March 6, 2021; Richmond, Virginia, USA; St. Bonaventure forward Bonnie Osun Osoniyi (21) saved St. Louis Pelicans striker Hassan French (11) in the first half of the Atlantic 10 Semifinals at Stewart C. Siegel Center. Mandatory credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Next season’s Hurricane will be one of the best shot-blockers in college basketball.
St. Bonaventure Center, two-time Atlantic Top 10 Defensive, has announced he will join Iowa State as a transfer for the grads next season. The Pleasantville, New Jersey native, who is 6-foot-10 and 220 pounds, announced on his Instagram feed on Friday.
“They (the staff) have built a great relationship in the whole process from the moment I walked into the gate,” said Osoniyi. fanatical whirlwind of his commitment. “They connected with my family and just built a great relationship with all of us.”
Osunniyi is one of the best tire protectors in the long history of the Atlantic 10 Conference, ranking eighth all-time in professional blocks (304) and seventh in professional blocks per game (2.7). 898 career rebounds and 8.1 rebounds per game with an average standings of 24 and 16 in league history respectively.
The Putnam Academy of Sciences product has received 10 All-Atlantic awards on three occasions, including back-to-back second-team nods in 2020-21 and 2021-22. He was also named to the Atlantic 10 All-Defense after all four seasons with the Bonnies while taking home a DPOY award in each of the past two years.
“I see myself as a defensive anchor,” Osoniyi said. “I feel like one of the best defensive players in the country, especially with blocking, and I feel like I can bring that to Iowa State and help protect the edge at a really high level. Like I said, the coaches plan for me is not just to be a defensive player, but to help build I played on the offensive side.”
In 2021-22, Osunniyi averaged 11.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks in 30.6 minutes per game. He started 93 of the 111 appearances he appeared in at Saint Bonaventure.
For his career, Osunniyi averages 9.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game. He was named the 2021 Atlantic 10 MVP after helping the Bonnies earn an automatic league bid for the NCAA Championship.
Osunniyi visited Ames last weekend before selecting Cyclones over a list of other suitors who reportedly included Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, LSU, Maryland, Texas, Iowa and Florida.
“Just the atmosphere,” Osoniyi said when asked what happened on the visit. “How it all felt, meeting all the coaches in person. Just actually coming down to campus and seeing everything, it just kind of made me feel like this was the place to be.”
Osunniyi’s commitment left Iowa State with one scholarship left open for the 2022-23 season. That place will likely be left open for another top-ranked goalkeeper as Northern Iowa transfer and two-time Missouri Valley player of the year, AJ Green, son of Iowa State assistant coach Kyle Green.
Osunniyi is Iowa’s fifth transitional addition to this enlistment cycle, joining Saint Bonaventure teammate Garen Holmes, Temple guard Jeremiah Williams, VCU forward Hasson Ward and Georgetown forward Trey King.
The additions of Osunniyi and Ward should raise the defensive level for Iowa State, which has already ranked among the best in the country during the 2021-22 season.
“I feel happy,” Osunii said when asked if it was a relief to finish the transfer. “I feel comfortable and I’m happy where I am and I’m just ready to get down there and go to work.”