Alex Oriakhi: Former UConn Big Man Transferring to Missouri Tigers
Former UConn Huskies standout Alex Oriakhi apparently has a new home as reports issue that he will transfer to Missouri.
CBS Sports' Jeff Goodman reports via Twitter on Oriakhi leaving to Missouri where he is far more comfortable playing.
UConn transfer Alex Oriakhi just told CBSSports he is headed to Missouri. Story coming soon.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanCBS) April 13, 2012
Oriakhi was a mainstay on the Huskies' championship team and averaged 9.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.
This season, the big man saw a good amount of his production decline thanks to Andre Drummond featuring far more heavily for UConn.
He averaged 21.5 minutes per game this season after logging 29.1 in the previous campaign. CBS Sports' Gary Parrish quotes Oriakhi who sounds optimistic on his prospects with the Tigers.
Will Missouri be a top-20 team now?
Obviously it's a simple fact that they don't have any big men, and I can play with a pass-first point guard. I just felt comfortable.
This is my last stop. It just seems perfect.
What's not perfect is the outlook for UConn who is experiencing something of a mass exodus of top-level talent.
Not only is big man Andre Drummond leaving to the NBA, but so is prolific guard Jeremy Lamb. Now they will be without the services of a star they relied on heavily just a couple seasons ago.
Goodman has initial thoughts on Missouri bringing in the 6'9" forward/center via Twitter.
The addition of Alex Oriakhi to Missouri makes the Tigers a legit Top 20 team, maybe even higher. Depends on chemistry with transfers.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanCBS) April 13, 2012
The big winner in all this may, in fact, be guard Phil Pressey who is the pass-first point guard that Oriakhi is referring to.
He is coming off a season in which he delivered over six assists per game, but that will very well climb with a gifted man in the middle to dish to.
As Parrish notes, due to NCAA sanctions, UConn is ineligible to play in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, meaning Oriakhi can join the Missouri team immediately.
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