Mizzou lands UConn transfer Oriakhi

By Kaveh Kaghazi

Missouri coach Frank Haith took a big step in addressing the lack of depth in Missouri’s front-court by adding ex-UConn power forward Alex Oriakhi, the university announced Friday. The 6-foot-9, 245-pound Oriakhi posted career-high averages in points (9.6) and rebounds (8.7) for the UConn NCAA championship team in 2011.

Missouri coach Frank Haith has another weapon to work with in 6-foot-9, 245-pound UConn transfer Alex Oriakhi.

Oriakhi (oar-ee-AAH-kee) made the decision while on on official visit to the university Friday. He was also considering Kentucky and North Carolina. Oriakhi will have one year of eligibility remaining at Missouri.

“We’re very excited to add a talented and proven player like Alex to our program,” Haith said.

“Addressing our front court depth has been a major emphasis of ours for this next year, and when you add Alex to a group of newcomers including Stefan Jankovic, Ryan Rosburg and Tony Criswell, we are definitely heading the right direction. Alex is a very hard worker, he’s somebody who we expect to fit into our program’s culture right away. He will do whatever he’s asked to help the team, and he can impact a game any number of ways, whether it’s scoring, rebounding or defending,” Haith said.

Oriakhi was a 2009 McDonald’s Prep All-American. He will play alongside former-AAU teammate Phil Pressey who averaged 6.4 assists per game for the 30-5 Tigers. The addition of Oriakhi should aid returning forward Laurence Bowers in the Tigers’ front court. Bowers missed the entire 2011-2012 campaign with a torn ACL.

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