College basketball: Case graduate Ozier transferring to Louisiana Monroe
College basketball

College basketball: Case graduate Ozier transferring to Louisiana Monroe

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Ozier_Koreem_baseline_Drive.jpg (copy)

Former Case High School All-State guard Koreem Ozier is transferring from Sacred Heart to Louisiana Monroe. Ozier, Case's all-time leading scorer, will be a junior when he is eligible to play in 2021 after a red-shirt season.

Koreem Ozier is taking his game to the Deep South.

After two formative seasons for Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., the former Case High School All-State guard is transferring to Louisiana Monroe. He will have two years of eligibility remaining starting in 2021 after his redshirt season.

Koreem Ozier

Ozier

Ozier, Case’s all-time leading scorer, could not be reached for comment. But he tweeted Thursday, “Thank you Sacred Heart for 2 great years. I would also like to thank all the Division 1 programs that recruited me, but after following my heart and trusting the process, I’ve decided to the University of Louisiana Monroe.”

Louisiana Monroe, coached by Keith Richard, went 9-20 last season, including 5-15 in the Sun Belt Conference. It was reported that Mexico, East Carolina, Georgetown, Georgia, North Carolina-Charlotte and Vanderbilt were among the programs in contact with Ozier after he decided to transfer.

Keith Richard

Richard

Ozier averaged 14.0 points in each of his two seasons at Sacred Heart and started 46 of 54 games. He was named to the All-Rookie team of the Northeast Conference as a freshman and earned first-team All-NEC honors last season after averaging 14.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals.

“We had spoken and that is what he told me he was going to do,” Sacred Heart coach Anthony Latina said. “We wished him luck, supported him and I hope he does great.”

Anthony Latina

Latina

Ozier went 146 of 379 (38.4%) from from the floor, including 24 for 68 (35.3%) from 3-point range last season. He was instrumental in the the Pioneers improving from 15-17 his freshman year to 20-13 last season.

Ozier_Koreem_defense.jpg

Former Case High School All-State guard Koreem Ozier plays defense during Sacred Heart's 104-82 loss to St. John's on Dec. 22 at Queens, N.Y. Ozier, a 6-1 freshman guard, graduated from Case High School.

“He had a real good two years and helped us win a lot of games,” Latina said. “We were very pleased with his progress on the court and off the court. I think he matured a lot. He made some mistakes in his time with us, but we feel he was trending in the right direction.

“I think maybe he just wanted a change of scenery. I don’t know. He expressed that to us and we’re going to have a lot of new faces, so maybe he just felt it was his time. We try to support our guys in every way and we don’t want to hold anyone back. If he feels he’s better off somewhere else, we’re OK with that.”

Ozier was named the All-Racine County Player of the Year and earned second-team Associated Press All-State honors as a senior at Case in 2017 after averaging 30.4 points per game. He ranks first on Case’s all-time scoring list with 1,405 points despite having just 94 through his sophomore season.

He moved on to Scotland Campus Sports, a prep school in Scotland, Pa., where he averaged 17.4 points, 7.2 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game in one season. He then signed with Sacred Heart in April 2018.

“I feel it was a good two years for him and a good two years for us,” Latina said. “He’s matured, he’s on schedule to graduate, which is very important to me and to him.

“Hopefully, he’ll do great there. I want nothing but really great things for him.”

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