LOGAN, Utah – Utah State head men’s basketball coach Tim Duryea announced on Saturday the signing of Missouri State-West Plains (West Plains, Mo.) forward Ngor (Gor) Barnaba who will have two years of eligibility and will join the team for the 2016-17 season.
Barnaba, a 6-foot-8, 235 pound forward, led the Grizzlies in both scoring and rebounding last season, averaging 14.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. His point total included 23 double-digit scoring outings, including six games with 20 or more points. Barnaba scored a season-high 27 points against Iowa Western, where he shot 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from the floor, 80.0 percent (4-of-5) from behind the 3-point line and 75.0 percent (3-of-4) from the free throw line. On the year, Barnaba was 47.1 percent (168-of-357) from the floor, 37.9 percent (53-of-140) from behind the 3-point line and 70.3 percent (52-of-74) from the free throw line.
On the glass, Barnaba recorded double-digit rebounds in six games, including a season-high 21 against Graceland University, where he pulled down 12 offensive and nine defensive rebounds. Barnaba’s scoring and rebounding totals led to five double-doubles on the year against Graceland University (17 pts/21 rebs), St. Louis (22 pts/12 rebs), Three Rivers (17 pts/12 rebs), Quakerdale Prep (14 pts/11 rebs) and Mineral Area (15 pts/10 rebs).
Defensively, Barnaba totaled 24 steals and 11 blocks as the Grizzlies finished the year with an overall mark of 19-11.
Prior to MSUWP, Barnaba prepped at John Marshall High School in Rochester, Minn., where he was a three-year starter and a three-time all-conference honoree. Before joining the Aggies, Barnaba was also being recruited by Memphis, Nebraska, Texas Tech and Illinois State.
“We are very excited to add Ngor to our program,” Duryea said. “He is somebody who can help us immediately at the power forward position. He is a rare combination of a guy who is big and strong enough to rebound at the block and at the offensive end can extend the floor because he is a good 3-point shooter.
“He has the ability to score from the block all the way to the 3-point line, is a good free throw shooter and a good passer,” he continued. “He possesses a rare skill set for a player his size.”
Barnaba joins an incoming group of post players that are all 6-8 or taller, including Norbert Janicek (6-11), Klay Stall (6-9) and Daron Henson (6-8). They will be complimented by a pair of guards in Sam Merrill (Bountiful High School), returning from an LDS Church Mission in Nicaragua, and four-star recruit Koby McEwen (Wasatch Academy).
Utah State also returns three starters in senior wing Jalen Moore, sophomore Quinn Taylor and senior guard Shane Rector. Duryea confirmed that senior forward Lew Evans will not return as he will be graduating this summer and has been granted his release from the program to pursue other options.
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