Kentucky Basketball Recruiting: Wildcats Miss out on UConn Transfer Alex Oriakhi

Nick NafpliotisCorrespondent IApril 13, 2012

HARTFORD, CT - JANUARY 29:  Alex Oriakhi #34 of the Connecticut Huskies walks out onto the court before the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on January 29, 2012 at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

ESPN.com is reporting that UConn forward Alex Oriakhi will transfer to the University of Missouri.  

He will have one season of eligibility and be able to play immediately due to UConn's postseason ban next year. Oriakhi had also been considering a transfer to the University of Kentucky along with Duke, Xavier and North Carolina.

While the news hardly puts a damper on the Noel announcement from Wednesday (along with once again securing the No. 1 college recruiting class in the nation), it is unfortunate that the Wildcats were unable to land the veteran forward to make another run at a title next season.

What's curious about Oriakhi's decision is how early it came in the recruiting process. He was scheduled to visit Kentucky on April 20 and was even receiving encouragement from Nerlens Noel via Twitter to join the Wildcats next season. One has to wonder if Oriakhi would have made a different decision if he'd had a chance to actually make the trip to Lexington next weekend.

As it stands now, John Calipari and the Wildcats are still in great shape for next season. Even without Oriakhi, they should still be a favorite to defend their national championship next year.