‘Keep that motor going:’ Gus Okafor’s career high helps seal a win at home


Mia Hennen / The Sunflower

After slamming Craig Porter Jr.’s pass into the basket, senior forward Gus Okafor yells on Nov. 26 inside Charles Koch Arena. The Shockers won, 83-71.

Senior forward Gus Okafor had his best game offensively as a Shocker Saturday night, scoring 27 points and collecting eight rebounds, leading the Shockers to a 83-71 win against Tarleton State at home.

“That’s the Gus that we’ve been seeing everyday in practice,” head coach Isaac Brown said.  “A guy that can score the basketball inside out, and he did a fantastic job on the glass.”

Okafor is a transfer from Southeastern Louisiana where he averaged 12.4 points and 6.5 rebounds during the 2020-21 season. Okafor is a part of a 12 man recruiting class from the NCAA transfer portal this season. 

“Since he’s got here, he’s just showed that he has a motor and can do it at all three levels,” senior point guard Craig Porter Jr. said. “His size alone … he might not be the tallest, but his size and athleticism makes up for it. I mean, we are just thankful he’s here.”

Okafor said his success against Tarleton State has to do with going hard every day in practice to earn playing time.

“Just play hard all the time,” Okafor said. “Even when we have, like, back-to-back practices and games. Just continue to keep that motor going so when it’s game time, it’s natural.” 

Okafor started the first three games for the men’s basketball team this season. After the Alcorn State University game, Okafor has started off each game from the bench.  

Brown said Okafor’s lack of presence on the court towards the beginning of the season had to do with adjusting to a new team. He said Oakfor started to hone in on the little aspects of the game — rebounding, defending, playing with toughness, taking good shots and playing in the system. 

“All those guys [transfer players] are just trying to figure it out,” Brown said. “This is new to all of them.” 

Up next, the Shockers will play the University of Missouri on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. After that, they’ll head to Manhattan to play Kansas State University  on Dec. 3 at 8 p.m.