Alex Oriakhi: UConn Star Reportedly Set to Transfer from Huskies

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IMarch 21, 2012

HARTFORD, CT - JANUARY 9:  Alex Oriakhi #34 of the Connecticut Huskies takes a look at the clock in the final minutes of a win against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the second  half at the XL Center on January 9, 2012,  in Hartford, Connecticut.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Connecticut Huskies have had a rough few months by their standards.

After being ranked No. 4 in the nation to start the season, they ended up unranked by the end of it, followed by an early exit from the NCAA tournament courtesy of Iowa State.

Now, the news gets worse.

Update: Tuesday, March 27 at 9:40 p.m. ET

According to the Associated Press, forward Alex Oriakhi has been granted his release from the UConn basketball program.

Alex Oriakhi, who starred for the Huskies in their NCAA tournament run in 2011, has apparently decided to transfer from UConn for his senior season, per Hearst Connecticut Media Group.

Oriakhi's father, Alex Sr., said the forward/center decided to transfer because Connecticut remains banned from the 2013 NCAA tournament because of its sub-par academic progress rating. Although, Alex Sr. said Oriakhi plans to transfer even if UConn's postseason ban is lifted.

It's probably a combination of factors for Oriakhi. After playing in 29 minutes per game last season while averaging 9.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks, Oriakhi averaged just 21.5 minutes this season, finding himself overtaken by explosive freshman Andre Drummond. He was benched for two separate three-game stretches, and his playing time fluctuated wildly.

UConn could be hurting when Oriakhi leaves. There's a chance Drummond declares for the NBA draft this year given that he's largely considered a top-10 pick. That would leave the Huskies shorthanded at the center spot.

Now, just a year removed from a national championship, Connecticut is in danger of losing two talented big men and facing a postseason ban in 2013.

Not exactly the kind of success UConn has grown accustomed to throughout the years.


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