(Courtesy: NMSU Athletics)
LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -One of the primary pieces to the puzzle during Sam Houston's historic run last season is now an Aggie.
Head Coach Jason Hooten announced Tuesday morning that former Bearkat big man Kaosi Ezeagu will be donning Crimson & White this fall.
Kaosi Ezeagu | Sr. | 6-10 | Bramton, Ontario, Canada | Sam Houston | UTEP | Kansas State | GTA Prep
- In his final season at Sam Houston, the junior appeared in 33 of the Bearkats' 34 games – starting all 33 contests while averaging 5.8 points and 3.8 rebounds to help Sam Houston tie a program-best record in wins with 26.
- In his lone season under Hooten, Ezeagu also helped the Bearkats earn their second-ever appearance in the NIT and first NIT win in program history.
- Ezeagu was the Bearkats' most efficient scorer, shooting a blistering 59.3% (83-140) from the field during the 2022-23 season.
- He also consistently created second-chance opportunities for the Bearkat offense as nearly half of his 126 rebounds came from SHSU missed shots. On the year, he pulled in 57 offensive boards (1.7 per game) to pace Sam Houston.
- On the defensive end, he served as Sam Houston's top rim protector, leading the Bearkats in blocked shots with 16 on the season.
- In total, Ezeagu posted double-digit scoring efforts five times last season, including posting 10 points in the Bearkats' 58-56 win over Santa Clara in the opening round of the NIT. He also pulled down five or more rebounds in 12 contests.
- Prior to transferring to Sam Houston, Ezeagu spent two seasons in Manhattan, Kan., playing for Bruce Weber at Kansas State. With the Wildcats, Ezeagu saw action in 44 games and made 18 starts, averaging 4.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.
- During the 2021-22, he appeared in 25 games and earned starts in each of the Wildcats' first 12 tilts. He nearly doubled his minute total from 2020-21 as he logged 639 minutes, including recording a season-high 25 minutes against Wichita State on Dec. 5, 2021.
- In his final season at KSU, Ezeagu averaged 4.2 points while maintaining a team-best 68.5% shooting clip and bringing in 2.7 rebounds per game. He also scored in double figures twice and posted a season-high 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting versus North Dakota.
- Ezeagu recorded minutes in 19 games and made six starts during his sophomore campaign at Kansas State. Following mid-season knee surgery, Ezeagu returned to the floor and played in the Wildcats' final 15 games, including earning back-to-back starts versus No. 2 Baylor and Texas A&M.
- Paced KSU in blocked shots with 13 rejections in his first season with the program. He also averaged 5.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game while ranking second on the team in field goal percentage at 56.1%.
- Ezeagu saw action in 12 Big 12 games as a sophomore and averaged 5.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 15.4 minutes per game while shooting 57.5% from the field in one of the nation's top collegiate leagues.
- Ezeagu's collegiate career started just 40 miles south of Las Cruces in El Paso, Texas, where he suited up for Rodney Terry at UTEP for the 2018-19 season.
- As a true freshman with the Miners, Ezeagu played in 29 games and made eight starts while averaging 3.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 12.4 minutes per game. He also was the team leader in field goal percentage, shooting 56.9% from the field.
- In his lone season with the Aggie rival, Ezeagu finished just two rebounds shy of 100 total boards to rank first among Miner reserves. He hauled in five or more rebounds on seven occasions and grabbed a season-high nine rebounds three times, including doing so against NM State on Nov. 28, 2018.
- Before his time at UTEP, Ezeagu attended prep school in Brampton, Ontario, where he was rated one of the top prep players in Canada and the only player in the league to average a double-double after averaging 11.4 points and 10.4 rebounds at GTA Prep at Mississauga School in 2017-18.
- Was also named the Defensive Player of the Year by the National Preparatory Association and was selected as the co-MVP of the Signature All-Canadian Showcase.
- In 2016-17, he played at Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga, Tenn., and helped the Hawks post a 31-7 overall record, including a USA National Prep Tournament championship.
- Ezeagu also played soccer, volleyball and football in high school. He is originally from Nassau, Bahamas, and is the son of James and Patience Ezeagu. He also has one brother, Benjamin.
QUOTABLE | Head Coach Jason Hooten
"Once Kaosi hit the portal we knew he would be a terrific addition to our culture and program. This last season, Kaosi played his best basketball ever, and I'm so excited to have the opportunity to coach him once again. Kaosi is a high-IQ player that also takes a lot of pride in his academics and is pursuing a master's degree. His work ethic and dedication to improving his skill level and taking care of his body is as good as anyone I have ever coached!"