Alex Oriakhi, the college basketball free agent who has one year of eligibility remaining and is free to transfer and play immediately because of the Connecticut postseason ban, has selected Missouri, according to Gary Parrish of CBS Sports.
Missouri should be ranked again in 2012-2013 as they head to the SEC. They lost five seniors from their seven man rotation (Kim English, Marcus Denmon, Ricardo Ratliffe, Matt Pressey and Steve Moore). Ordinarily, that would lead to rebuilding. However, they now add two veteran big men to the roster, as Oriakhi comes from Connecticut, and Laurence Bowers, who would have been a starter last year, returns from the knee injury that cost him all year. Phil Pressey and Michael Dixon will provide the quickest backcourt in the country. The X-factor is four other transfers that will be eligible, including 6’5″ Earnest Ross (Auburn’s leading scorer in 2011) and 6’5″ Jabari Brown, who was ranked 26th by ESPNU and played in only two games at Oregon before deciding to transfer last season. As a result, Missouri is reloading with five potential transfers in the top 8 rotation.
Oriakhi had an off year as a junior, and was not happy at Connecticut. His first two years, he was a rebounding beast, especially on the offensive glass, and it would appear to provide an element that Missouri lacked with a rebounder. He also gets to work on the pick and roll with Pressey and better get those hands ready for some nice passes.
Jeff Goodman quotes Oriakhi as saying, “”They don’t have a big man & I can play with a pass-first point guard. It felt too good to be true.”
[photo via US Presswire]