Former School: Oklahoma, North Texas
New School: DePaul
Years Remaining: One
Recruiting Ranking: Unranked
2021-22 Stats: 13.3 ppg/2.1 rpg/1.5 apg/32.1 mpg; 43.5%/39.0%/87.1%
Tony Stubblefield needed to replace plenty of scoring and leadership this offseason with the departures of Javon Freeman-Liberty, David Jones, and Brandon Johnson. In the former-Oklahoma and North Texas standout Umoja Gibson, Stubblefield should find both.
“[H]is veteran presence will make an immediate impact on our team,” said Stubblefield in a release when Gibson committed to DePaul in June. Gibson has played 128 games in his career, including 62 at Oklahoma over the past two seasons.
The Waco, TX native was unranked coming out of high school, but he has started 106 of the 128 games he has played. “He’s the hardest worker I think we’ve ever had,” said Gibson’s high school coach Ricardo Felix. Thanks to plenty of late nights and early mornings in the gym, Gibson earned himself opportunities at North Texas. He was named to the CUSA All-Freshmen Team in 2019 as a redshirt freshman, and he followed that up by being named to the All-CUSA Second Team as a sophomore.
Gibson transferred to Oklahoma for the 2020-21 season, where he started 15 games and averaged 9.1 points. In his second year with the Sooners, Gibson started all 35 games. He led the team in scoring with 13.3 points and made 92-of-236 3-point attempts.
What’s His Game?
Gibson is a true 3-and-D shooting guard. Sixty-eight percent of his career field goal attempts have been from beyond the arc, and his steal percentage has been 2.5 percent or higher in each of his full seasons.
Per KenPom.com, Gibson played 70 percent of Oklahoma’s minutes at shooting guard and 19 percent at point guard last year. He was at his best off the ball where he could work to get open for 3-point shots.
Gibson was particularly strong as a shooter from the corners. On this play, he cuts hard to the corner and hits the shot through contact.
Gibson (2) is a career 39.6% 3pt shooter on 6.7 attempts per game. Here, he knocks down the catch-and-shoot corner 3 through contact. He hit the free throw to complete the 4pt play. pic.twitter.com/ptaNyI2M6f— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) July 27, 2022
He is very comfortable with catch-and-shoot opportunities and with shooting off of cuts.
Gibson really likes that spot on the floor, and he is able to hit shots off cuts like this. pic.twitter.com/H4B6liP7DA— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) July 27, 2022
On defense, Gibson gives high effort and pursues the ball aggressively. He has active hands and has recorded 171 career steals.
Despite getting knocked down on this play, Gibson stays with it and forces the turnover.
He really likes to be aggressive on defense. Gibson, Terry, and Murphy should be a good group for knocking balls free. pic.twitter.com/N9dOt1dpz5— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) July 27, 2022
Later in that game, Gibson worked with a double-team to trap the ballhandler. That turned into a turnover and an easy 2 points for him.
Defense into offense. pic.twitter.com/e4tg5ZqvZ4— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) July 27, 2022
This game featured Gibson knocking away entry passes and diving on the ground to force turnovers. Plays like those not only impact the game but fire up the team around him. That kind of leadership increases the intensity of the defense and makes things that much harder for the other team.
What’s His Role?
Gibson should be the starting shooting guard for DePaul come November. Bart Torvik’s projections have Gibson leading the Blue Demons in both minutes and points next season.
If he can maintain his shooting efficiency - Gibson had an effective field goal percentage of 56.8 and a true shooting percentage of 60.5 - the sixth-year guard could find himself on an All-Big East team next March. He finished eighth in the Big 12 in points last season and tenth in KenPom offensive rating in conference play. Gibson should see a heavy workload next year, and a higher-tempo offense under Stubblefield should result in an even higher volume of scoring. The opportunity is there for Gibson to have his best season in college.