Texas A&M Basketball: Who is transfer Christian Mekowulu?

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Billy Kennedy has some work to do replacing the entire front court for the 2018-19 Texas A&M basketball team; Christian Mekowulu could be a solution.

Texas A&M basketball made the Sweet 16 for the second time in three seasons under head coach Billy Kennedy, but it has been mostly downhill for the program since their upset of the North Carolina Tar Heels that got them there.

The Michigan Wolverines, who got off to a blistering start early in the game, hammered the Aggies and it was never close for the entire 40 minutes.

Robert Williams declared for the 2018 NBA Draft shortly after their heart-wrenching loss. This was expected news. They also lost Tonny Trocha-Morelos to graduation.

What was not expected was Tyler Davis, D.J. Hogg and Admon Gilder each followed Williams and declared for the draft themselves. It was mostly shocking because none of the three from Kennedy’s famed 2015 recruiting class were (or are) projecting to be drafted.

In fact, I wrote this article that basically gave each of the three at least an 80 percent chance of returning to school. I had to stuff my foot in my mouth after that one.

When it was all said and done, both Davis and Hogg hired agents and will test the NBA waters, and Gilder decided to come back for his senior season.

So the Aggies are unexpectedly losing all three of their starting front court from last season. One obvious candidate to slide into a starting position is Savion Flagg, who stepped in for Hogg when he was suspended for some games last season.

Another player who could be immediately impactful is Tennessee State graduate transfer Christian Mekowulu.

The 6-foot-9, 245-pound forward was the Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year last year. He averaged 12.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and just under one steal per game in just under 30 minutes per game. He also shot 51.9 percent from the field and 75 percent from the free throw line. Tennessee State went 15-15 in his last season there.

Mekowulu played his high school basketball outside Atlanta but is originally from Lagos, Nigeria. Since he graduated from Tennessee State, he will be immediately eligible for this season.

Having played at the collegiate level for four seasons, missing one due to injury, Mekowulu will bring leadership and experience to their front court. Aggie fans will like the fact that he went head to head with Texas’ lottery pick Mo Bamba and had 15 points, 11 rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists, getting the better of him on the day.

Next: 5 best NBA fits for Robert Williams

Kennedy will need Mekowulu, Flagg, or fellow 2017 recruits Isiah Jasey and John Walker III to step up on the front line this season. Due to his already impressive defensive game, Mekowulu will definitely have plenty of opportunities to prove himself.

Jeff Shull is the Site Expert for the Gig Em Gazette on FanSided. Follow him on Twitter, and be sure to follow the Gig Em Gazette on Facebook and Twitter.