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How Tennessee Basketball Signee Felix Okpara Compares to Jonas Aidoo, Tobe Awaka

Photo via Ohio State Athletics

Tennessee basketball has lost four players to the transfer portal to date, but only the departures of Jonas Aidoo and Tobe Awaka were of significant consequence.

With Rick Barnes and his staff having significant confidence in rising sophomore JP Estrella, Tennessee needed to land just one big man in the portal to have replace its top two options from a season ago.

The Vols landed that replacement on Thursday morning when Ohio State center Felix Okpara committed and signed with Tennessee basketball.

So how does Okpara’s game compare to Aidoo and Awaka’s? Let’s take a look here.


Let’s start with a general minutes outline because that will be important for some of these stats.  Aidoo played 24.6 minutes per game, Okpara played 23.6 minutes per game and Awaka played 13.1 minutes per game.

Aidoo averaged 11.4 points (52 FG%/29 3PT%/63 FT%) while Okpara averaged 6.6 points (59/0/59) and Awaka averaged 5.1 points (59/0/74)

One positive interesting statistic is Okpara’s offensive rating of 114.9 which is higher than Aidoo’s 112.8 but far lower than Awaka’s 124.5.

Offensive rating accounts for players usage and takes a number of stats into account like field goal percentage, assist rate and offensive rebound rate. So while Aidoo put up bigger offensive numbers than Okpara, he was much less efficient doing it.

There’s some general information. But how does Felix Okpara score?

He shoots 64% at the rim which is where he takes a staggering 88% of his shots. Okpara is a great lob threat at the basket and with his 6-foot-11, 235-pound frame, he is good at finishing at the rim.

As the rim shooting and free throw shooting shows, Okpara doesn’t have much of a jump shot at this point in his career.

Okpara doesn’t have a very developed offensive game at this stage. He is not very good at post ups, totaling just 0.65 points per possession a mark that ranks in the 26th percentile nationally. Aidoo was very average in post up situations, producing 0.83 points per possession while Awaka was elite there, totaling 1.12 PPP on post ups.

But that is where Okpara visits this Tennessee roster really well. Estrella is a good back to the basket scorer but, at least at this point, is not a great rim protector.

Okpara on the other hand is an elite rim protector. Let’s take a look.


Okpara wasn’t only one of the best rim protectors in the transfer portal but he was one of the best rim protectors in the entire country. The 6-foot-11 center posted a 10.25% block rate last season, a mark that ranked 18th nationally.

Aidoo was a really good shot blocker but posted just an 8.7% block rate ranking 36th nationally. Awaka is not much of a shot blocker and posted just a 5.6% block rate last season.

Over the course of his junior season, Okpara blocked 83 shots for 2.4 blocks per game. The Tennessee program record for blocks in a season is 73 from both Yves Pons and CJ Black.

Aidoo struggled to defend elite post scorers last season and Okpara has a pretty similar build. It will be interesting to see if the Ohio State transfer can hold up better against the likes of physical big men.

Another question for Okpara is playing without fouling. Foul trouble plagued him at times in his sophomore season. However, the issue isn’t nearly as big a question as it is for Awaka.

Okpara committed 4.9 fouls per 40 minutes played last season while Aidoo committed 3.5 fouls per 40 minutes and Awaka committed 7.6 fouls per 40 minutes.


Tobe Awaka is the best rebounder of the group but all three are strong rebounds. Awaka averaged 4.6 rebounds per game (2.5 DRPG, 2.1 ORPG) while posting a 17.9% offensive rebound rate and a 20% defensive rebounding rate.

Jonas Aidoo averaged 7.3 rebounds per game (4.5 DRPG, 2.8 ORPG) while posting an 12.4% offensive rebound rate and a 19.5% defensive rebound rate.

Okpara is a pretty comparable rebounder to Aidoo. As a sophomore, Okpara averaged 6.4 rebounds per game (4.1 DRPG, 2.3 ORPG) while posting an 11.1% offensive rebound rate and a 19.4% defensive rebounding rate.

The Ohio State transfer ranked 147th nationally in offensive rebounding percentage and 260th nationally in defensive rebounding percentage.

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