Lutheran grad now plays at Lipscomb
Jacob Ognacevic says Valparaiso just wasn’t a good fit.
So the former Lutheran basketball standout transferred to Lipscomb and has no complaints.
“I’m very thankful for my experience at Valpo. God put me there for a reason,” he said. “I did learn a lot there. … all my experiences there helped me. I’m just thankful for the journey.”
Last year, Ognacevic was one of just four players to appear in all 28 games as a true freshman for the Crusaders. He averaged 6.3 points and 2.0 rebounds in 13.0 minutes per game.
But he entered the NCAA transfer portal in March, and just like his recruitment days while in high school, he received a lot of calls and texts from different colleges to see what his new plan was.
Ognacevic narrowed his list of future schools, which even included UW-Green Bay and UW-Milwaukee.
Lipscomb, however, won out.
“I really liked the coaching staff at Lipscomb,” he said. “And just talking with them, how they recruited me really well, that won me over. I think me being in Nashville, all that way from home, was a good challenge for me. It’s good to know I can live away from home. There’s a lot of new things down here that are new, as well.
“And Nashville’s a really cool city.”
Ognacevic wasted little time showing his talents to the town.
In the first game, he finished with 30 points on 17-of-18 shooting from the free-throw line to go with seven rebounds in a victory over Birmingham-Southern.
Most recently, Ognacevic was named his conference’s newcomer of the week for the second time.
One of the reasons was a career high 35-point effort on 12-of-15 shooting against Tennessee Wesleyan while grabbing seven boards in 27 minutes.
The forward has nine games this season with 20 or more points and two with 30-plus.
“I’m proud of my season so far, I think I’ve made a lot of strides in my game,” Ognacevic said.
“I can attribute that to working hard in the offseason. Coaches do a great job, I have great teammates who help me play well. It’s been good start to the season.”
The Bison were 8-8 entering its game Sunday, and Ognacevic started nine of the first 15 games he played in.
He led the squad in scoring (17.7 points per game), as well as minutes and three-point percentage, and ranked second in rebounding and field-goal shooting.
“It’s kind of crazy how fast the season has gone already,” Ognacevic said. “We’re already halfway done with our guaranteed games.”