Ohio State lands versatile Oklahoma State transfer guard/forward Isaac Likekele

Adam Jardy
The Columbus Dispatch
Isaac Likekele averaged 7.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals for Oklahoma State last year.

For its final available roster spot, Ohio State was looking at the need for either another body down low or a player who could help handle some duties at the point.

They managed to find one player who has proven he can do both. Oklahoma State transfer Isaac Likekele announced his commitment to the Buckeyes on Wednesday, giving them a 6-foot-5, 215-pound veteran who can help at both point guard and power forward.

As a fourth-year player for the Cowboys, Likekele averaged 7.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals in 30 games. EvanMiya.com ranked him as the No. 22 overall transfer and a five-star talent.

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His addition gives the Buckeyes a full contingent of 13 scholarship players for the 2022-23 season and a proven commodity in the backcourt. Freshman Bruce Thornton, a four-star prospect from Alpharetta (Georgia) Milton, will also see significant minutes at the point guard position but now will have a veteran player to work with and learn from.

Likekele was honorable mention all-Big 12 during his second and third seasons with the Cowboys. Miya ranks him as the ninth-best defender in the portal, and he is expected to bring size, defensive toughness and offensive versatility to an Ohio State roster seeking to replace 85.9% of its points, 71.6% of its rebounds and 83.6% of its minutes played from this past season. In league play last season, Likekele finished eighth in assist rate (22.3), 10th in fouls per 40 minutes (2.1), 18th in offensive rebounding percentage (6.5%) and 22nd in defensive rebounding percentage (14.3%), according to KenPom.com.

Isaac Likekele averaged 7.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals for Oklahoma State last year.

For his career, Likekele has averaged 8.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.4 steals while shooting 27.9% (19 for 68) from 3-point range and 46.0% (383 for 832) overall. As a sophomore, he was dubbed the "linebacker at point guard" by ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla. By the time his senior season began, Likekele was already only the seventh player in school history with at least 300 assists, 400 rebounds and 100 steals.

He picked Ohio State ahead of Arizona, Tennessee and Clemson, among others. The Buckeyes were able to establish a connection through newly hired assistant coach Jack Owens and hosted him for an official visit.

Isaac Likekele averaged 7.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals for Oklahoma State last year.

Likekele will have one season of eligibility with the Buckeyes. He is the third player to join the program via the transfer portal along with West Virginia’s Sean McNeil and Wright State’s Tanner Holden. Miya ranks them as the Nos. 78 and 98 transfers, respectively, and four-star prospects.

A native of Arlington, Texas, Likekele was a three-star prospect ranked No. 156 in the 2018 class according to the 247Sports.com composite database. He initially committed to Fresno State before decommitting and signing with Oklahoma State.

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy

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