Notre Dame lands Monmouth Transfer Big Man Nikita Konstantynovskyi -

Notre Dame lands Monmouth Transfer Big Man Nikita Konstantynovskyi

by Pat Rick

Posted: 5/15/2024 6:22:59 AM


FINALLY, Shrews and his staff land a big man transfer to help clean up the glass and provide a presence in the paint

NCAA Basketball: South Florida at Tulsa Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Fans of Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball were certainly getting restless waiting for any and all news on Micah Shrewsberry and his staff landing any more transfers, particularly to beef up their squad in the paint.

Finally, there’s been a major development, as a 6’10” veteran big committed to the Irish on Tuesday:

Nikita Konstantynovskyi is a grad transfer from Kyiv, Ukraine who played for Monmouth last season after having spent his first two D-1 collegiate seasons of action playing for Tulsa. He played at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College the two seasons prior to that, where he averaged 11.1 points and 8 rebounds as a sophomore while shooting 60.2% from the field and proving to be one of the best JUCO players in the country.

The 245-lb big man played only sparingly in those first two years at the D-1 level, averaging about 8 minutes per contest with the Golden Hurricane to go along with 2.0 points and 2.6 rebounds while shooting 54% from the field on just 1.3 shot attempts per game. He redshirted during 2022-2023 due to injury.

However, the move to Monmouth for the 2023-2024 season was great for the still-developing forward, as he started 32 games (averaging 23 minutes per) while scoring 9.3 points and grabbing 8.1 rebounds and shooting 53% from the field.

This included a 22-point, 6-rebound performance in a win over Belmont, 16 points and 9 rebounds in a win over Northern Illinois, 17 and 13 in a win over Manhattan, 21 and 10 against Rider, and a dominant 22 points and 20 rebounds in a win over Stony Brook.

Konstantynovskyi moves pretty well for a player his size, and shows a decent ability to play with his back to the basket, set screens, roll to the hoop, etc. He’s pretty strong and well-built to withstand the wear and tear of competing with ACC opponents (especially when it comes to rebounding), and he even shows a willingness and ability to put the ball on the floor when needed — although it’s probably best if he minimizes that against ACC defenders. He’s also not much of a shooter — although he can hit mid-range shots from time to time, he won’t be stretching the floor by any means.

He also may not be an “above the rim” shot blocker, but with his size and strength he shows a good ability to still get vertical, contest and occasionally block shots, and make things generally difficult for opposing bigs in the post.

One note is that he didn’t exactly dominate against some of the higher-level competition the Hawks faced last season, as he went scoreless against George Mason, scored just 6 points against West Virginia and 2 points against Princeton, and had just 3 points in a respectably-close loss to Seton Hall.

Still, the Irish are in a “beggars can’t be choosers” situation when it comes to big men on the roster, desperately needing size to help Kebba Njie down low next year with the departures of Carey Booth and Matt Zona via the transfer portal. Hopefully the Irish will continue to pursue another forward — perhaps a stretch four with length who can fill the same role as Booth — but at least for now they’ve managed to add a solid and serviceable big in Konstantynovskyi to rotate in, help clean up the glass, defend in the paint, and put the ball in the hoop down low.


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