After the onslaught of departures the Oklahoma State Cowboys were unfortunate enough to experience this offseason, the reloading process has taken another step forward with the transfer of Serge Ibaka’s brother, Igor Ibaka.
Ibaka is a 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward who will be bringing his talents to the Cowboys from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, where he averaged 13.7 PPG and 9.6 RPG as a freshman. Before we all get too excited about Igor, just know that it doesn’t look like he will fill his brother’s massive shoes as the next great defensive juggernaut. But what he does have is tremendous athleticism, nice size and a shooting stroke that resembles that of Serge.
Ibaka is very raw is some parts of his game, but has strong physical abilities. If head coach Travis Ford and his staff can pour the right development efforts into him, he can definitely become a very valuable piece on a team that has disappointed in recent years.
Luckily for both Ibaka and the Cowboys, he will have to sit out his inaugural season at Oklahoma State due to the rules surrounding transfers. This will allow the Cowboys staff to put a significant amount of time into building Ibaka into a talent who will be able to survive in the much more competitive Big 12 Conference.
As for the Cowboys themselves, they have one more year with the current starting power forward in Le’Bryan Nash. Once he’s on his way out of the door, Oklahoma State will have a massive void to fill with his departure. But with the upside and physicality that comes along with Ibaka, they should have that vacant position marked off of their 2015 offseason needs list.