Alex Oriakhi: Former UConn Big Man Transferring to Missouri Tigers

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterApril 14, 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

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. 

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 04:  Alex Oriakhi #34 of the Connecticut Huskies reacts after a play against the Butler Bulldogs during the National Championship Game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at Reliant Stadium on April 4, 2011 in Houst
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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. 

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.

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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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