in basketball for head coach Jake Keller...Helped his team register records of 35-5 as a junior and 30-10 his senior season...Rated as the seventh-best player in the state of Texas by Texas Roundball and had a ranking of 24th in Texashoops.com...Named the San Antonio Express-News Area Player of the Year and was a first-team Class 5A All-State, All-District and All-Region selection as a senior, adding MVP of District 27-5A accolades that year...Averaged 23.0 points and 9.5 rebounds as a senior, as he also had averages of 3.0 assists and 3.0 steals...Shot 58-percent from the field, 36-percent from three-point range and 83-percent from the free throw line...That season, he led his team to the Class 5A state tournament, in only the school's fourth year of existence.
PERSONAL Exercise Sports Science major...Son of Caroline and Francis Uzoh...Born Benjamin Izoura Uzoh on 3/18/88 in Houston, Texas...Resides in San Antonio, Texas.
SCOUTING REPORT Positives: Impressive-looking athlete with the greatest wingspan (6-foot-9) of any guard in attendance at this year's Portsmouth Tournament...Has an impressive standing reach (8-foot-5) with good strength to drive through traffic...More of a combo guard than a true point guard, but has a variety of moves on the way to the basket...Explosive leaper with the ability to rebound and contest shots...Has quick feet and a good handle pushing the ball to create mismatches vs. small point guards, thanks to his tall, strong frame...Might be more valuable as a versatile swingman, thanks to his long limbs and a developed frame...Has excellent quickness on the fast break and can utilize his power to consistently battle on the wing...His quickness and versatility allowed the Tulsa staff to play him at off-guard and point forward when going to an up-tempo game...When isolated vs. a slower wing player, he can easily slash to the basket...Efficient rebounder with a smooth jump shot from long range, doing a nice job of mixing in jab steps and pump fakes to elude his man en route to the rim...Does an adequate job off the dribble delivering pull-up jumpers, using hesitation moves and a nice spin out of traffic... Solid footwork and above-average elevation on crossovers...Has a quick release when firing from the perimeter...Uses his body to clear and maintain position under the basket and has the explosive initial step to finish with authority...Despite lacking the size to battle frontcourt types, he knows how to use his body to slip and slide around his opponent and has the length to secure rebounds...Moves efficiently without the ball in his hands, does a good job coming off of screens and is creative enough with the ball in his hands to keep the defense honest...Good three-point shooter with a nice fade-away against tight defense... Attacks the basket with determination...Has good body control running up and down the court, but isn't a fit at the point in every offense...Shows the quick step to get a step on a defender and finish around the basket...Will sacrifice his body and gives extra effort...His big hands and wingspan help him get to difficult passes outside his normal range.
Negatives: Caught between guard positions but appears more comfortable as a scorer than as the primary facilitator...Can connect from the perimeter, but needs to set his feet and elevate, as his low release invites defenders to challenge his release...Has just adequate decision-making skills...While he has good court quickness, he has tightness in his hips which become noticeable when he tries to suddenly change direction...If he is to remain at the point in the NBA, he needs to make quicker decisions with the ball, especially in the half-court game... Will need work defending the screen-roll...Appears more comfortable playing off the ball when asked to defend, as his adequate lateral agility allows slashers to catch him out of position.
--Report by Dave-Te' Thomas
Compares To: RUSSELL WESTBROOK, Oklahoma City -- Westbrook might have better lateral agility and better ball-handling skills to play the point than Uzoh. But Uzoh won't embarrass if he has to play long minutes at that position in the NBA. Sure, he might not have the tall frame you look for in a shooting guard, but he can contribute as a scorer working inside, shooting from the perimeter, bringing the ball up court, altering and contesting shots and even fighting for rebounds. A team late in the second round could unearth quite a find in this combo guard.