Report: Former Oklahoma forward Anyang Garang transfers to UMBC

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Edward Lee, Baltimore Sun
·2 min read
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After the exodus of head coach Ryan Odom, his staff and two top players last month, the UMBC men’s basketball program appears to have finally gotten a spot of good news.

Former Oklahoma forward Anyang Garang has agreed to transfer to the Retrievers, according to reports. The 6-foot-9, 205-pound redshirt freshman appeared in five games this past season for the Sooners, scoring four points and collecting four rebounds.

Garang, a graduate of the NBA Global Academy who fled civil war-torn Uganda for Australia, entered the transfer portal after Lon Kruger announced March 25 that he was retiring as head coach at Oklahoma. The only coach to helm five different NCAA Division I schools to victories in the NCAA tournament and the only coach to take four teams to at least the Sweet Sixteen since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985, Kruger went 195-128 in 10 seasons with the Sooners and 674-432 in 35 years as a head coach.

Garang joins a UMBC program that announced April 12 the hiring of former Duquesne and Penn State coach Jim Ferry Jr. Ferry, who has compiled a 314-265 record in 19 years at three NCAA Division I, one Division II and one Division III schools, was the interim head coach at Penn State after Pat Chambers resigned on Oct. 21. The Nittany Lions completed an 11-14 overall record and a 7-12 mark in the Big Ten last winter.

Garang’s transfer is a glimmer of optimism after a tumultuous April that began when Odom left April 5 for the head coaching vacancy at Utah State.

Odom, who has a 126-81 overall record as a head coach after stints at UNC Charlotte and Division II’s Lenoir-Rhyne, guided the Retrievers to a 97-60 overall record and a 50-29 mark in the America East in five seasons. In his second year in 2017-18, UMBC won its first conference tournament crown since 2008 and became the first No. 16 seed to upend a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament when it shocked Virginia, 74-54, before falling, 50-43, to No. 9 seed Kansas State in the second round.

Shortly after Odom’s departure, assistant coaches Matt Henry, Bryce Crawford and Nate Dixon, director of player development Billy Bales and graduate assistant Noah Ralby followed their boss to the Aggies. And junior point guard R.J. Eytle-Rock — who led the team in scoring at 14.3 points per game and assists at 2.5 per game this past winter — and senior power forward Brandon Horvath — a Harwood resident and Southern graduate who led in rebounding at 8.7 per game and ranked second in scoring at 13.1 points — transferred to Utah State.

Ferry could not be reached for comment.