As the basketball offseason continues and we move into the fall, Land-Grant Holy Land will put out our basketball player and team previews. There will be two previews a week leading all the way into the start of the season, beginning with player previews.
Last time we finished up the freshmen on the team and discussed Brice Sensabaugh and what he can bring to the program as a freshman. This time around, we are going to knock out one the three transfers coming into the program, starting with Oklahoma State transfer Isaac Likekele.
Name: Isaac Likekele
Weight: 215 pounds
High School: Timberview High School
Former College: Oklahoma State University
Class: Graduate senior
2021-22 stats: 7.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3.4 APG
Likekele was the third and final transfer to commit to Chris Holtmann and the Buckeyes for the 2022-23 season, and was the one that came out of the blue. “Ice” as he is known to teammates and coaches, played in 114 career games at Oklahoma State and started in 110, so he was productive in Stillwater from the jump.
Coming out of high school, he was ranked as the No. 156 recruit in the 2018 class, the No. 26 point guard and the No. 10 player in the state of Texas. He committed originally to Fresno State, but ended up going to Oklahoma State. He was only in the transfer portal this past offseason for a week before committing to Ohio State.
Last season, Likekele averaged 7.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. He shot 43.7 percent from the field, 19 percent from the three-point line and 54 percent from the free-throw line. Likekele is not the best shooter, but that is not what he will be relied upon with the Buckeyes. They will need him to help run the offense and use his big frame to create his own shot in the lane, as well as create for others.
He was the 44th player in Oklahoma State history to surpass the 1,000-point mark, and the only player in Cowboy history to record 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 400 assists. He started all 30 games last season, and averaged over 30 minutes per game, so he has a motor that just keeps going.
For his career as a Cowboy, almost all of his stats and shooting splits are higher than last season. He averaged 8.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game while shooting 46 percent from the field, 27 percent from the three-point line and 62 percent from the free-throw line.
As is the case with all three of the transfers coming to Columbus, Likekele will be expected to step in and make an impact from day one. He can easily play 25-30 minutes per game once he proves to be one of the most consistent guys on the roster, which he should do fairly early.
He averaged about 30 minutes per game at Oklahoma State during his career, but he was never on a team as deep as the Buckeyes are this year, and could see a slight dip in minutes because of that.
Likekele is going to be a main fixture in the lineup this season, and could very well be a starter at the one or the two. He is a veteran that is reliable with the ball, plays both ends of the floor at a high level and can bring leadership and experience to a fairly young team that will be playing four freshmen.
My current prediction, and this could very well change since its only early September, is that Likekele will start at the two next to freshman Bruce Thornton. Sean McNeil and Eugene Brown are also candidates to start at the two, and there is a small chance the Buckeyes coaching staff goes Tanner Holden-Justice Sueing at the two and the three, but Likekele makes the most sense at this current time. Plus, it would help take some pressure off of true freshman Bruce Thornton to not be the lone ball handler on the floor.
(Trigger warning, this video contains Oral Roberts)