The following is by the Montana State Athletic Department.
Montana State added size and athleticism to its front line Wednesday, signing College of Southern Idaho?s Paul Egwuonwu to a National Letter-of-Intent, Bobcat head coach Brad Huse announced.
An athletic, rangy post player, Egwuonwu, a 6?9, 235-pound forward, played an integral role last season for a Southern Idaho squad that won 31 games, with nine players logging between 18 and 29 minutes per game. Egwuonwu started 11 games for the Scenic West Conference champions and averaged 4.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
?Paul brings size and a real physical presence to the front line, along with being a very skilled player who has proven ability to play on the interior and the perimeter,? Huse said. ?He was part of a balanced team at one of the most successful programs in the country at CSI. He played the role asked of him this year, but we?ll look to him to be a more productive and assertive offensive player once he gets here, which he proved he can handle at Northwest Nazarene and in high school. He is a great person, a strong student, and is hungry to be a significant contributor at the Division I level. Coach Pfeifer did a great job identifying him and recruiting him throughout the year. ?
A native of Boise, the versatile center attended Northwest Nazarene University after graduating from Boise Capital High School, redshirting his first year as a 6-7, 190 lb freshman. Egwuonwu scored 10.5 points a game as a freshman, with 4.4 rebounds, and earned Great Northwest Freshman of the Year honors before transferring to CSI for the 2011-12 campaign.
?Paul was a glue guy on a team that won 31 games, won our conference, and played in the NJCAA National Tournament,? said CSI coach Steve Gosar. ?We had a team with lots of balance. Paul made plays that helped win games yet do not always show up in the stats. With that said, he was one of our team?s top rebounders and shot blockers. He could defend multiple positions and we often relied on him to be a stopper for us. Montana State University and Coach Huse are a great fit for Paul, and there?s no question his best basketball is in front of him.?
An all-conference choice at Capital as a senior, Egwuonwu set an Idaho record by hitting 10 three-point field goals in a state tournament game in 2009. He averaged 12.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots per game as a senior, earning academic all-conference honors. Egwuonwu did not begin playing basketball until his sophomore year in high school.
?When you consider how far he has come physically since his senior year in high school, Paul has certainly developed himself into a Division I player,? Huse said. ?On top of that, he has a great basketball IQ and is really skilled with the ball in his hands as a scorer and passer. With him, Danny (Robison), Ryan (Shannon), and Flavien (Davis, all recent MSU signees), we?ve added size, versatility and skill to the front court, which were huge needs for us.?