Oklahoma basketball: Sooner transfer portal departures now up to three

Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune / USA

There is little question that the transfer portal has forever changed college sports, and it has become endemic within the Oklahoma basketball program the past three seasons.

Since the Sooners' 2023-24 season ended following the completion of the Big 12 postseason tournament in early March, three players, two of them starters for much of the season have announced they are transferring.

The first to reveal that decision was sophomore guard Otega Oweh, who was OU's second-leading scorer this season, averaging 11.4 points in all 32 games, 28 as a starter.

Late last week, it was reported the former Pittsburgh transfer John Hugely IV was also planning to transfer. The 6-foot, 10-inch, 275-pound forward/center missed the last eight games of the 2023-24 season with a knee injury. Hugely averaged 8.4 points off the bench in 24 games.

On Sunday, sophomore guard and team captain Milos Uzan, who his teammates an Moser always referred to as "Los" for short, became the third Oklahoma player to announce he was going into the portal. The 6-foot, 4-inch 2022 recruit averaged nine points, 4.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds this season and was the only Sooner player to start all 32 games. A Las Vegas native, Uzan played in 64 games for OU over two seasons and averaged 30.1 minutes per game.

When Porter Moser took over for the retired Lon Kruger following the 2020-21 season, he inherited a roster that had been seriously depleted with six players who had seen considerable action under Kruger, including three starters, electing to enter the transfer portal and a fourth starter and the team's leading scorer, Austin Reaves, out of eligibility.

Moser turned to the transfer portal to replenish the 2021-22 Sooner roster, brining in eight new players plus two four-star high school recruits. Virtually the same thing happened ahead of this past season, and the OU head coach added six new players through the portal to make up for what was lost from the previous season.

Perhaps the transfer portal and higher roster turnover is the new normal in college athletics, but it has certainly taken its toll on the continuity and chemistry that Moser and other college basketball coaches in building and sustaining a winning program.

The Oklahoma head coach, who will be entering his fourth season at the helm of the Sooner men, not only has the three spots left by the expected departures of Oweh, Hugely and Uzan but also those of guards LeTre Darthard, Rivaldo Soares and Maks Klanjseck, all of whom are out of eligibility.

As of now, Moser has four scholarship spots to fill for next season. All four are almost certain to come from the transfer portal. It will be important for any transfer additions not only to be a strong fit for the skills and positional needs the OU coaches are looking for but also fit the culture and character Moser is building with this team. Next season, the Sooners will begin play as a new member of the SEC.

Some of the reported targets Oklahoma is zeroing in on in the transfer portal include Brandon Garrison from Oklahoma State, Sean Pedulla from Virginia Tech and Kevin Overton from Drake, All three are rated as four-star transfers, according to 247Sports, and are from the state of Oklahoma. Garrison is a 6-foot, 11-inch center out of Oklahoma City, Overton a shooting guard, also out of the Oklahoma City area, and Pedulla is a point guard who hails from Edmond.